Ted Moses once again steps in the familiar shoes of grand chief. Matthew Mukash Joins Moses as Deputy Grand Chief.
The reports started filtering in from the communities as the polls closed. “So and so seems to be leading in such and such town.” Until the numbers came in, it was pure speculation. On August 31 st, the people were once again asked to choose a Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chief. Ted Moses easily breezed into the position of Grand Chief with a total of 1766 votes or 45% of the total votes cast. His last tenure as Grand Chief was from 1984 to ’87. Mistissini Chief Kenny Loon trailed Moses with 999 votes or 25% of the total. Loon, in a radio interview said he would take some time to ponder his future. Matthew Mukash, current Chief of Whapmagoostui, won over the people with 1 357 of the vote equaling 35% of the total for the position of Deputy Grand Chief. Ashley Iserhoff, Youth Grand Chief, who also ran for Deputy Grand Chief came in with 852 votes with 22%.
The Voting in Mistissini had been prematurely closed by a youth who had been wielding firearms. The police had closed off the area at around 6pm. Keeping would be voters away from the ballots. Some shots were fired, fortunately no injuries were reported. In spite of the early closing of the polls, Mistissini voters still managed a turnout in record numbers. 874 voters turned up in Mistissini compared with 672 in the 1996 elections. Almost every poll saw an increase of voters, some gained one voter as in Ouje Bougoumou. In Eastmain, the voter turnout saw 242 ballots cast compared with 175 in 1996.
Contacted by the Nation, Moses said he was catching up on some sleep. He said the first phone call, informing him of his win, came in at 5:45 and the calls continued into the evening. The “familiar” shoes of the Grand Chief he said “fit very well.” He was “honoured” by the “tremendous support of my leadership.” He said a message was sent by the Cree people. His platform of respect for human and treaty rights he said was “accepted by the people and won’t sell those rights.” His role as Ambassador will see “a young Cree to help” so he would be able to “ease out of it,” but would still maintain representation on the larger issues at hand. He hopes the support shown to him would be understood by the various governments because some of them ask “are you really representing the Cree Nation?” he said “now they know.”
Turn to page 10 for Moses’ Message