Fort Albany First Nation has elected a new chief and council.
Election day was last Saturday, Aug. 22.
Robert Nakogee has been elected the new chief. Out of 270 ballots, he received 120 votes.
“I decided, with support from family and friends and colleagues, to run for chief,” he said. “I’m grateful to the community for choosing me to be their chief.”
He was been on council for 10 consecutive years. Nakogee started off as a councillor and then served as a deputy chief for six years. During his tenure, he said he’s already worked with other chiefs and neighbouring communities building relationships and friendships.
“The time is to have more transparency, this is what I’ve seen during campaigning. People want to know what’s going on,” he said about his next steps as the new chief.
“And there’s something awful that’s been sitting dormant for a while, and that’s the Albany River. That’s something we want to put on the table and start discussing it more because it’s dead. The diversions that happened before I was born on the Albany River when they built the dam, it’s something that impacts our community.”
There are two communities on river, Fort Albany and Kashechewan.
“But the river starts to go dry this time of year,” Nakogee said. “So that’s something we would like to discuss more to get more attention to it.”
Other plans include bringing back the newsletter and finishing up the election code, he said, with the support of the community because “at the end of the day, the community members are the boss.”
Elizabeth Kataquapit, who was running for a chief position, came in second with 98 votes, while Simeon Solomon got 43 votes. Nine ballots were also spoiled, according to Fort Albany’s Facebook post.
Charlotte Nakochee has been elected as the new deputy chief having received 100 votes. Eighty-two votes were cast for Yvonne Metatawabin and a former Fort Albany’s chief Leo Metatawabin received 77 votes. Eleven ballots were also spoiled.
Fort Albany’s new councillors are Xavier Inishinapay (164 votes), Pascal Spence (145), Joseph Scott (143), Troy Williams (141), Joseph Sutherland (139), Katelyn Knapaysweet (130) and Edmond Edwards (111). Ten ballots were spoiled.