Newly-elected Chief Paul Syrette  congratulates Brandi Nolan with a high-five.  Nolan is the first  female lead counsellor of Garden River First Nation.

Newly-elected Chief Paul Syrette congratulates Brandi Nolan with a high-five. Nolan is the first female lead counsellor of Garden River First Nation.

By Margaret Hele

GARDEN RIVER FIRST NATION – Paul Syrette, the newly-elected Chief of Garden River, started off his term with a community pancake breakfast.

The background music in the hall set a jovial mood and the chief and counsellors were happy and welcoming to all.  Proprietor of Turtle concepts and Councillor David Jones, who promotes self-esteem, had given each councillor special t-shirts with inspirational words.  Jones also provided the sound equipment, music and ambiance that set the festive celebratory mood.

Before the election the newly formed Elders group had suggested that community events should take place on a regular basis.

“It is good to see the Chief and councillors following through,” said Roseanna McCoy. “People need to celebrate agreed the elders. This would help in improving and changing attitudes.”

“Vote for change” were words heard in the community before the Garden River election. The complaint of lack of communication was also a dominant during the campaign. By holding this breakfast the people were given the opportunity to speak with one another, their chief, councillors and the New Democratic candidate in a social setting. The Garden River monthly newsletter was also made available.

Skip Morrison, the NDP candidate, commented that he was impressed with the energy of the group.