Steve Courtoreille has been elected new chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, defeating two-term chief Roxanne Marcel and two other candidates in a close vote on June 20.
Courtoreille received 261 votes to Marcel’s 238. Third-place finisher Edward Courtoreille received 115 votes and Richard Kaskamin got 62.
Courtoreille, a MCFN councilor for the past 11 years, ran on a platform of strengthening MCFN’s home community through education, healing and wellness and breaking the cycle of residential schools.
He also cited the Mikisew businesses that have faltered over the past few years, saying he would look to move forward in a positive way.
“I want to surround myself with people who would help me in that process and set a plan for going ahead in the future, three years and beyond,” Courtoreille said during his campaign. “I want to re-energize our people.”
Sixteen candidates put their name in the hat for councilor. In a tight race, Billy Joe Tuccaro handedly won by over 100 votes more than his nearest competitor, with 372 votes.
Willie Courtoreille finished second in the councilor race with 276 votes. Juanita Whitehead came third, followed by Leonard Piche, Phillip Tourangeau and Terry Marten.