The Long Plain First Nation has elected its first female head since the 1970s, only the second woman to hold the top leadership role of the community.
Kyra Wilson, 35, won the most votes in the community general election on April 14, according to unofficial results posted online Saturday. The official tally is expected to be released next week.
Wilson, a therapist and former social worker, said he was honored and overwhelmed by the support he was getting from people in the community, about 95 kilometers west of Winnipeg, for his offer of leadership.
Throughout the election process, Wilson said, she focused on the future but never forgot the past — including the trail paved by Marlene Peters, the only woman previously elected head of Long Plain.
“I’m so happy and so grateful for him and the work he’s doing,” Wilson said.
And with an 11-year-old daughter at home, being chosen for the role took on new meaning.
“It makes me feel very emotional to think that I can not only inspire my daughter, but also to inspire so many young people,” she said.
“There is always an opportunity for them to be part of that leadership, and they just need to be given the guidance I gave them. And that’s how I see my role, uplifting our youth and inspiring them to feel hopeful. “
That guidance includes mentorship from former Long Plain chief Dennis Meeches, who nominated Wilson for the race after he announced last winter he would not be running for re-election after two decades in office.
Mom is the biggest supporter
Perhaps Wilson’s biggest supporter is his mother, Dianne Roulette, who is Ojibway from Long Plain and on Saturday “a very proud mother.”
“I always tell my daughter that I will support her 100 per cent in whatever she wants to do, whatever she wants, in anything – that I will always be her No. 1 fan and No. 1 supporter for her,” Roulette said. .
“And I will, as long as I have air in my lungs and as long as my heart beats, I will always be here for him.”
Wilson, who is running in the 2016 Manitoba provincial election, has been in politics for a long time, growing up with a father who is a Saskatchewan-based Cree-Métis politician.
He said he hopes to use his new role to improve services in his home community, including education, health care and other essential services.
Meet the new board
But first, he was looking forward to meeting the upcoming board members of the First Nation and connecting with the people in the community.
“There’s going to be so many different areas we need to work on, but we’re just going to take it one day at a time and make sure we’re meeting every need of every band member,” he said on Saturday. .
“In the end, we are from the same community and I will work hard for everyone. It doesn’t matter… who you support. What matters is that we take care of each other, and I will do my best to advocate and work hard for everyone. “
Wilson is among seven candidates, including two other women, who are running for chairman. David Meeches is second, while Marcia Assiniboine is third, according to unofficial results.
Allen Dennis Myran, Keely Assiniboine, Marvin Daniels and Garnet Meeches were elected to the board.
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