Clinton Unka says new blood needed for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh

UnkaUnka is the youngest candidate running for the seat of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh (Photo courtesy of Clinton Unka)

Clinton Unka is the sixth and final candidate running for the seat of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh.

Clinton Unka  joins former MLA Steve Norn, Ernest Betsina, Richard Edjericon, Mary Rose Sundberg and Nadine Delorme-Simon in the running.

“COVID-19 is a global reality and while this will be difficult, it is not impossible. Utilizing social media and connecting over the phone will be my primary means of communication and keeping everyone safe is my priority. I look forward to representing Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh with pride,” reads an official press release.

CKLB spoke to Unka on his vision for the role if elected.

Why are you running for the seat of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh?

It just comes down to representing those communities.

My family is from Fort Resolution. I am Dene from the Deninu Kųę́ First Nation. It is imperative that we have a voice and representative in the Legislative Assembly that can bring forth issues that are important to us right now.

So COVID, obviously health care. It is a harsh reality for the territories right now and globally. Having access to that healthcare, especially in small communities, health care centers are running scarce. Access to COVID testing and then protecting vulnerable people, the children, the elderly, that’s a prime priority for me.

Another thing would be housing, access safe housing, quality housing, affordable housing as well as providing accessible funding … for homecare and first-time buyers.

I want to focus on the fact of COVID. We understand there are a lot of people isolating or at home and can’t get out. So mental health is huge for me, as well as addictions, especially in our communities. And for some people, telephone is not an option, people need on the land healing and resources that are within the community that are readily accessible.

That would be just the cusp of what I want to do to represent these communities and in consultation with our local chiefs, the communities, and their general interests.

What are some of your biggest priorities assuming you take the seat?

I would have to go through health care, housing, and tourism.

These communities are beautiful, in Łutsel Kʼe, Fort Resolution, Ndilǫ, Dettah and Yellowknife (are) the primary hub for tourism and we’re in the prime right now. It’s a Northern Light season.

How exactly do you plan on addressing those issues?

It’s already been addressed.

It’s not new, these are not new situations.

These are things that with continuous work with government, territorial, municipal, federal, and just also working with communities, to make sure that they are understanding and willing to work collaboratively.

What are your feelings on Steve Norn running for the position again?

I think it’s brave.

Everybody has a chance. People make mistakes.

It really comes down to the people.

We need a lot of new blood in our system right now. I’m probably the youngest candidate, but I have the experience. We need an Indigenous individual that represents these communities and will be able to be a strong voice.

According to Elections NWT, ballot packages have been mailed out to all registered voters and the last day to register is Jan. 29.

Polling closes at 8 p.m. on Feb 8.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com