On Friday December 14, Nemaska residents filed a petition to hold a special band meeting to decide on whether to call an election for chief. The is in reaction to Chief George Wapachee’s stand on the Agreement in Principle. Ten signatures are needed to call for a special band meeting. A majority vote for election is required at the meeting. “The meeting could be on Christmas Eve,” said Lindy Moar, one of the signatories of the petition. “The petition was filed. The Chief has seen it.” Said Moar, “I think it’ll go through and we’ll go ahead and have the elections. The people don’t feel they’re properly represented.” Josie Jimiken, Nemaska’s representative on the Board of Compensation said another item on the agenda was a resolution passed in Nemaska calling for a moratorium on development in the territory. “The meeting will also be used to remind the Chief and the Grand Council about that resolution,” The other item might be to give the Chief and Council the mandate not sign anything in regards to the Agreement in Principle,” said Jimiken.
Chief George Wapachee, in Montreal for a Council board meeting said, “I was quite surprised. I first heard about it when it appeared in The Gazette. The council will have to look at it (the petition). It’ll be up to the people,” Asked whether he thought he’d still be chief in the new year, Wapachee said, “I think so. I have to take a positive approach.” In other election news,
There is a new Chief and Council in Chisasibi. Several days after the election of Abraham Rupert, his new council was elected. There were 34 nominees at the December 4 band meeting 34 nominees, 24 accepted. On December 11, 9 new councillors were elected, Bobby Neacappo, Elsie House, Former Chief Charles Bobbish, Larry House, William Ratt, Janie Moar, John E. Sam, Annie Bobbish and Samson Sandy. Three councillors in the former administration, Davey Bobbish, Emily Rondeau and Eric R. House were re-elected. Emily Rondeau is deputy chief.
The nomination of outgoing Chief Violet Pachanos as a councilor caused a minor stir at the nomination meeting. Around 10:30 p.m. there were 33 people nominated. A woman at the front of the room proposed the meeting be called to a close. The returning officer. Charlie Pepabano declared the nomination meeting closed. Brian Stewart shouted out Violet Pachanos’ name as his nominee. The meeting was reopened and the former chief was officially nominated. Violet Pachanos declined her nomination.