As I write this column, the first regional election of this millennium is heading the direction of Bush vs Gore’s Florida famous chad recount. Yes, a recount. May not a recount to end all recounts, but most likely the recount that will confirm that our people are divided in their choice of leadership. It was the same for the deputy grand chief, although it was not evenly decided between two candidates, but unevenly (yet paradox of paradoxes somewhat proportionately) divided amongst five candidates. I have to admit that my candidate who I campaigned vigorously for seemed to come out of the blue, unknown to the general public and yet, certainly not a greenhorn to politics and nation building, enough to take a close number two position (eat that Neil Diamond!).

At a great loss to hockey fans everywhere, the famous William Nicholls had not quite enough to make the cut, but I wish him well as he already does a good job where he is now. The Loons duo from the great rock country also did quite well, but still, didn’t make the grade. Perhaps next time, buddies. As the dust settles, and the crowd goes home, the tedious job of continuing with building our nation into one to contend with in terms of the north, goes on. As the good doctor returns from South Africa and his counter part, Matthewsie of the great white north come back home to work on his biography, life will go on as usual, the world will turn and the sun will set on another historic day in the life of Eeyou politics.

I did note that, Whapmagoostui did a fine job at the polls, with nearly every voter showing up and the same for Chisasibi. That is the choice that everyone has and the chance to change the future by showing up and voting. Congratulations to all those voters. The same for Mistisinni, Wemindji Waswanipi and Eastmain who had good turnouts. Apparantly Ouje’s population is suffering a slowdown in growth, or it was just a bad day to go out and vote.

Waskaganish was a hot bed of meltdown expressions and somehow and in someway, it just didn’t seem right. Nemaska, well, is Nemaska, what can I say.

Back to the future of the Eeyou Istchee, we will see the development of the EM-1 project go into full swing this fall, with roads being built and camps being erected, ready for next spring. Goose or moose break is just here at this moment and our traditional nomadic lifestyle, albeit high horsepowered, is practiced for a month or so, then back to the grind of spending all those recently allocated funds from the AIP. Students who have traditionally had no real prospect for jobs and careers are now hitting the books with fervor, gleefully anticipating their future roles as doctors, lawyers, chiefs and teachers of the next generation.

I must admit though, that I had wished that all these conditions of the JBNQA had been implemented, especially those under the s.28, way back in the day when I was raring to go into business, but I guess we were just not ready enough as a nation. 1 also must admit, that it takes a brave person to go out and risk their reputation and put it all on the line for a shot at the leadership and my congratulations goes out to Dr. Ted and Matthew, Paul, Losty, Kenny, Alfred and last but not least, good ol’ William Nicholls. For the next round of elections, I’d like to see the better half of the population, namely the ladies, to venture out and try out the campaign trail, because I know, that our ladies are hard workers and deserve their say in our future, through an elected leadership. I must admit, though, that this election, was by far, the most interesting. See you in three years.

The Waswanipi Business Development Conference dates have been changed. The new dates will be Sept. 17th and 18th, 2002.