As Ernest Betsina begins his campaign for the vacant Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh seat, the former Ndilo chief said he feels confident as he comes into the race with significant and specific leadership experience.
“None of them have chief experience, you know…” said Betsina. “I’m bringing forward eight years of being chief, two full terms, so I’m certainly proud of that.
Betsina says he decided to run after hearing messages of support community members and wants to”bring stability and integrity” back to the recently-vacated seat.
Betsina said issues like access to affordable housing and diversifying the economy are at the top of his list, if elected.
“I want to see more community members, basically, owning their homes,” he continued. “When they own their homes, it shows pride of ownership and happier families.
“Basically, five to 10 years from now, all the diamond mines are going be shutting down, and then what?” he said. “We need to diversify. We need to start planning for the future.”
The former chief said his past experience lobbying the federal government for community funding has helped prepare him for the job.
“I will lobby for every dollar, for each community…” he said. “People are wondering what’s happening, so they want action and progress. I will work in partnership with the communities and hold the government accountable.”