His life building to this moment, Christopher Jobb is facing off against incumbent Brian Hardlotte for a Prince Albert Grand Council vice chief position this month.
© Submitted photo
Prince Albert Grand Council vice chief candidate Christopher Jobb is seen. Jobb is up against incumbent Brian Hardlotte for the vice chief position of the woodland sector, which includes Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Montreal Lake Cree Nation.
Reached by cell phone along the campaign trail in Grandmother’s Bay on Tuesday, the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation member said that he’s pulling from his own varied experience to best serve the council.
“The power needs to go back to the people, and the agenda -- it’s not about my agenda, it’s about their agenda, their implementations -- what they want to see,” he said. “That’s what we have to advocate and lobby (for).”
Jobb was born and raised in Southend, where he attended school to Grade 8, later going to St. Mary High School in Prince Albert and back to Southend to finish Grade 12.
After working in the childcare sector at the Prince Albert Grand Council, he took to truck hauling with Northern Resource Trucking, later moving on to the Alberta oil patch.
“I knew I wanted to run for leadership area one day, to advocate for First Nations issues and concerns,” he said.
“What I’ve seen in Alberta -- it’s a big impact of traditional lands, and also the waters and seeing that, experiencing all that stuff, it was time.”
It was in 2011 that Jobb knew it was time to act on his political aspirations, at which time he graduated from the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology’s business course.
Using additional training and certification he has in counselling, he’s also been working at helping communities from the inside out.
“I never drank or did drugs in my life, and I’m an advocate (against) drugs and alcohol,” he said. “I want to help out healthy communities -- that’s what I want.”
This summer, Jobb began touring the 26 communities that make up the 12 bands that constitute the Prince Albert Grand Council -- a journey that continues today.
“There’s something about this journey I’m making, it’s giving me lots of perspective how many needs we have in these communities,” he said.
The power needs to go back to the people, and the agenda -- it’s not about my agenda, it’s about their agenda, their implementations -- what they want to see. Christopher Jobb
“You have to have a common understanding. You have to humble yourself when you come into these communities, because you’re going to meet with all walks of life – all kinds of people.”
The journey has been less about telling people what he wants and more about asking what they want, he said, noting that during his first go-around he didn’t even mention he was running for office.
“The cultures are so distinct (and) they practise their cultural ways of life,” he said. “It’s a really neat thing, and we have to advocate as leaders for identity, because without identity we don’t have … the cultures and values that are in our heritage as First Nations people.”
It all comes down to what Jobb describes as the “three Cs” – making choices, which provide a chance for change.
“I’ve met a lot of good people – great people – through my journeys and all these communities I have been going to” he said.
“At the end of the day, whatever the outcome is in the election … I’m still happy that I went and visited these communities because it gave me experience and knowledge and wisdom -- how distinctive each community is.”
The Prince Albert Grand Council election will take place at the Senator Allan Bird Memorial Centre during the organization’s annual assembly in Prince Albert on Oct. 21 to 22.
Jobb is up against incumbent Brian Hardlotte, whose first three-year term is coming to a close.
The Daily Herald will report on Hardlotte’s bid for re-election in the near future.