Tsuut’ina Nation Chief Roy Whitney was re-elected to his second consecutive term – and his 12th non-consecutive term – following a November 22 vote.
“Public service is not a sacrifice. It’s an honor,” Whitney said in a statement Wednesday. “To serve a cause, or a people, is to be the recipient of trust and the bearer of hope. . . My tenure as chief has been unusually long, and during that time I have seen and helped usher in a great amount of change at Tsuut’ina.”
Whitney has been involved in Nation politics since he was 21, first serving as chief from 1984-86. His second term in office spanned from 1987 to 2001. He was re-elected in 2012 for a four-year term and his fourth term began in 2019.
Since then, Whitney has led the Nation through a number of successful business ventures, including the opening of the Gray Eagle Resort and Casino and the Tsuut’ina Costco.
“My pride in my nation grows every year as I see the unique ability of Tsuut’ina people to embrace the idea that the preservation of our culture and language depends on our ability to drive economic development, create jobs and wealth, and a future of hope for our young people,” he said.
Most recently, the Nation is undertaking a massive project called Taza, a 1,200-acre, $11 billion development that includes the Costco and other retailers at Buffalo Run.
Such projects “created our own ability to support ourselves, to achieve our autonomy,” Whitney said in a 2021 interview with Postmedia.
Whitney beat out three other members who are running for chief for this term, which will run until 2025.
“(The) desire to preserve our past while embracing the future is represented in the diverse mix of Councilors, or Minor Chiefs, who have also been elected,” Whitney said.
“The trust that has been placed in me and this new council is a wonderful thing. I promise that we will govern with transparency and accountability. Our hearts will be with our ancestors, and our eyes will be on the future.”
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— With files from Brodie Thomas and Valerie Fortney