One of northern Saskatchewan’s most well-known politicians has announced he is leaving politics.

Peter Beatty says he won’t be seeking another term as chief of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation when band members head to the polls next month.

After close to 30 years in elected politics, he said it’s time to devote more time to his family.

“So, after considering all of that and all of the time I sacrificed in family time for about 28 years, I thought that it was time for me to take a rest and devote some time to my family and my children’s children, my grandchildren.”

Beatty was first elected as a band councillor in his home community of Deschambault Lake in 1993 before being elected PBCN chief in 2013.

He will turn 67 this year and is currently serving his third term as chief.

Aside from his age and time spent away from family, he said the sheer workload of the job was another factor that weighed into his decision.

“Of course, the heavy workload that one goes through when serving a nation of our size. Over 11,000 members, eight communities and the distances involved in between those communities. You know, it’s a huge consideration as well.”

In addition to spending time with family, Beatty said he plans to spend the next few months doing some of the activities he has missed out on over the years such hunting, trapping and fishing.

He also had a few words of advice for those seeking to replace him as chief in the upcoming election campaign.

“Treat everybody on an equal level, don’t put yourself too high on the pedestal because a lot of the great chiefs I have come to know over the years, they seemed to be people persons,” he said. “They bring themselves down to the level of anybody and they don’t put themselves up there. Just in terms of that, I think I’ve learned as well that respect and honour are earned.”

The PBCN election is set for April 13.

With files from Abel Charles

(PHOTO: Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Chief Peter Beatty. File photo.)