The Innu Nation has picked a new president. Penote Ben Michel defeated incumbent Peter Penashue in the October 6 vote with 434 votes to 354. Penashue was president of the Innu Nation for most of the last 14 years but recently suffered a heart attack and planned to retire but came back because he felt there was a “deterioration of conditions for Innu people in the last six months.”
The election campaign was marred by heavy drinking. President Michel admitted in a CBC news report that he supplied alcohol to his supporters in Sheshatshiu.
The Innu Nation numbers about 2,000 people, most of them living in Natuashish, a village on the northern Labrador coast, and in Sheshatshiu, in central Labrador.