Three candidates step forward for Dettah Chief election

Chief Edward Sangris
Dettah Chief Edward Sangris.
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Three people will contest this month’s election for the position of Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) Dettah Chief.

Incumbent Edward Sangris faces opposition from Shirley Tsetta and Nuni Sanspariel in the race to secure the next four-year term.

A candidates’ forum will take place on the evening of Thursday, May 21, at the Chief Drygeese Community Centre in Dettah. The election itself will be held on Monday, May 25.

Sanspariel unsuccessfully challenged Sangris in the last election, in 2011.

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At the time, Sanspariel said there was a “need for change”. He voiced an ambition to take a bigger cut from the mining industry and end reliance on federal ‘handouts’.

Sangris, standing on a platform of education, won by 237 votes to 104. A year later, Sanspariel endorsed a band councillor’s letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, alleging mismanagement and corruption in the YKDFN band council.

Shirley Tsetta previously stood for election as N’Dilo Chief in 2013, losing by a single vote – 122-121 – to Ernest Betsina.

Tsetta, who ran on a campaign of public accountability, beat Roy Erasmus Sr into third place with 108 votes.

Tsetta is on the board of the directors of the Native Women’s Association of the NWT, and is the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority trustee for N’Dilo and Dettah.

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