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Victory for Betsina
Incumbent Ndilo chief says, 'I ran a good, hard, clean, honest campaign'

Emelie Peacock
Northern News Services
Friday, September 8, 2017

Ernest Betsina says he has proven himself a capable chief and the support he received in Wednesday's election proved that.

NNSL photograph

Ernest Betsina: Land claims, YKDFN boundaries and Giant Mine compensation and apology top Ndilo chief's priority list.

"Mixed emotions: happy, excited, scared, tired," said Betsina about his win when Yellowknifer contacted him yesterday morning.

"I believe that I ran a good, hard, clean, honest campaign and I had a lot of support out there."

Betsina won the position of Ndilo chief with 205 votes, while candidate Shirley Tsetta received 130 and Alex Beaulieu 33. Betsina and Tsetta ran against each other in 2013, and at that time Betsina won by a single vote.

"I had to prove to the members that I could do the job and I did," said Betsina of his time as Ndilo chief from 2013 to 2017.

"I finished my term, I didn't bring any turmoil, I didn't bring any chaos to the First Nation. My spirituality, my integrity, my transparency, my honesty carried me through."

Betsina has a few big issues he plans to take on during his term: moving the Akaitcho land claim forward, changing City of Yellowknife and YKDFN boundaries and obtaining an apology and compensation from the federal government for the contamination caused by Giant Mine.

Many of these issues will likely take longer than his four-year term, something that doesn't deter Betsina.

"I'm here for the long term, I'm going to run for the next term," he said. "Even two more terms if I have enough energy."

Betsina said he heard from many members as he went door-to-door during his campaign. He plans to put these perspectives into a work plan when he takes office.

Alex Beaulieu congratulated Betsina for his win and said he does not plan to appeal the result.

He said he will still carry on with plans to set up cultural camps on the land, as the process of chief has "lit a fire" under him to continue this work.

Betsina will officially become chief after a five-day appeal period set out in the election code, during which any voter or candidate can appeal the result or submit a complaint.

Returning election officer Phil Moon Son said there were no complications with the vote and no issues raised during or after the count Wednesday evening.

Candidate Shirley Tsetta could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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