Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus is celebrating the work of long-time senator for the N.W.T. Nick Sibbeston, who announced last week that he will step down on Nov. 21, his 74th birthday.
“The Dene leadership have respected the N.W.T. Senator’s work during his time in office. He has a passionate commitment to the people of the north,” said Erasmus. “Mr. Sibbeston’s interest, support and efforts, especially for the Dene, has been constant since his appointment in September 1999.”
Erasmus said the senator championed northern issues by “identifying mistakes and decisions and addressing them in the senate chamber,” reads a press statement.
Sibbeston said it was time to step aside and allow someone else to take on the role as he has been losing some enthusiasm for what he described as an arduous job, especially with all the travel.
A residential school survivor and a champion of Indigenous issues, Sibbeston will be remembered for being a strong advocate and good ambassador for the north and as premier of the N.W.T. from 1985 to 1987, said Erasmus.
“He was always there for the north. He had a good understanding of remote northern community issues and spoke in his Dene language every opportunity there was,” said Erasmus, who sent best wishes to the senator on behalf of the Dene people.