Elementary school principal and former Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations vice-chief Lyle Whitefish will be the New Democrat candidate for the Saskatchewan Rivers constituency in the next provincial election.
Whitefish, a member of the Big River First Nation, was chosen in a contested nomination vote held Friday evening in Spruce Home.
“Lyle will be a strong voice for what matters to all families in the Saskatchewan Rivers constituency. He has incredible passion and common sense when it comes to education – a top priority for both of us,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten, who attended the nomination. “All kids in Saskatchewan deserve better schools with more resources in the classroom – and helping all students get ahead today is the best way to build the strongest future for them, and for the province."
Whitefish is the principal at Mistahi Sipiy Elementary School on the Big River First Nation, and has taught at both provincial and First Nations schools. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in education in 1994.
“Equality for all people starts with a strong education for every child,” said Whitefish. “One of the reasons I decided to join Cam Broten’s team is his vision for education as a priority, valuing students and families, and consulting parents and teachers every step of the way.
“I agree with Cam, that Saskatchewan’s prosperity should translate into opportunities for all our young people, fairness and affordability for all families, and dignity and security for all our elders. And Saskatchewan's prosperity should mean investments in our roads and infrastructure and it should deliver a much-needed second bridge for Prince Albert."
Whitefish and his wife Doris raised four children and now have five wonderful grandchildren. Lyle has been a band councillor, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who served as chief, and his father, who was also a councillor. He has represented three bands for the Agency Chiefs Tribal Council, working on economic development, brighter futures and treaty rights. In 2006, he was elected as the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations fourth vice-chief, working on many files over his tenure including education. He has sat on many boards and commissions, as well as the Indian Oil and Gas Committee and the Indian Resource Council.