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Chief Sanderson had been acting as Chief since the death of the late F.S.I. Chief Albert Bellegarde in March, 1979. The late Bellegarde had defeated incumbent Chief Dave Ahenakew during the October conference in 1978.
In his acceptance speech, Chief Sanderson said, "I've always had great trust in the Chief's office and it will be respected and honoured by me."
"I will be seeking direction and involvement from you. If you call, I will be there."
"As Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, our work is just starting and I humbly thank you for the confidence you have placed in me", said Chief Sanderson.
Sanderson stood on his years of experience with the organization. His major concerns and issues was with the thrust of Indian self-determination and economic development.
David Ahenakew thanked his supporters and congratulated the new candidates. He urged the delegates to help them in their endeavours, "for they cannot shoulder all your responsibilities."
He said, "I will continue to do the things I believe in. There are so many issues to be dealt with such as: B.N.A. Act, Indian Act, the trust relationship and responsibilities." Lastly he said, "take a look at our organization with no malice. They will replace Indian Affairs as a delivery service. I believe in my culture and special status. I wish you good luck and keep struggling."