There has been much to celebrate on Lennox Island in recent months. But Darlene Bernard says there are still lots of projects she wants to finish and pursue, so she was clearly thrilled Saturday to be elected chief of the First Nation for another three years.
"I'm really pleased that the community has chosen to keep me on," she said.
"I'm very much excited about the future here."
Bernard was running against Darcy Sark and Patsy Gavin. Win or lose, Bernard said she wanted to host a party to celebrate the accomplishments of the First Nation. People were in a festive mood, she said, singing karaoke and dancing after more than two years cooped up in a COVID-19 pandemic.
Time to 'boogie'
"Once every three years we're allowed to get down and boogie a little bit," she said with a smile.
She cited the launch of the treaty-protected fishery, a statutory holiday to mark Treaty Day, and the Mi'kmaw language on signs of provincial place names as reasons for optimism.
"People are excited about those things because it really speaks to us protecting our rights and in order for us to protect them we need to practise them."
Looking to the future, she said renewable energy on the reserve, strengthening business, completing the wharf construction, introducing the National Park at Pituamkek (Hog Island) and protecting the shoreline from erosion are all projects important to her.
So far, she said, people have embraced her vision.
"I want to continue to embrace our Mi'kmaw families throughout the Maritimes and to have them be proud of Lennox Island and to know about us."