New grand chief and deputy grand chief fol­low­ing Innu Na­tion elec­tions

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - FRONT PAGE - BY EVAN CAREEN

The Innu Na­tion held its elec­tion on Aug. 16 and has a new Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chief.

Eti­enne Rich of She­shat­shiu is the new Deputy Grand Chief and told the Labrado­rian he’s over­whelmed by the sup­port from the two com­mu­ni­ties.

“I’m very happy with all the sup­port I got from the com­mu­ni­ties,” he said. “It’s nice to see that Nat­u­ashish and She­shat­shiu are con­fi­dent enough in me to put me in this po­si­tion. I don’t know what to say.”

Greg Rich of Nat­u­ashish is the new Grand Chief and the new deputy said he’s look­ing for­ward to work­ing with him more. Greg Rich could not be reached for com­ment as of press time.

Greg Rich de­feated for­mer Grand Chief Si­moen Tshakapesh, Luke Nukesh Rich and Si­mon Pokue.

Eti­enne Rich de­feated David Hart Jr., Jean Pierre Ashini, Leonard Rich and Kanani Davis (Pe­nashue).

Eti­enne Rich, a for­mer coun­cil­lor and mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors for the Innu Na­tion, said he wants to travel to Nat­u­ashish more in his term, spend­ing time there to help work on the is­sues that af­fect both com­mu­ni­ties.

“We’re the same com­mu­ni­ties, we face the same prob­lems and we know each other,” he said. “When peo­ple from both com­mu­ni­ties show this con­fi­dence in me it was hum­bling. I would re­ally like to spend a week there ev­ery two months, to work with the staff and peo­ple there.”

Dur­ing the cam­paign there were three walks or­ga­nized for youth call­ing for a sober cam­paign. Both the new chief and deputy chief sup­ported those walks.

“I did sup­port a lot of the sober walks with the youth for the last few weeks and I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to con­tin­u­ing work on that,” he said. “I would put that as a pri­or­ity, I re­ally want to work more with the youth and sup­port that.”

He said he be­lieves the call for a sober cam­paign did af­fect the elec­tion and he didn’t see any can­di­dates of­fer­ing al­co­hol like they did in the past.

“I would like to see more change, when we’re do­ing up the elec­tion code I would like to see that in there, keep­ing up a sober cam­paign.”

Dur­ing the cam­paign, he held sober events where he saw a lot of youth and their par­ents show up, which he said is en­cour­ag­ing.

“When we first did the march there was a youth com­mit­tee formed and they told us they had con­cerns with the elec­tion,” he said. “A lot of peo­ple used to drink in the elec­tions and it seems to have changed, to me.”

He said the other is­sue he re­ally wants to fo­cus on is the in­quiry into the Innu ex­pe­ri­ence in the prov­ince’s child pro­tec­tion sys­tem, which was re­cently agreed upon by the pre­vi­ous Innu Na­tion gov­ern­ment and the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

That is a main pri­or­ity for him and some­thing they need to get mov­ing, he said. He plans to start work on that as soon as he can.

Look for the com­plete list­ing of win­ners in an up­com­ing Aurora when the of­fi­cial re­sults be­come avail­able.

COUR­TESY OF ETI­ENNE RICH

Eti­enne Rich of She­shat­shiu is the new Deputy Grand Chief of the Innu Na­tion.

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