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The NWT Fishermen’s Federation has selected its new leadership for the next several years.

A new executive and six other directors were acclaimed at the federation’s annual general meeting on June 3 in Hay River.

Cameron Beaverbones is president, Duncan Richardson is vice-president and Jamie Linington is secretary-treasurer.

The directors are Chris Chicot, Alex Richardson, Bert Buckley Sr., Lawrence Morin, Douglas Buckley and Peter Sabourin.

All have been acclaimed to three-year terms.

The selection of the new leadership included a discussion about the distinction between the NWT Fishermen’s Federation and the Tu Cho Fishers Co-operative, and whether there is a need for two organizations.

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“How are those two intertwined?” asked Douglas Buckley.

“They’re not. They’re two separate organizations,” said Robert Bouchard, the executive assistant with the Tu Cho Fishers Co-operative, who was chairing the federation meeting.

There are 13 members of the Tu Cho Fishers Co-operative, he noted. “And they are all part of your NWT Fishermen’s Federation, but not everybody in the NWT Fishermen’s Federation are Tu Cho.”

Bouchard explained that Tu Cho has a contract to manage and operate the current fish plant, which is owned by the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, and it will operate a new plant to be owned by the GNWT.

On the other hand, the federation deals with different issues, such as funding for fishers, with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the GNWT.

“The NWT Fishermen’s Federation still has a need to be there to be the political body of all the fishermen, whereas Tu Cho is just meant to run the plant,” said Bouchard.

Linington noted that, while the federation created the co-op, it is now its own thing, and not every fisher wants to be part of the co-op.

“I don’t think the association should be dissolved,” she said of the NWT Fishermen’s Federation.

Even though they are two separate organizations, links remain between the federation and the co-op.

Beaverbones, the president of the NWT Fishermen’s Federation, is also president of the Tu Cho Fishers Co-operative.

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