On Monday, beneficiaries in Fort Good Hope will go to the polls to vote in a president and six directors for the Yamoga Land Corporation.
This comes two months later than was planned after the COVID-19 outbreak in the Sahtú delayed the election.
Two candidates are running to be president, incumbent president Edwin Erutse and Ronald Pierrot, a former chief of Fort Good Hope.
Edwin Erutse has served as president of the Yamoga Land Corporation for 15 years.
“What prompts me to run again is right now I see our community, our region, the whole North, in a period of uncertainty,” told CKLB on Thursday.
He mentioned the 2008 financial crash and the effect that had on the community as well as his ability to navigate the crisis.
“We survived that,” he said.
Erutse said if re-elected he would continue to focus on housing, specifically crediting the work of the K’asho Got’ine Housing Society, which is funded by the Yamoga Land Corporation.
“We built an organization, we have it fully staffed… We received funding and it took us many years to build the reputation and build credibility, to address the whole issue of housing in our community,” he said. “So as a result of that effort today, we’re starting to yield some results and see some results from that investment.”
The K’asho Got’ine Housing Society has established several housing projects including a men’s shelter, the first of its kind in a community.
Erutse says if re-elected, he will also focus on passing down everything he has learned to the next generation.
“I spent many, many years trying to learn and understand what our negotiators negotiated,” he said. “I would spend my next term here, passing this knowledge on to the people and onto the younger generation that I hope is going to take over here at some point in time, rather than just leaving them blind.”
Pierrot is a former two term chief in the community, who currently works in trucking.
He told CKLB on Thursday that his main goal would be establishing economic opportunities in the community, as well as addressing the housing issue.
“As a small local community, we survived by hunting, fishing, trapping, but today’s survival is all about economic opportunities, education,” Pierrot says. “So I feel there are opportunities out there that we can bring further North and work with our young people.”
Pierrot says he would look at creating partnerships and accessing funding and training programs, especially in the trades, that can create jobs in the community.
He spoke of his accomplishments as chief including the new band office and upgrading the daycare centre to a larger space.
Pierrot says travelling for his work has given him a unique perspective.
“I have a lot to offer in terms of business and in terms what I have experienced not only in the Sahtú… But in various places,” he said.
Pierrot says he speaks the language and would communicate with the Elders and youth alike.
“The Elders have a lot of education that they can offer to our young people,” he says.
Pierrot says his most important goal would be creating unity in Fort Good Hope.
“Being together, you can support one another in terms of leadership, economic opportunities,” he said.
There are also six director positions available that 18 candidates are running for.
This include Dwayne Barnaby, Roger Boniface, Robert Bourassa, Darcy Edgi, Angela Grandjambe, George Grandjambe, Marcel Grandjambe, Shawn Grandjambe, Robert Gully, Harry Harris, Daniel Jackson, Lawrence Jackson, Jerry Lennie, Daniel Masuzumi, Curtis Manuel, Delphine Pierrot, Tammy Proctor and Brenda T’Seleie-Pierrot.
Rose McNeely is the Chief Returning Officer for the election.
The voting will take place at the Band Hall on Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Proxy forms are available and be accessed by emailing email@example.com or faxing (867) 598 -2437