(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde congratulates the new AFN Northwest Territories Regional Chief Norman Yakeleya, elected Wednesday at the 48th Annual Dene National Assembly at West Point First Nation, NWT.
“On behalf of the AFN Executive Committee, I congratulate NWT Regional Chief Norman Yakeleya on his election,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “I look forward to working with Regional Chief Yakeleya as a strong voice for First Nations in the Northwest Territories and across the country. Regional Chief Yakeleya will bring a great deal of experience and knowledge in working with First Nations and with all levels of government. His commitment to First Nations rights, to healing and to unity will help advance all our work.”
Regional Chief Norman Yakeleya is originally from Tulita Dene Band and served as a Chief and on council in his territory. He has previously chaired and served as a negotiator for the Sahtu Tribal Council before being elected to legislature in 2003. He has served three terms representing Sahtu Tribal Council.
National Chief Bellegarde thanked outgoing NWT Regional Chief Bill Erasmus for his many years of dedicated service and leadership for First Nations. Former Regional Chief Erasmus had served as Regional Chief since 1987, and announced earlier he would not be seeking re-election.
“I sincerely acknowledge Bill Erasmus for the commitment and drive he demonstrated as Dene Nation National Chief and AFN Regional Chief for the NWT,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “Today marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter for the Dene National Assembly. On behalf of AFN, I thank former Regional Chief Erasmus for his service, his contributions and his leadership over the last three decades. We wish him well in all his future endeavours. We lift him up for his dedication to our peoples and our rights.”
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
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