The incumbent received 152 votes, with Alice Pahtayken receiving 55 votes. Steven Buffalo Calf was also in the running for chief, but withdrew his name two weeks prior to election day. Eight band members were candidates for the three councillor positions – incumbent Wes Daniel, Alvin Francis, Chazz Mosquito, Christine Mosquito, Dale Mosquito, Glen Oakes, Linda Oakes and Grace Stanley. Francis received 115 votes, while Daniel had 84 and Dale Mosquito had 82 to fill the positions. Band members who came to cast their vote cited a number of areas they would like to see the chief and council focus on in the coming years, including transparency and investing in the children and youth of the community. Angie Bergen would like the leadership to be more open and better at announcing meetings to the membership. “The chief should be working for the people and should have more communication with people to know where we stand,” she said. “There should be no hidden agendas.” She also wants to see more programs – especially those that are centered around education and young people. “We need to focus on our youth,” she stated. Terrance Goodwill echoed this point, noting the new chief and council should work towards the betterment of Nekaneet’s children. He hopes the band will be able to come together as a reserve and that council will look into establishing more housing. Votes were cast last Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. After the polls closed, the ballots were opened by electoral officer Oliver Cameron and the deputy officer and counted in front of band members. Fourhorns was first elected chief of Nekaneet in 2011. Pahtayken served as chief from 2005-11. Attempts to reach Fourhorns for comment were unsuccessful, but in previous statements to the Maple Creek News the chief said he intends to continue to have the band’s debt reduced. He said work is 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. There are also plans for another gas bar to be established in Swift Current. Fourhorns’ final goal is to have Nekaneet self-governed, which he said is one step closer with the passing of three acts that were voted on by band members in a referendum in February. These included a housing act, online gaming act and a land act.
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