Edward Sangris wins re-election for Dettah’s top job
Yellowknives Dene First Nation voters have re-elected incumbent Edward Sangris for another term as Chief of Dettah.
This will be Sangris’ fourth consecutive term in office, having been first elected to the position in 2007.
Returning officer Lynda Comerford told Cabin Radio Sangris won with 133 votes. Challenger Rachel Crapeau received 106 votes and Bobby Drygeese 105.
Reached by phone on Monday night, Sangris said his focus would be to “tackle the social and housing problems” in the community and “of course, the land claim.” The Yellowknives Dene First Nation is part of the Akaitcho land claims process, which negotiator Fred Sangris recently said is close to being finalized.
Fred was previously a candidate for the position of Dettah chief but withdrew his name in early July, citing a request from Elders and members to continue his work with the Akaitcho negotiations.
Before entering politics, Edward Sangris was a heavy equipment operator in mining for more than 20 years. He then served as a Yellowknives Dene First Nation councillor for 12 years according to a biography written by the Denendeh Development Corporation.
Sangris, born and raised in Dettah, is the son of Joseph Sangris who served as chief for 32 years. According to the biography his brother, Jonas Sangris, served as chief for 12 years.
Edward Sangris said he would be taking a break after the one-week appeal period before beginning his fourth term as chief of the community, which has around 250 residents.
“I want to thank my family, the friends and all the supporters,” he said. “And my membership, who gave me the mandate of another four years.”
Comerford said Monday’s election went smoothly despite a near-total Northwestel service blackout in the region for much of the day.
Voting took place in Yellowknife, Ndilo, and Dettah. By 11pm votes had been tallied and people quickly dispersed. Comerford said some could be heard apparently celebrating the victory by honking car horns.
An election for members of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation band council is still to come on August 26. Twenty-one candidates are running for 10 seats, five in Ndilo and five in Dettah.
The chief of Ndilo, Ernest Betsina, was elected in 2017. Elections for the two chiefs’ positions are staggered.