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Election for national chief set for December in Winnipeg

Friday July 25, 2014

The election of a national chief is slated to take place this December in Winnipeg.

The decision was reached after some debate during the 35th Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Annual General Assembly (AGA), which took place in Halifax from July 15-17.

The election of the national chief will take place at a Special Chiefs Assembly Dec. 9-11.
Until then, the chiefs-in-assembly decided that AFN Quebec/Labrador Regional Chief Ghislain Picard will act as the interim national chief.

“I am honoured to take on the responsibility of interim national chief and look forward to working together with the Executive Committee based on the clear direction of First Nations to ensure we take every opportunity to advance Aboriginal title, rights and treaties in ways that will rebuild our nations and achieve safe and secure communities for all our peoples,” Picard said in a media release. “This has been an important Assembly for open and honest dialogue on our common priorities, our objectives and our organization. We must now move forward and take action based on this direction.”

More than 1,100 First Nation leaders, Elders and youth were in attendance for the assembly, including 302 chiefs.

The chiefs passed 33 resolutions in priority areas, including a commitment to fully review the way the AFN is structured and operates to ensure it evolves and adapts as First Nations rebuild their nations and assert their sovereignty and jurisdiction.

Delegates also stood united in support of action on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls including a National Public Inquiry and immediate action to address this urgent issue.
There was a special tribute to the families and to Marlene Bird who was recently a victim of violence in Saskatchewan. A blanket dance was held that raised $4,508 for Marlene Bird’s care and treatment. This Circle of Hope ceremony brought together women’s groups and associations, the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre and Assembly delegates in ceremony and in resolve to demand action to prevent and end violence against Indigenous women and girls.

The AFN AGA was preceded by a National Youth Summit that on July 13 and a Confederacy of Nations meeting on July 14.

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