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Still no takers for chief

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services

Trout Lake (Dec 08/06) - Dolphus Jumbo is still holding the title of acting-chief following an election in Trout Lake.

Jumbo was acclaimed as chief on Nov. 29 after no one else put their name forward for the position. Jumbo took over leadership of the band after Dennis Deneron stepped down for personal reasons in October.
NNSL Photo/graphic

Dolphus Jumbo: Acting chief of Trout Lake hopes to find a replacement.

Despite his acclamation, Jumbo said he still sees the position as a challenge for a younger person. He added the community needs a young person to be in the position for a long time instead of a number of short term leaders.

"I'm only filling in," he said.

Trout Lake is the opposite of most communities where people go out to campaign during elections, said Jumbo. In Trout Lake people have to be pressed upon to even consider taking the position.

Residential schools have played a part in the problem, he said. In the schools students' self-esteem was kept low and as a result people don't have the desire to become leaders.

Jumbo said he hopes to work with the community to build up self-esteem and find a new chief within a year.

Until a new leader is found, Jumbo said he will help organize the community as much as possible. He's taking his direction from a statement made by the band in 1998 when their goals were to be more independent and self-sufficient.

Within the community, Jumbo said he'll concentrate on looking after matters within the band and making sure the development corporation meets the needs of the people for things such as employment and food.

Regionally, Jumbo plans to bring the community's issues to light. The community is at a critical stage with the pipeline and Canada's offer looming, he said.

"We need to focus on these issues," said Jumbo.

The two issues will effect the lives of the next generation, something that Jumbo is concerned about. The community needs to build a solid foundation for the youth, he said.

Jumbo said he's familiar with the position of chief and many of the issues because he spent a number of years advising band leaders.

"I'm doing the best I can," Jumbo said.