Serpent River – This is my 15th consecutive year as an elected official/office:
2003-2005: Serpent River FN Council
2005-2015: Serpent River FN Chief
2015-Present: Ontario Regional Chief
During this entire time, I was blessed to work with many many great people of whom I believe I was a servant; that remained the case at the start and remains today.
While serving at the community level I also served as Vice Chair of the North Shore Tribal Council; and Grand Chief of the Anishinabek Lake Huron Region.
The list of privileged blessings where I was able to help move our people forward is sufficient enough to say I’ve done some good. Perhaps I’ll provide a list of those successes, but that is not the intent of this post.
I am certain that the role of a leader is to help our people, families, communities, and nations forward – to find a safe passage to a better tomorrow; and that it takes a whole community to raise a child. To that end, when I became Regional Chief for Ontario I had no problems establishing the following theme:
“Securing a Future for Our Children”
The most memorable and rewarding moment was attending a Child Welfare meeting with a family who wanted support bringing home two babies – of which seemed impossible —— but we did it, based on the authority, determination and firm position of our community to not leave those children in that foster system. The moment that meant the most to me was in my last year as Chief in Serpent River seeing that little boy at the Community Drum at his Daycare Graduation —- nothing could be more powerful than to see that boy; protected and nurtured at the heartbeat – our community drum.
I am and will always be a servant – I pray that I’m always reminded about how important it is to hold to this leadership perspective.