The North Slave Métis Alliance (“NSMA”) is pleased to announce the results of its general election of June 10, 2023:
President: Marc Whitford
Vice President: Alan Harman Junior
Secretary-Treasurer: Robert Mercredi
Director: Stefany Bulmer
Director: Taylin Gibault
Director: Jonathon Whitford
NSMA is an Indigenous government that represents its members, who are Métis people of the Great Slave Lake region of the Northwest Territories. The Great Slave Lake Métis have and continue to exercise Aboriginal harvesting rights across a vast area including all the mainland Northwest Territories as well as parts of Yukon, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Since the 18th-century, the Métis of the Great Slave Lake area have existed as a unique community, distinct from both other Indigenous communities and the settler population. The North Slave Métis are a unique constituency of the larger Great Slave Lake Métis community who primarily exercise their Aboriginal rights to the north, east, and west of Great Slave Lake.
Election and Results:
On June 10, 2023 the NSMA held a general election. The election was run by an independent 3rd party and NSMA members were able to vote online, in-person, or using mail-in ballots.
Marc G. Whitford was elected as President and will continue to lead the NSMA. He was previously the Vice President and had been Acting President for the past 2 years while President William Enge received medical care. Marc has served on the NSMA board of directors as Secretary Treasurer or Vice President since 2004.
Alan Harman Junior was elected to the position of Vice President. Alan has served on the NSMA board of directors since 2014. Alan previously held the position of Secretary Treasurer.
Robert Mercredi was elected to the position of Secretary Treasurer. Robert has served on the NSMA board of directors since 2007.
NSMA members Stefany Bulmer, Taylin Gibault, and Jonathon Whitford were each elected as Directors. Stefany, Taylin, and Jonathon are all first-time members of the NSMA board of directors.
Departure of Bill Enge:
NSMA wishes to extend its heartfelt gratitude to departing President William “Bill” Enge for his many years of devoted service. Bill made the difficult decision not to stand for re-election to focus on his own health and wellness. Bill had served as NSMA President since 2004.
Under Bill’s leadership, NSMA emerged as a powerful voice for the rights of the North Slave Métis. Bill led NSMA fearlessly in pursuit of a future where the North Slave Métis would be recognized and respected as a rights-bearing, self-governing Indigenous people. Bill was a tireless advocate, even serving as representative for NSMA’s members in two court cases which confirmed NSMA’s good prima facie claim to Aboriginal harvesting rights and defended those rights from potential adverse effects: Enge v Mandeville, 2013 NWTSC 33; and Enge v Canada (Indigenous and Northern Affairs), 2017 FC 932.
Bill leaves NSMA in a strong position as a true political, economic, and cultural force in the North. NSMA’s new and returning Directors hope to honour Bill’s legacy by building on this position and fulfilling Bill’s vision of achieving full recognition of NSMA’s rights and self-governance.
Quote from new President Marc Whitford:
“Firstly, I wish to thank all of our members for all of their encouragement, support and assistance so generously given to me during the time that I have spent here with you at NSMA. It is an honour to work with all of you here for our Community of North Slave Métis.
To our friends in industry and government, please accept my sincere thanks for having the chance to work with you during my period of filling in for President Enge during his illness. Your assistance to me during this time is greatly appreciated and has assisted me during some difficult times.
I also wish to personally thank Past President William (Bill) Enge for his great contribution he has made to our Métis Community throughout the time he has been with us at NSMA. His ceaseless efforts have contributed to increased and better understandings between the Crown and the NSMA and have also resulted in doors being opened for greater economic opportunities between NSMA/Metcor and Industry. I have missed his presence many times during the period I have been acting for him.
To our valued past directors and staff at NSMA, I thank all of you for your very valued efforts which at many times, have shored me up and encouraged me to work harder towards our Métis Community goals.
To all who ran for office, please you have my greatest respect and admiration for your courage in putting yourselves out there for election. It's not easy but all of you did well in running for office.
I wish to also take a moment to thank Chief Electoral Officer Graeme Drew for his efforts in steering the NSMA through the newer electoral process for Election-2023. It was a job well done.
I also wish to sincerely thank our mining community who have played a very large role in their unflagging support to NSMA and especially during the dark days of the COVID crisis. It is very much appreciated here and your efforts made it easier to bear for our Community.
And lastly, our newly elected NSMA Board of Directors and I look forward to working with all of you as we move forward in the months to come.”