Mary Rose Sundberg announces her candidacy for the seat of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh.
Sundberg now joins former MLA Steve Norn, Nadine Delorme-Simone, Ernest Betsina and Richard Edjericon in the running.
CKLB spoke with Sundberg on her vision if elected to the role.
Why are you running for the position of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh?
I have a passion to help people and am rooted in the community.
I know the issues and (have) been asked several times in the past to run. This time I felt I am ready.
I believe I have enough experience over the years serving the communities as an interpreter and in leadership roles. I can push forward issues of regional concern.
As children, we were taught to always cater to people and to be good hostesses. The reason why I also like to cook and feed people.
I also have language and cultural skills, which were passed down to me by my father, my mother and my grandparents.
What are some of your biggest priorities assuming you take the seat?
Just looking at the communities, one of them is wellness. I’m talking about healing and looking at the territory and the national level (about) on the land-healing programs.
One of the first things that I noticed in the territory is people reach out to learn their language and want to learn their way of life, culture, traditions, and history.
I think it’s time that the government provided funds to people to learn their language and their culture… and get paid for it.
We need to educate people on the root causes of where people are today, we need to educate people on residential schools, the 60s, scoop, once people understand why we are the way we are, I think they have a better understanding of where people are coming from and start working on themselves.
The other issue that I see across our communities is housing.
Homelessness is another issue. I think one of the ways to help people is to talk about tiny homes, land development, affordable homeownership, alternative energy, solar power and wood stoves. I think one of the biggest problems in housing is the policies and regulations that they have in place. People don’t fit into those policies and that’s why they’re being prevented to own their own home and are not able to get loans to build a home on Crown land or commissioner’s lands.
How exactly do you plan on addressing those issues?
One of the things that we can take a look at is the policies and regulations that the GNWT has in place.
Those really need to be taken a look at and make some changes so that it can help the community.
We’re going to be looking at that and see what other ways we can push some of those issues forward at different levels of government.
What are your feelings on Steve Norn running for the position again?
It’s up to people, if they’re eligible to run, they can run.
Mail-in ballots are due Feb. 8.
The interview has been edited for clarity.