Erasmus says election highlights need to mend some wounds

Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus is confident he'll be able to work with re-elected Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo. But he said there is work to be done with those who didn't vote for Atleo.

But he says he won’t have a problem working with Atleo

Bill Erasmus gives the thumbs up during the election for the 2012 AFN national chief in Toronto on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Erasmus said he's ready to work with Shaun Atleo once again. (Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press)

Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus is confident he'll be able to work with re-elected Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo. 

Atleo was re-elected to the job yesterday. Erasmus came in third. 

"I can't question the peoples’ decision. People chose Shawn Atleo and we have to find a way to work with him. And I'm not going to have a problem working with him," said Erasmus. "I had a chance to speak to him yesterday and we're going to be OK - we need to have good people around us, and those good people are going to have to understand the issues and the personalities."

Erasmus said there are wounds among some people that need to be mended, but he said the AFN isn’t fractured.

"There’s a reason not everyone voted for Atleo, so let’s find out what the concerns are and let’s try to address them," he said.

Erasmus said the goal now is for everyone to pull together and push forward to make the AFN equal to any other government.  

Erasmus remains part of the AFN executive as the regional chief for the Northwest Territories.