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Two-way race for president

McPherson, Sibbeston vie for Metis Local 52 seat

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (Aug 30/02) - There will be a new president of Metis Local 52 as of Tuesday, September 3.

Randy Sibbeston and Ernest McPherson are the candidates to succeed incumbent Albertine Rodh, who is not running this time around.

There will be no election for board members as the six nominees were acclaimed.

The board comprises: Denise Alger, Doris Erasmus, Jonas Lafferty, Danny Peterson, Cheryl Sibbeston and Murray Sibbeston.

McPherson seeking unity

Ernest McPherson says it's time for Metis Local 52 and the Liidlii Kue First Nation to "work together as one."

"That hasn't been happening. I feel we are one body as a Dene organization," he said. "I don't see why we can't work together to make decisions as one body. That's where I feel I can be a strong influence."

A Metis Local 52 board member for more than a year and chair of the Fort Simpson Housing Association for more than 10 years, McPherson said he considers himself a "suitable candidate for president."

Metis need a voice: Sibbeston

Randy Sibbeston says the Metis have taken a "back seat" in the Deh Cho negotiations process over the past few years, neglected in land withdrawals and traditional land-use mapping.

"I wasn't comfortable with that any more," he said. "On a First Nations' government basis, those are very, very basic, bread-and-butter things, and they just weren't being addressed."

Sibbeston would also like to see the name changed from Metis Local 52, now that the Metis Nation is defunct. He added that he plans to keep Metis membership informed of affairs through a regular newsletter.

"For me it's not so much about politics as it is about community development," he said.

"We're just in the early stages of our development. Really, we're still on the frontier."