Wasauksing elects new chief with deep roots
WASAUKSING - There’s a new leader in Wasauksing.
Warren Tabobondung defeated four other candidates in Wasauksing’s February election to claim the prize of chief. A long-time resident of the community, Tabobondung said he isn’t wasting any time in working on his goals for the future.
“We hope to solve some of the infrastructure issues we have within the community and venture, hopefully, into some economic development projects,” Tabobondung said. “Those are some of the things we’re working on currently. I’ve jumped in with both feet, so I’m quite busy right now.”
Economic development is going to be a big part of the new chief’s future plans. He wants to solve some of the significant infrastructure issues currently affecting the community.
One thing that may have set Tabobundung apart from his fellow candidates is that he is far from the first chief in his family. His grandfather, grandmother and mother all served as chief in the past.
Notably, his grandmother Flora Tabobondung was the chief of the First Nation for decades. Combining the tutelage of family and his own experience as a former councillor, Tabobondung has an impressive resume for the position.
Going forward, Tabobondung feels there are some major challenges Wasauksing will need to respond to.
“The social issues are big in all First Nations,” Tabobondung said. “That’s one of the big challenges. There are financial restraints, and so little resources to use to accomplish so much. I think those are the real big challenges. Those are the tough ones for us.”
An incentive to work quickly on any plans for Wasauksing is the relatively short two-year term provided to chiefs.
“You got to make things happen fairly quickly to achieve a lot in the short term,” Tabobondung said. “You’ve got to react intelligently to all of those issues we’re trying to push forward, and it’s a challenge.”