Ernest Betsina speaks at a memorial walk hosted by the Dene Nation in Yellowknife to honour the children found in Kamloops, BC. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio
Ernest Betsina, the former chief of Ndılǫ, will be Dettah’s chief for the next four years.
“I am humbled and honoured to be elected the incoming chief of Dettah. I’m really, really proud and I look forward to serving my members again, this time as the Dettah chief,” Betsina told Cabin Radio.
As the new leader, Betsina said he hopes to resolve some of the concerns he has heard.
“I want to work hard for my people. I heard that the Elders are concerned about the youth, about jobs, housing, and negotiations,” he said.
Preliminary figures suggest Betsina defeated his only rival, Bobby Drygeese, who had been serving as a councillor, by 232 votes to 112. Lynda Comerford, the election’s returning officer, confirmed those figures to Cabin Radio.
“I want to let members know that all the concerns have not been falling on deaf ears because I was there, I listened to them. All the concerns – I wrote them down. In fact, I’m not done yet. I still want to continue visiting people,” Betsina said.
Betsina wants to bridge gaps in communication by creating a database, if members are willing to share their contact information with him.
“If they could share me with their cell numbers, their mailing address, and their email – because that’s one way that I can communicate with my members, is through the emails, to share as much information as I can with them,” he suggested.
Betsina will replace Edward Sangris, Dettah’s chief since 2007 who served four consecutive terms before stepping down.
“I just want to tell members that I am extremely grateful and thankful for having trust in me,” Betsina said.
“All the people that voted for me, mahsi cho for doing that. For the rest of the people, I will work hard for all members.”