The unrecognized Cree community of Washaw Sibi, near Amos, has rescheduled an election for Chief after a conflict over who is eligible to vote in the election. The new vote is August 9 (after Nation press time), according to Washaw Sibi returning officer Simeon Trapper.
In the running are current chief Billy Katabatuk, Jimmy Roderick Trapper and Ronnie Trapper Sr.
Simeon Trapper would not say who made complaints, nor would he discuss their substance. “There was points that they handed to me that I regarded and I took care of but it took me some time to really study that, it took me about three or four days to give an answer to the population. So, there is going to be re-elections on the 9th of August,” he said.
As it does not fall under Indian and Northern Affairs elections regulations, the electoral list itself is not public knowledge.
“As a returning officer as I am trying to do my job as respectfully as possible and be fair,” Trapper said.
According to Trapper, to be eligible to vote for a chief in Washaw Sibi, a beneficiary number and deep roots in the community are essential. “Let’s say he has a beneficiary number and he comes from Chisasibi, we can not accept this guy. You have to have a background here. Your parents, your grandparents, whatever, go back 100 years, you have to see where you come from and have a beneficiary number.”