The time has come again for you, our readers, the Cree electorate, to prove or disprove that old saying, “If voting could change anything it would be illegal.”

Yes, it is election season.

An unprecedented number of candidates has been nominated for the two top jobs in the Cree Nation.

For Grand Chief, there are 10 nominees: Kenny Blacksmith, Matthew Coon Come, Kenneth Gilpin, Ted Moses, Matthew Mukash, Neil Diamond, Steven Bearskin, Billy Diamond, Violet Pachano and Roderick Pachano.

Fourteen individuals have been nominated for Deputy Grand Chief: Matthew Coon Come, Ted Moses, Kenny Blacksmith, Matthew Mukash, Peter Coon, Dianne Reid, James A. Shecapio, Abel Bosum, Bill Namagoose, Kenneth Gilpin, Kenny Loon, Violet Pachano, Eddie Pachano and Margaret Fireman.

Nominations were closed on August 19. We received the list on August 22, the day we went to press.

As of press time, few of the nominees had said if they would accept their nominations. John Henry Wapachee, Chief Returning Officer, said he didn’t expect most of the acceptances until the last day—August 23. The one candidate for Grand Chief who had accepted as of press time was Neil Diamond.

In the run-up to the election, rumours were flying about whether the current Grand Chief, Matthew Coon Come, would accept his nomination. When we went to press, indications were that he would.

The elections are on August 28.

Two local elections are also attracting great interest.

Three candidates will be on the ballot for the Chief job in Wemindji: Walter Hughboy (the incumbent), Clarence Tomatuk and Reggie Mark.

The community’s nomination meeting attracted a “fantastic turnout” of 240 residents, according to Tom Wadden, the local returning officer.

“A lot of young people came out. It was fantastic.”

The election is on Sept. 12.

In Waswanipi, John Kitchen (the incumbent), Paul Gull, Allan Happyjack Sr. and Johnny Saganash are running for Chief. The election is on August 29.


In our last issue, we reported a partial list of nominees for the position of Grand Chief.

The list we received was incorrect and did not come from the Chief Returning Office, John Henry Wapachee.

Three of the individuals we mentioned— Paul Gull, Henry Mianscum and Norman Gull—were not actually nominated.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.