Frieda Martselos, who served multiple terms as Chief of the Salt River First Nation and resigned to run for MLA, has won the Thebacha seat with 504 votes.
Close behind her was Denise Yuhas with 454 votes. Yuhas, a former constituency assistant to Michael Miltenberger, had led the race for most of the evening.
“I’m very dedicated to my job and to the future of this community. I was born and raised here,” Martselos told Cabin Radio in early September.
“Everything that I’ve done in small business and in businesses, throughout my years, has given me the opportunity to gain a lot of experience to ensure that the economic climate of this community stabilizes – not only for Fort Smith but for the Northwest Territories, and that will be part of my mandate.”
Martselos also said she would rebuild the narrowed airport runway, open a daycare in town, and build a territorial addictions centre in Fort Smith.
She said she hoped to maximize the Taltson hydro expansion’s benefits for her community, keep Aurora College headquartered in Fort Smith, and support a road south through Wood Buffalo National Park.
Thebacha represents Fort Smith and the surrounding area at territorial level.
Four candidates ran for office in the district this year. Former newspaper publisher Don Jaque had 139 votes, finishing third, while incumbent MLA Louis Sebert – who was the justice minister and lands minister in Bob McLeod’s government – finished with just 70.