Richard Edjericon announced his candidacy for the seat of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh on Monday.
Edjericon now joins former MLA Steve Norn, Nadine Delorme- Simon and Ernest Betsina in the running.
According to a press release, he offers “experience and knowledge in business, public tribunals, environmental board chairmanship, political leadership, resource development, construction project management, administration and housing.”
CKLB spoke with Edjericon on his vision if elected to the role.
Why are you running for the seat of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh?
As a former chief and leader, I think I bring a lot of experience to the table, to work within government to really look at how we can work for our constituents in our communities to address some of their issues and concerns.
I’ve been asked, since November, and the responses I’ve been getting from the people in Ndilǫ, Dettah, Łutsel Kʼe and Fort Resolution was really strong. So I finally spoke with my wife, my family, my children and I got their blessing. So I decided to go ahead and put my name in.
What are some of your biggest priorities assuming you take the seat?
There are a lot of issues that are confronting us, the economy in the Northwest Territories is a big issue.
Our mining industry is starting to slow down (and) we still have a lot of young people in our communities, we need to take a look at how we’re going to sustain that. That’s one of the biggest factors.
The other one is, how do we bridge the gap with our Indigenous governments? – on any issue we want to talk about, when we talk about land claims, we talk about housing, we could talk about trades, training, education, and so on, these are big-ticket items in our communities.
If elected, I just want to work with the premier, cabinet and MLAs, to really look at what our issues are.
I want to actually take that (budget) plan and bring it back to the Indigenous governments and sit down and go through those plans and really take a look and prioritize what’s really important to them because we only get 20 months in this by-election to really make a difference here.
I’m trying to work with communities so that their issues and voices are heard at the Legislative Assembly.
How do you plan on addressing those issues?
It all depends. We have claims being negotiated at two levels.
The biggest thing is that once they get to that point where it’s signed off, we really need to help get the GNWT to be involved in that process and it still needs to be approved by the legislature as well.
Working with MLAs, ministers and cabinet to really look at our issues and agendas in the communities.
The key here is working together.
What are your feelings on Steve Norn running again?
There’s a process in place already. Everybody’s open to put their name in.
At this point in time, I’m only going to concentrate on my candidacy.
The election will be held exclusively by mail-in ballot and all ballots must be sent in by February 8.