PIKWÀKANAGÀN – An election was held on March 25 for a chief and six councillors by the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn.
The electoral officer and the candidates’ scrutineers counted long into Sunday morning at the Makwa Centre where the election was held.
The election comes as tensions within the reserve at Golden Lake mount over the direction of the land claim negotiations, and the Agreement in Principle (AIP) process, with the Algonquins of Ontario, of whom the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn are a part, and the governments of Canada and Ontario.
A group from Pikwàkanagàn, calling themselves the Grandmothers, have led a legal challenge against the chief and council pursuing the AIP process.
As one member of the community, Dustin Commanda, expressed it on Sunday morning: “There are a lot of issues going on with the grandmothers, the AIP, with the chief and council… It’s not peace. There’s no peace here on the res.”
The election was seen by many as an opportunity to discuss and resolve differences within the community.
It is too early to gauge whether the election will ease tensions within the community.
Whiteduck gained 387 votes for chief, while his only rival, Greg Sarazin, gained 338. Whiteduck was first elected in 2003 and has been given six straight mandates as chief.
There were 21 candidates for the six council positions.
Get your March 29, 2017 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full article.