Taniton resigns
Sahtu grand chief takes break for health, family

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 18/99) - Raymond Taniton, a man who has been active in Deline politics since 1984, is taking a break.

Taniton, 42, started as a band councillor. He then worked his way up to chief of the Deline Dene Band, mayor, one of the seven Deline land corporation presidents and most notably, grand chief of the Sahtu Dene Council -- the umbrella organization that includes Dene bands from Tulita, Fort Good Hope, Colville Lake and Deline.

Taniton resigned as chief of the Deline Dene Band and grand chief of the Sahtu Dene Council effective Oct. 1.

"It's really tiring," he said of all his political jobs.

"You get stressed out and tired and I'm going to take care of my health. I want to live a little longer. I don't want to have a heart attack or anything. It could happen."

Taniton was grand chief from 1991 through 1995, and then after a three-year break took on the job again in August 1998. No acting grand chief has been named yet though Taniton's sub chief with the Deline Dene Band, Leroy Andre, has taken over as acting chief.

"In 1991, I went out with a petition and got my 125 signatures to change (the name of the community from) Fort Franklin to Deline," Taniton said of one of his accomplishments.

"I was also instrumental in getting funding for the infrastructure program for a new cultural centre."

Taniton said he and some others in the community also helped design the building attached to the hamlet office.

"I've accomplished a lot of things. I'm a signatory of the (Sept. 6, 1993) Sahtu land claim and I negotiated on behalf of Deline," he said.

"I made a presentation to the Senate with four other guys regarding the claim before it got legislated."

He is married to Bernadette Taniton and he has seven children: Miles, Nicholas, Mary, Leanne, Hayley, Leila and Marty Ann.

"I'm relaxing right now and spending time with my family," Taniton said.

"I also have an outfitting business. Before politics, I was trapping with my dad for 23 years."