Dettah welcomes new chief

Dane Gibson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Jun 23/99) - The people of Dettah and Ndilo gathered at the mouth of the Yellowknife River to celebrate their traditional ways, give thanks to their outgoing chief, and welcome their new chief.

After a feast and drum dancing, politicians and community leaders praised former Dettah chief Jonas Sangris and officially welcomed Richard Edjericon as the new Dettah chief.

"Because of his strong leadership, guidance and vision, Jonas is leaving behind a great legacy," MP Ethel Blondin-Andrew said, after relaying stories of their decade long relationship together on the Northern political scene.

NWT premier Jim Antoine, Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus and NWT commissioner Dan Marion were just a few of those who came to wish Jonas well and to congratulate Dettah Yellowknives Chief Richard Edjericon.

Chief Edjericon smiled when he was addressed with the new title.

"I'm not used to the title yet. I guess it'll take some time," he said.

Edjericon, 36, is married and has one son. From 1995 to 1999, he was the general manager of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation Housing Division. During that time, he also served on the Yellowknives Dene Council.

After working on several projects at all levels of government, Edjericon is confident he'll be able to lead his people into the new millennium.

"The transition to chief won't take long because I'm familiar with the issues that are important to our community," he said.

"There are some basic capital issues such as building a new community hall and old folks' home for our elders. We're currently working on these things and we hope to see movement soon."

Looking ahead to the future, he's said he's confident about the state of the Dettah community and the direction it's headed.

"Ndilo chief Fred Sangris and I are going to work closely together to meet the goals and objectives of the community," he said.

"It's an exciting time right now. There's an energy coming back into the community because of great leaders like Jonas. He's like a father to us and has inspired me, as an apprentice leader, with his wisdom."