Fifty-eight per cent of the voting delegates at the Prince Albert Grand Council annual assembly voted to re-elect Ron Michel as Grand Chief today.

Running against Michel was Elmer Ballantyne of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation.

All of the voting delegates made their way to the Senator Allen Bird Memorial Centre for the election and to take in the final day of the PAGC’s assembly.

Michel thanked many people during his acceptance speech especially his family.

“When your family is behind you, when your family supports you, that is a very important thing.”

Michel also called attention to the importance of helping First Nations youth.

“If we continue not to help them out we will face another hundred years of depression,” he said. “As what our grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers and fathers endured in the last century.”

Even though he lost the vote, Ballantyne had strong words of appreciation.

“We allowed democracy to take place,” said Ballantyne. “To each and every one of you that supported me and Ron, we thank you very much for your hospitality, encouragement and for allowing us into your communities.”

Ballantyne hopes the PAGC can help bring down the council’s deficit during this next term.

Michel will serve a three-year term in which he says he plans to help build upon a spirit of unity in the grand council.

He has been the PAGC’s grand chief since succeeding former grand chief Gary Merasty in 2005.