By Roman Hayter

Tammy Cook-Searson has been re-elected chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. She earned 1502 votes, with John P. Roberts coming in second with 1102 and Bruce Fredrick McKenzie in third with 836 votes. In total, 3,440 ballots were cast, with 995 being sent electronically.  “You never know what the election results will be, but just getting out there and visiting people and meeting people at their homes and just talking to them and hearing what the issues are and what’s important to the community members because each of them has different priorities,” said Cook-Searson.

She said that she heard many different concerns and feedback that members wanted addressed, such as the Treaty 6 agricultural benefit. “One of the ones that I heard the most was making sure that we push forward on the Treaty 6 Agricultural Benefit for the cows and plows. So that one, I made the calls as soon as I was elected back into office. I did make calls to Ottawa and also to our legal counsel. We are in the process of signing a negotiation protocol so we can proceed with our negotiations. We’re also just waiting on Canada to also appoint us a lead negotiator on behalf of Canada and then we will proceed with that,” explained Cook-Searson. “Cost of living was another big issue where the rates for social assistance needed to be increased, so that’s something we will fight for and continue to work on because people out there are struggling with getting just the basics with groceries and basic needs for their families.”

Cook-Searson said that she has been working as part of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band for the last 26 years and has seen a lot of changes made in that time. “I’ve been honoured to be able to serve the community of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band for the past 18 years as the chief, and then before that, I was a band councillor for 8 years, so a total of 26 years. There’s been a lot of change over those 26 years, but we’ve also been working on continuing to improve. Whether it’s having the wellness treatment and recovery centre so we can build to capacity in the north or even having our own northern teacher education program, where we’ll see the first graduates this coming May,” said Cook-Searson.

All newly elected officials in this year’s election will serve three-year terms which will come to a close in March 2026.