By Roman Hayter

Bruce Fredrick McKenzie is one of three candidates running for Chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

McKenzie, who worked as a teacher for 29 years, spent nine of those years as a high school principal. McKenzie said that due to his time working in his field, he understands the problems of local people.

“I spent a lot of those 29 years in the trenches dealing with my people at the local level, and I know the issues intimately, the socio-economic conditions within the communities, and that’s the real reason why I want to run is to improve the lives of people. I know I’ve improved a lot of lives in the education field; I’ve graduated many nurses, teachers, and social workers that have come through my classroom from when I was a teacher, but I want to extend that to the people that are in the social area and economic area, so that’s why I keep running, hoping to make a change if I get in,” said McKenzie. “Some of the conditions are still kind of sad; you know, when you look at the communities, there’s a real great need for housing; we have like 4000 band members that are off reserve because there’s no housing, so of course they have to urbanize.” 

If elected Chief, McKenzie said he would make changes to housing, make decisions that are focused on the people rather than business, solve the problem of a lack of programming for elders and youth, create greater accountability of the Chief and Council, make efforts to improve social assistance, and bring training and trades development programs to the communities. 

“I’m passionate about helping others; you know, I’ve been doing that for 29 years, helping people at the educational level, but I think it would be more meaningful for me to move away from education and be in a more political position where I can make changes for the better in our communities,” explained McKenzie.

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band General Election Day is Thursday, March 30 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

(Photo submitted)