Dene Nation holding election in September, Yakelaya plans to run for re-election

Dene Nation Chief Norman Yakelaya marching ahead of the crowd. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/
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Dene Nation Chief Norman Yakelaya plans to run for re-election as National Chief when the Dene Nation holds its election this September.

The election will happen during the Dene National Assembly, to be hosted by the Líídlįį Kúę First Nation from September 14 to 16.

Yakeleya has served one three-year term as Dene National Chief after being elected to replace Bill Erasmus in August 2018.

Other significant changes could be coming in the near future for the organization. The Dene Nation will meet on August 3 to 5 to sign its new constitution.

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Yakelaya says the new constitution makes key updates to the existing constitution signed in the 1970s and will shape the role of the Dene Nation in the years to come.

The Dene Nation, formerly known as the Indian Brotherhood of the Northwest Territories, was initially formed in 1969 in response to the federal government’s “White Paper” and in an attempt to block the Mackenzie Valley oil pipeline, which cut through a number of NWT’s Indigenous groups’ traditional lands.

During his time as chief, Yakelaya has started initiatives to reclaim education, work with the RCMP on developing anti-bias training for its officers and a partnership with the MasterCard Foundation to send Chromebooks to a number of schools throughout the NWT.

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