Tyler Duncan has officially stated he will be running for grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) in September.
Duncan, who is 19 years old, has accomplished a lot so far in his short time on Earth, with three terms as the youth chief of Norway House Cree Nation, a term as youth grand chief for MKO youth council, and a campaign for the presidency of the NDP in Manitoba. All this will help the young man, he says. “I want to run for MKO grand chief because I believe in my leaders to make this necessary and needed change in our MKO organization. I am running because my idea of leadership is not stepping up to run when you want, but when the people call on you to rise into action. I have felt this call loud and clear from some strong leaders in our region, and this is why I’ve decided to move forward with my campaign for the MKO leadership.”
Duncan kicked off his campaign on June 12 and plans to release pamphlets on his platform in the near future. Although the platform hasn’t been announced, he says there is action that needs to happen if he becomes grand chief, especially in restoring the credibility and integrity of the organization. “As grand chief, I will do so with the direct advice from chiefs, councils, and people of the communities on where the organization should go moving forward. Putting in place measures for financial accountability and transparency will be key. As well as restoring the strength of the organization by getting back to our purpose – advocacy. With strong advocacy and an accountable and open organization, we will restore its integrity, will restore its credibility by taking its advocacy to strength and heights it hasn’t seen before. We will do this together, in the spirit of unity, collaboration, and goodwill, for the betterment of our people.”
Duncan says he knows he has accomplished something when he feels that he has bettered the lives of his people. He credits his family, mentors, community and his god for making all this possible.
The hopeful grand chief is visiting northern communities currently, and meeting with the leadership. “I’ve loved having the opportunity to listen, learn, and take forward the ideas, objectives, and vision from our chiefs and councillors for how our MKO should move forward. Things have been going very well, support has been strong, and our leadership are eager and hopeful to see change, renewal, and hope for MKO and what we can accomplish together, for our people.”
MKO represents 30 Northern Manitoba First Nations. The election will take place in Nelson House on Sept. 2.