Our Chief is gone. Hail to the Chief.
Marianna Couchie, our fearless leader for the past three terms has chosen not to seek re-election, opting for clearer skies, enjoying retirement and taking care of her family. Now we have the task of filling her moccasins and choosing our next Chief for Nipissing First Nation.
The most important issue in this campaign, and the biggest issue that has faced our community in the past fifty years is the health of Lake Nipissing, the defence of our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and the future of the Nipissing First Nation commercial fishery. The data is there and it is a reality. The walleye population is severely hurting and on the verge of collapse. As a result, we need a leader that can show strength in defending our rights, managing the fishery and protecting our precious resource for future generations.
In my opinion, Scott McLeod is the only choice for the job. Here are a just a few of the reasons.
SCOTT CAN MANAGE THE FISHERY – Scott has the experience, not only as a member of Nipissing First Nation Chief and Council, but in managing fisheries issues, the health of the Lake Nipissing, and defending our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. Scott has spent the better part of his career in fisheries as part of a concerted effort to study, strategize and protect the walleye population. Scott worked for both Nipissing First Nation Fisheries in it’s formative years, then the Anishinabek-Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (AOFRC). He’s been in the room with the Ministry of Natural Resources’ biologists, District Managers and Assistant Deputy Ministers. He speaks the language of fisheries and can interpret the research and speak to it in detail. He can also speak the language of Anishinaabe Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. But most of all, he knows what needs to be done. In this area, Scott has no other competitors.
SCOTT WAS THE ONLY CANDIDATE TO SPEAK TO THE FISHERY – A recent article in The North Bay Nugget about the Duchesnay Candidate’s Night began with the following important lines:
“There’s no purpose to having rights to resources if the resources aren’t there,” says Scott McLeod, a candidate for Nipissing First Nation chief.
“We need to make sustainability of our fish and wildlife paramount ahead of any group or individual whether native or non-native,” he told about 75 people at an (sic) candidates’ night at Nbisiing Secondary School in Duchesnay Village, Wednesday.
“We need to hold the government accountable in assisting in our efforts to provide better management of our natural resources by way of better science and data collection.”
McLeod was the only candidate for chief to speak about the fishery.” – THE NUGGET
Do you want your next Chief to deal with the issue head-on or continue to bury their heads in the sand? Do you want your next Chief to be able to show leadership on fisheries or act on their own interests? It’s pretty clear to me.
SCOTT HAS THE COMPETENCY TO DO THE JOB – There are times in my career, when it’s my job to examine candidates for who is best for the job. Not only does Scott McLeod demonstrate the required skills needed to be Chief, and have the required experience – but he has what the other candidates lack: sheer competency. Scott clearly demonstrates leadership competencies. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and compare all the candidates to a political leader you most admire. Compare all the candidates to a successful Chief Executive Officer. Listen to the way they use their words to express confidence. The way they inspire others to be the best that they can be. The way they might facilitate the change management that will be required. That’s what competency is about.
SCOTT IS ARTICULATE AND SPEAKS LIKE A CHIEF – A Chief needs to act like a Chief. A Chief needs to sound like a Chief. A Chief needs to be able to articulate himself or herself strongly and clearly. Please take a look at the YouTube videos from the Candidate’s night. Scott’s energy and ability to articulate himself clearly will be essential in the defence of our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and ensuring Nipissing First Nation remains ahead of the curve in address our issues, working with our partners and building our economy.
SCOTT IS GENUINE, CARING AND HARD WORKING – I’ve known Scott my entire life. I’ve looked up to him as a big brother. I’ve seen him come to the aid of those in need. He’s got a heart of gold and truly exhibits the qualities of an Anishinaabe man. Sometimes being a leader isn’t about special interests or issues. Being a Chief means that you can understand the challenges of our people and put in the work to help those in need. And not political work either – but getting your hands dirty and doing the heavy lifting. In this way, Scott isn’t coming in to give a speech and shake hands and leave the room. Scott is there for you, your family and not afraid to give his blood, sweat and tears for all of Nipissing First Nation.
SCOTT HAS ENERGY & VITALITY: Scott has a lot going for him through his youthful energy. He’s got energy and vitality to spare in dealing with the in’s and out’s of First Nation governance. He has the strength and spirit to take on those that vie to eliminate our rights. Scott has many years of leadership ahead of him.
SCOTT HAS INFLUENCE – Scott has broad networks and connections with Grand Chiefs and other First Nation Chiefs across Anishinabek territory. Having worked at the highest levels of First Nation politics for years, I’ve seen this first hand. Other candidates may claim to have the same networks, but from my perspective, they were merely passive observers. Scott McLeod was never afraid to speak for Nipissing from the front of the room and from a real position of influence.
Please consider carefully your vote for Chief of Nipissing First Nation. For those who think that the electorate is always right, just look at the past 10 years under Stephen Harper.
No matter whose sign you have in your front yard, you have to ask yourself: “Is that the right choice for our next Chief?” For me, there is only one choice and that’s the only choice. Join me in speaking out and showing your support for Scott McLeod.
IMPORTANT ELECTION INFORMATION
- Advance Poll, Saturday, July 4 9-2 p.m. in Garden Village
- Election Day, Friday July 10 9-8 p.m. in Duchesnay and Garden Village
- Living off-reserve? Please send in your mail-in ballots.
- Need more information, contact the Electoral Officer (705) 303-6868