Chief Jordi Fourhorns is seeking re-election, with Steven Buffalo Calf and Alice Pahtayken also in the running. Running for councillor positions are incumbent Wes Daniel, Alvin Francis, Chazz Mosquito, Christine Mosquito, Dale Mosquito, Glen Oakes, Linda Oakes and Grace Stanley. Fourhorns is seeking re-election after serving one term as chief. During this time, he said the band’s deficit has been slashed in half, reducing it to $600,000. He said this was partially a result of Nekaneet introducing its own GST in October 2012, but is also a direct result of good financial management. Work is also progressing on the development of a gas station in Regina on land owned by the First Nation, which would generate more revenue for the band. “In my second term, I want to see all these good things continue – the GST, the gas bar and hopefully another gas bar in Swift Current,” Fourhorns stated. “There’s a lot of things we’re working on, and I just want to see that continue and create more financial stability for Nekaneet.” His final goal is to see the band self-governed, which he said is becoming within sight with the passing of three acts that were voted on by band members in a referendum vote on Feb. 28. These include a housing act, online gaming act and a land act. “They are part of the Nekaneet constitution, and passing those kinds of acts will lead us to self-government. We are creating our own laws,” Fourhorns said. He said the housing act will help create more housing for the community, while the land management act is a big step as well. “(Land management) was a huge point in why our band members were fighting, and our land management act will kind of ease that as now the people who work the Nekaneet lands will work with the government of Nekaneet. They will pay their rent and now Nekaneet government is involved in that, which it wasn’t before,” Fourhorns said. The online gaming act will allow the band to get involved in the sale of licenses to online poker sites and generate revenue that way. “We want to continue to maintain a sound financial government and work towards self-government,” the chief stated. Pahtayken has previously served as chief. She could not be reached for comment, nor could Buffalo Calf. Another individual was intending to run for chief, but was unable to make it to Nekaneet First Nation before nominations closed. Electoral officer Oliver Cameron said all election regulations were properly followed in the process, with nominations accepted from 9 – 11 a.m. on Feb. 24. Heating problems in the gymnasium of the band office caused a half-hour delay when the location was changed to the kitchen of the building. Nominations were then taken from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. After nominations closed, there was a brief break before all the candidates were given a chance to give their speeches, with those running for councillors given five minutes and those running for chief given 10 minutes. The election will be held March 26 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the band office.
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