Lila Fraser Erasmus has added her name as a fourth candidate to replace Tom Beaulieu in the Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh constituency.
Lila Fraser Erasmus, co-owner of Bow and Arrows Inc., a Ndilo-based Indigenous-owned and operated consulting firm, said she will reveal her platform for the public on Sept. 2.
“Yes, I am definitely putting my name forward to represent the people of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh and I look forward to meeting and talking with all of them in the coming weeks,” she stated in an email. “I am excited to put my name forward and am definitely ready for the challenge. I believe that my education and experience have prepared me well for this role.”
Erasmus stated that she hopes to carry on her late father Peter Fraser’s legacy — a respected Elder and former two-term NWT MLA for Mackenzie/Great Bear (1976 to 1983). Fraser passed away in 2000.
“He loved the people of the North and felt that they deserved to make decisions on their lands: I too believe in the same principles as my father,” said Fraser Erasmus. “He has always been an inspiration to me and I run, passionately listening to his words of fairness for the Indigenous community.”
Fraser Erasmus, who is the spouse of Roy Erasmus Jr., has two children and has lived in numerous NWT communities, including the constituency of Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh for 20 years. She said she wants to see Indigenous people taking a greater role in decision making in government.
“The primary reason I am running is because I would like to see the Indigenous people have more decision-making power and authority within government and within their communities and lands,” she said.
Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh encompasses several Indigenous communities adjacent to Yellowknife, including Ndilo, Dettah and Fort Resolution.
Fraser Erasmus will be the 18th female candidate running or intending to run in the Oct. 1 election that includes Lesa Semmler, Sallie Ross, Diane Thom, Denise Yuhas, Katrina Nokleby, Caitlin Cleveland, Cherish Winsor, Caroline Cochrane, Julie Green, Arlene Hache, Caroline Wawzonek, Gaeleen MacPherson, Jan Vallillee, Alisa Blake, Holly Campbell, Annie Steen, and Nadine Delorme.
Fraser Erasmus stated in an email that she is a proud member of the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation: Big River People of Northern Tuchone country of Mayo Yukon.
“My great grandmother, maiden name Colopa, was born in Fort Reliance so I am proud to say that my ancestry is very much Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh,” she added.
After Delorme, Fraser Erasmus will be the second female candidate running in Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh. Paul Betsina and Steve Norn are the other two candidates.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included some incorrect information.