Fred Sangris is once again chief in Ndilo.
Sangris garnered 141 votes in the Aug. 23 Yellowknives Dene election while two-term incumbent Ernest Betsina came in second with 92 votes.
There is a five-day appeal period, returning officer Lynda Comerford noted.
Shirley Tsetta was named on 62 ballots. Cece Beaulieu finished with 61 votes.
Ted Tsetta will assume a band council seat by acclimation.
Sangris returns as chief after holding the role between 1997 and 1999 and again from 2006 to 2010.
The position comes with a four-year term and is part of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) band council, which also includes the Dettah chief and 10 community councillors.
Sangris was still delighted by the election results on the morning of Aug. 24. He was taking calls for much of the morning, including from Łııdlı̨ı̨ Kųę Dene First Nation Chief Gerry Antoine in Fort Simpson.
“It was very exciting right up to close to midnight,” he said. “At the beginning when the votes were being counted, I wasn’t too sure and I was nervous just shortly after 9 p.m. Twenty minutes in, I saw my numbers climb and thought, ‘This is it, oh boy. I was so happy.’”
Sangris thanked YKDFN membership for putting their trust in him. He said he’s looking forward to working with Dettah Chief Ed Sangris, who is Fred’s first cousin.
“I have worked as a negotiator and at workshops, and I’ve worked with Ed on many things and I think he knows my skills based on the work we have done together,” Fred said, noting that he’s aiming to finalize the Akaitcho land claims settlement and tackle housing challenges with his Dettah counterpart.
Sangris added that he’ll strive to ensure that he responds to the communication needs of the community as well, saying that a big part of his support came from YKDFN members who didn’t feel they were being kept in the loop with developments in their government.
He said he expects after the five-day appeal period, he will be sworn in as chief in early September, and then his work will begin.