Gentlemen, start your engines ’cause the race is on Ladies and gentlemen, sharpen your pencils and get ready to cast your valuable vote and choose your favourite contender for the race that can happen only twice a decade. Yup, candidates for the Grand Council of Eeyou Estchee have now been announced. For your information, I am not running nor voting due to an intense conflict of friendship and honour.

In the running for head honcho is the Dr. Ted Moses versus Matthew Mukash. As these two contenders meet head to head in their respective viewpoints on how the future of Eeyou Estchee should look, it will interest you to know that their interests are as far apart as one can possibly be.

As far as the run for Deputy is, all contenders have fair chance of taking votes in their favour, so this leg of the race will be very interesting. All candidates come from varied backgrounds and all are first time runners save for William Nicholls, famous editor of this great magazine. It will be a good race. I, for one, have decided not to run for anything since I already enjoy a certain notoriety from association with Rez Notes and the great magazine The Nation.

However, I am in a certain calamity as I have taken on the role as a campaign manager for one of the candidates and my counterpart, Neil Diamond, has also taken on the job as campaign manager for another contender and he has thrown down his glove to me as official challenger, pitting our writing and promotional skills in a head to head match. This will be a very interesting experience, indeed. So, in all fairness, I will reserve half of this column to Neil Diamond, so that he may have a say, until the time that the election results are in. Good luck, buddy! Finally, the battle over what’s left of Eeyou Estchee has begun. Those who’ve been following the past year’s events surrounding the AIP aren’t surprised the only two candidates for Grand Chief are Dr. Ted Moses and his Dr. Evil, so to speak, Matthew Mukash.

Stupidly, I thought for sure there would be the usual mad scramble for power Quebec’s Crees are renowned for. Alas, it was not to be.

Where are the usual nominees of yore I wonder. That guy from Chisasibi, didn’t he run the past four elections? The two Blacksmiths from Mistissini? I have a hunch many were nominated but few accepted. It’s just too risky. You’d be running against the guy who brought home the S3.8 billion moose head. Or was it its heart?

If this election is anything like that farce of a referendum from a few months ago, we’ll have Dr. Moses to kick around for another three years. Whoop de doo! Seriously, nine different referendums with different questions with results released before another community had even voted. We’re weak for having tolerated it and stupid for having applauded its result and we should all hang our heads in shame. Especially the ones responsible. Not one of our shining moments as democratic Crees. Kinda reminds you of Florida.

Anyway, it’s early in the race to power and I’m not even sure when the vote is but it’s only weeks away again. We haven’t heard from the candidates yet save for Losty Mamainscum of GW and William Nicholls of Mistissini. We also heard from almost-ran-for- Grand Chief Donald Nicholls, brother of the above mentioned Nicholls.

With all respect, Losty doesn’t give us much of a platfonn but his curriculum vitae so who know what his plans are at this point. Nicholls raises some important issues on leader accountability, Cree hiring and the poisoning of OJ land.

Donald Nicholls hints that he might have accepted his nomination for Grand Chief had he met the dealine. I tell you, the system’s broke and we’s gotta fix it.

A new development. The phone rang and it was candidate Alfred Loon in the nascent stage of his campaign. But we’ll have to wait the next issue because we’re about to go to press.

Chief Paul Gull’s slowly and cautiously moving up by accepting his nomination for deputy. Cree lawyer and former chief of Mistissini Kenny Loon has also accepted a nomination for deputy.

But. But. None of this is official yet. The nomination deadline was over a week ago and we still haven’t heard from the Grand Council so the information I have could be wrong. We have a fax with everyone’s name but it’s unofficial. Returning Officer John Henry Wapachee’s waiting for word from his higher ups on how to proceed. What could be the problem I wonder. Hey, that means the two candidates for Grand Chief could still change. The only fact we’re sure about is that Losty Mamianscum and William Nicholls are in the race and, yes, I’m the campaign manager for William Nicholls and Sonnysie is working for Losty. What a mess we’re in already.