On June 17, Stacy Bear was elected Youth Grand Chief. The 28-year-old from Waskaganish won with over 35 percent of the votes.

Candidate Charly Washipabano came in second with 30 percent while Jeremy Diamond garnered 22 percent of the votes.

Bear is the first woman to be Youth Grand Chief in the history of Cree elections. Over the past years, Bear has given a lot to her own community, serving within the Waskaganish Band Council and being the Waskaganish Youth Chief for three years.

“I congratulate Stacy on her election to lead the Cree Nation Youth Council,” Deputy Grand Chief Ashley Iserhoff told the Nation. “I’ve known her since 1998, and from what I see she has a big heart and puts her energy to make a valuable contribution to her community and the Cree Nation.”

Now with her new role, Bear is hoping to have a greater influence on the Cree youth. As a woman, she is looking forward to working with issues such as self-esteem, something she says greatly affects young Cree women. “I think more confident people are less likely to fall in the trap of alcohol and drug abuse,” said Bear.

For the next four years Bear will work with the Youth Council in all the communities to plan and organize activities for young people. “I have the resources to help others help themselves, rather than doing things for them,” Bear explained.

The elections went smoothly according to Anthony Neeposh, Assistant Electoral Officer for the Cree Regional Authority. “It’s about time that women take over politics and I wish Stacy good luck!”