Wendake Chief Sworn In

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Photo: Mary White

Grand Chief Konrad Siouï in traditional Huron-Wendat headdress, holding a talking stick in his new role as proud leader of the nation.

Days after the elections in Wendake, former Grand Chief Max Gros-Louis, 77, gallantly spoke with the QCT in his home in the village. Rummaging through letters and articles written to or about him, Gros-Louis, having announced his retirement, sat calmly at his dining room table and reminisced.

“Let me show you around,” he offers, and stops to comment the wall-to-wall memorabilia and artifacts that adorn every room in the small, cozy house. He pauses to pick up a special talking stick.“This is what I held when I walked into the stadium at the Montreal Olympics in 1976,” and a little later on adds, “This one was a gift from my nation.”

A few days later, in Wendake’s award-wining Hotel-Museum, new Grand Chief Konrad Siouï officially became the new leader. At the Swearing-in Ceremony on November 11, he held an eagle feather and the Bible as he made his promises to the community and officially began his four-year mandate as new Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendats.

Former Assembly of First Nations regional chief, Siouï, 55, won the elections based on a platform that promises to address identity, territorial rights, economic development and community programmes.

 

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Former Grand Chief Max Gros-Louis’ at home with the QCT.

“The people are ready for change, change with continuity,” said a beaming Siouï who invited his nation to join him in writing a new chapter in Huron-Wendat history, one he hopes to lead close to the people. His opening remarks emphasized unity, new approaches and the creation of a cabinet where each of the other, delegated chiefs will receive greater, clearly-defined more responsibilities.

“I am beginning with great confidence,” he said. “Already, I have spoken with Prime Minister Charest.” Siouï. explained “We laid a wreath together today at the Remembrance Day ceremony in Quebec City.” Many Aboriginal soldiers fought in the world wars and historic battles and the last Huron-Wendat veteran passed away last year.

Now both the former and the present Grand Chief face new horizons. Max says he plans to relax on his ranch in Alberta and see where life leads him while Konrad announced that his team will hold its first public meeting before the holidays. So onwards they go, each into unmarked territory while a new collective chapter in Huron-Wendat history begins.