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Smith's Landing to get new chief
Daniels to run for council

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, June 1, 2010

THEBACHA/FORT SMITH - Smith's Landing First Nation (SLFN) is about to get a new chief.

NNSL photo/graphic

Fred Daniels won't be seeking re-election as chief of Smith's Landing First Nation, but will seek a seat on band council. - NNSL file photo

Chief Fred Daniels has decided not to run again for the leader's position in an election set for June 15.

Instead, Daniels said he will be seeking a seat on band council.

"I need to concentrate on my own affairs," he said, adding he has to take care of some family business matters, including the sale of a building.

Daniels, who was elected chief in 2007, hopes there will be many new faces running in the election.

"It's time the band had new leaders and new visions," he said. "That's always good."

However, Daniels, who also served as chief from 2000-2002, admitted he will miss being chief.

Along with election day on June 15, there will be an advance poll on June 8.

Al Dumont, the electoral officer for the band, said nominations for the election opened on May 17 and will close on June 1, but no nominations had been submitted as of the middle of last week.

"That doesn't happen until the last few days," Dumont said.

According to SLFN's customary election regulations, a chief and all four councillors are elected every three years.

In the last election in 2007, there were two candidates for chief and nine candidates for council.

The current councillors are Lorraine MacDonald, Elizabeth Stirrett and Thaidene Paulette, and there is one vacancy on council.

There are just more than 200 eligible voters in the band.

Most members live in Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald, Alta., 22 km to the south of Fort Smith. About 20 live in what's known as Thebacha Nare (Bordertown), a collection of residences on SLFN reserve land just south of the NWT/Alta. border.

Daniels, 48, said he can look back on a number of accomplishments by the band in his past three years as chief.

He cites the signing of a five-year municipal services agreement with the Town of Fort Smith as an example. Under the deal, which has been in effect since April 1 and officially signed May 25, Fort Smith will handle services such as garbage collection, sewage pump out, water delivery, and ambulance and fire protection for Bordertown and Fort Fitzgerald.

Daniels also said, in the past three years, loans were paid off for an extension of power lines to Fort Fitzgerald and moving the band office to Bordertown from Fort Smith.

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