Chief and council all acclaimed for Smith's Landing First Nation

·1 min read
Thaidene Paulette, the new chief of Smith's Landing First Nation, sits in front of the Slave River in Fort Fitzgerald, Alta. Paulette will take on the new leadership role June 16.  (Submitted/Thaidene Paulette - image credit)
Thaidene Paulette, the new chief of Smith's Landing First Nation, sits in front of the Slave River in Fort Fitzgerald, Alta. Paulette will take on the new leadership role June 16. (Submitted/Thaidene Paulette - image credit)

Smith's Landing First Nation's new chief and council were all acclaimed after nominations for candidates closed on June 1.

It is believed this is the first time the entire chief and council have been acclaimed, said Smith's Landing housing officer Geronimo Paulette.

Dianne Benwell, Fred Daniels and Brenda Dragon are all returning councillors, with the addition of former chief Cheyanne Paulette.

The new chief, Thaidene Paulette, is a former council member and will take over the role from Gerry Cheezie.

Paulette's focus as chief

This is the first time Thaidene Paulette has put his name forward for chief. His father, Francois Paulette, is a former chief of Smith's Landing and an elder.

Thaidene Paulette has sat on council on and off over the last 12 years and said the first thing he wants to focus on is providing strong consistent leadership for the nation.

"I definitely want to make sure our team works well together," he said.

Like other leaders before him, Thaidene Paulette said their land and environmental work will remain a strong priority.

"We're always trying to grow our lands department and our community-based monitoring work," he said.

Another main priority is to focus on the youth, mentoring them and other community members to be active in Smith's Landing's mandates as a nation. "My goal is to get them involved with work around the community, on the land and on the river," he said.

"My vision is to help my nation and leave it in a better place … for the next people and generation," he said.

Paulette also congratulated the new council and said he is looking forward to working with them.

The new leadership members will step into their role June 16.

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