The recent election at Long Plain First Nation saw Kyra Wilson voted in as chief, and Dennis Meeches has retired from politics.
Meeches chose not to run as chief in the recent election, and recounts his time in politics with the First Nation, noting he's been the longest-serving elected chief of the community.
"I've been there 26 years and I'm fine with that. I'm just hoping we get a new generation of leadership," says Meeches.
He notes he supported Kyra Wilson to be chief, and is glad she won.
"I think she will do very well for us," adds Meeches.
Meeches says apart from being chief for 20 years he was on council for six years, and he now says that he wants to focus on other things.
"That's a lifetime of service in for Long Plain in terms of public service," continues Meeches. "The time has come. I think for me, I'm comfortable with everything, but I do hope we have a good council that will really work in the best interests of Long Plain First Nation."
He says the longest chief ever to serve outside of being elected was Chief Keeshkeemaquah.
"He was the first and last hereditary chief, and he served here approximately 40 years," explains Meeches. "He assumed his chieftainship when he was 16-years-old. That was a different time and a different era, but we're blessed to have the people and the chieftainships throughout the years. And, of course, Keeshkeemaquah, the urban reserve, beside Portage has been named after our first and last hereditary chief."
He says his time in office has been good.
"A lot of great things have been done in Long Plain under my tenure and I worked with a lot of great council members and managers throughout the years," continues Meeches. "Long Plain is in a good place and I hope it remains that way. I know there have been challenging times throughout, but for the most part, Long Plain is in a good place. There's still a lot of work to do, obviously, and there are social challenges, but I think we are moving in the direction we should be, and more work needs to be done. We still need to continue fostering strong relationships with cities like Portage and Winnipeg, and just doing our part. So, I think that will continue."
He adds he's looking forward to retiring from politics, but not from work.