New PAGC Vice-Chief Christopher Jobb after being elected. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski

You could hear a pin drop at Senator Allen Bird Gymnasium as the ballots for Vice Chief of Prince Albert Grand Council were read out on Tuesday afternoon.

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation’s Christopher Jobb received 129 votes in a second ballot vote and Brian Hardlotte received 114.

Hardlotte had been Vice Chief for two terms prior to that.

James Smith Cree Nation’s Walter Constant was the final candidate, and did not make it to the second ballot after receiving 13 votes.

After swearing in, Jobb mouthed “thank you” as he stood still during the victory song.

“Let’s work together, let’s do the common good for our people, and our generations to come. I love you guys and I love the man I ran against and also the other gentleman I got to know, Walter Constant,” Jobb said.

“We all want to serve our people because it is important to us, it’s an important task. Ladies and gentlemen, you know I hold dear to my heart giving me this opportunity. I’m not perfect but I stand to be corrected. If I’m doing something I’m not supposed to do, tell me, because I’m only human.”

Brian Hardlotte shakes hands after results came in. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski

In Hardlotte’s speech, he said “it was an honour to work with” PAGC staff.

He thanked his family, and said “it’s been a tough year.” Earlier this year, he lost a daughter.

Hardlotte said his father will be happy that he’ll be able to focus more on keeping the trapline.

Nomination speeches

Nominations were held on Monday afternoon.

Jobb was nominated by Peter Ballantyne Chief Peter Beatty. Jobb said he was running to secure the future for his grandkids.

He said last time he ran he was on fire with passion for his communities, and says “now I’m like a fireball.” In that race, he narrowly lost to Hardlotte by 19 votes.

He says the concerns he’s heard across the north and south are the same: suicide, drugs, alcohol, and drug dealers.

“We need to get healed,” Jobb said, adding that he had no speech written because he’s genuine and speaks from the heart.

At that comment, Jobb got a round of applause during his speech.

Hardlotte was nominated by Lac La Ronge Chief Tammy Cook-Searson.

He delivered a consistent message about health, education, housing, community policing, and other items, saying “yes, yes, this is a treaty right my friends” about each.

Hardlotte said he would build First Nations capacity to deliver treaty services. Among those commitments, he said First Nations will build their own clinics and hospitals.

He said he would work hard to address racial discrimination in hospitals, would build capacity for housing that will reduce the “emergency disasters that keep plaguing our communities,” and would keep on the Liberal government to address the First Nations education funding gap.

Constant was nominated by Wahpeton Councillor Garry Standing, who said elected positions within PAGC need to represent the diversity of their membership, and that PAGC needs a southern sector voice.

Constant’s message was that PAGC’S people need to get treaty rights back, and he spoke out against the taxes his people are paying.