Elections for the new chief of the Ermineskin Cree Nation on Aug. 27 resulted in the change of leadership with Randy Ermineskin receiving 209 of the total 907 votes cast to be elected.
Dennis Whitebear took 179 votes and current chief Craig Makinaw got 150.
During the election forum, which took place two days before the casting of votes, Randy Ermineskin stressed the need for reconciliation and urged self-sufficiency on the part of First Nations, emphasizing the importance of education for youth. “They need to have something to look forward to,” he said.
The new chief will be sworn in on October 1 alongside the new band council, for which elections will be held on Sept. 17. Four council members will be elected.
Following the announcement of the election results, Chief Makinaw issued a statement thanking the Ermineskin Cree for their support throughout his 34 years as the employee of Ermieskin nation, including as councillor and chief.
He said he would continue to support the leadership of Maskwacis Cree in defense of their treaty rights.