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September 25, 2009
Former Vice-Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN), Dutch E. Lerat today announced he is officially running for the office of Third Vice-Chief of the FSIN.“I am humbled by the support and encouragement I have received from many Chiefs, Councilors and people in the First Nation community. I am committed to serving our people and continuing my efforts to improve the quality of life for our people and communities,” Lerat said.
Lerat is a member of the Cowessess First Nation #73, and has served as the band’s Urban Councilor since 2004. He has served Indian governments for 20 years, beginning his career as the Executive Assistant to the Chief of the FSIN in 1982.
In 1984, Lerat was elected to the position of Second Vice-Chief of the FSIN, and served five consecutive terms. In 1996, Lerat was seconded to the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) as Acting Chief Executive Officer, and was later appointed President and CEO of SIGA. In his five year tenure as the CEO of SIGA, Lerat was instrumental in the establishment of four First Nation owned and operated casinos, capturing numerous economic and community development awards (ABEX).
“I know that certain critics and pundits will continue to criticize me for certain events surrounding SIGA in the year 2000. I have learned a great deal from my experience at SIGA and plan to use all of my experience in Indian government and business in a positive and constructive manner,” Lerat stated.
Dutch Lerat says that his experience and dedication are two of the primary reasons why people in the community have urged him to return to regional Indian government.
Since 2004, Lerat has worked at the community level for his own band (Cowessess First Nation) to improve the quality of life for his people, both on and off-reserve.
“I plan to continue to work hard for my people and our Treaty and Inherent rights. On October 29, 2009 I will let the people speak as to whether I will serve and represent them on the FSIN Executive,” Lerat concluded.
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Dutch E. Lerat
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