Steve Courtoreille was elected Chief of Mikisew Cree First Nation last Monday, defeating two-term chief Roxanne Marcel (261 votes to 238 out of a 676 total for four candidates).
Now, as the election buzz dies down, Courtoreille turns his focus towards the job ahead and his new responsibility to his people.
“The people have wanted change, whatever that change may be,” said Courtoreille. “We have to work together with other First Nations to tackle the tough environmental issues facing us.”
During Courtoreille’s 11 years as a MCFN councillor, he worked closely on issues raised by Dr. O’Connor’s controversial cancer diagnosis, which drove him to make the issue his first priority as chief.
“I’ll feel that I have accomplished something when these issues are resolved,” said Courtoreille.
“The cancer issue, that was taken to the public without our knowledge and even now after all of this time, we have still seen no result.”
Meaning no disrespect to past leadership, Courtoreille assured The Journal that only when he sees progress on the issue, will he rest easy.
Courtoreille solidified his character with his people, a fact that helped him secure the vote.
“I really appreciate the support from my people,” said Courtoreille. “I’ll assure you as I’ve assured them, I’ll go in with empty pockets and leave with empty pockets.”