McCallum re-elected as President of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan
- NC Raine | June 02, 2021
The voice of the Métis people in Saskatchewan has been heard, as voters have re-elected Glen McCallum as President of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S).
In a close race for President, McCallum received 1672 votes, ahead of Clemént Chartier with 1459, Karen LaRocque with 634, and Mary Ann Morin with 623.
Michelle LeClair was elected Vice-President with 1370, defeating incumbent Gerald Morin who received 1264 votes, Dale McAuley with 705 votes, Darrel Burnouf with 683 votes, and Darren Deschambeault with 306 votes.
Lisa McCallum was elected Secretary with 1531 votes, and John Robert LaFontaine was elected Treasurer in a tight race with 899 votes, only 90 more than Louis Gardiner.
Results have yet to be made official, but according to the unofficial numbers, less votes were cast in this election than in the 2017 MN-S General Election.
In an interview with Eagle Feather News following the victory, President McCallum said the win was not about himself, but the voice of the electorate.
“It feels great in regard to democracy and the registry, people wanting to vote. And it (feels great) in regard to the legitimacy of our elections. That's wonderful to see, so I'm proud of our people coming out to vote,” said McCallum.
Unofficially, McCallum defeated Chartier by just over 200 votes. He said it doesn't matter if you win by one or two votes, you lead the entire nation of people by the votes they give you.
McCallum also said he believes he was re-elected due to progress the MN-S has made in the past four years.
“We will be judged by what we've done. You have to show you can build a government, create conversations around Métis files, or sign an agreement with the federal or provincial government. It has to do with evidence, to be able to show people we can move the Nation forward. And people have responded to that,” he said.
As a two-term President, who will be on track to serve the MN-S for the better part of a decade, McCallum said the re-election will mean this governance will be able to continue developing the policies and programs, all under the direction of the voices at the grassroots level.
“It means we will be able to move files and have governments open doors to be able to sign agreements in housing, post-secondary, health, family – all of that stuff is great and wonderful – but it won't happen overnight, or in the span of four years to be able to have what we've been missing as a Métis Nation,” he said.
“It gives us time to engage with our people and listen to what their thoughts are in regards to the areas we're working on. That's a great thing. No government should be built from the top up. It should be from the bottom-up. We must engage with our people and listen. That takes time.”