VANCOUVER, July 25, 2018 /CNW/ – First Nation leaders from across the country today elected Perry Bellegarde as Assembly of First Nations National Chief at the AFN 39th Annual General Assembly today being held in the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde was elected on the second ballot with 328 votes out of 522 voters, and 63 percent of the vote. Five candidates stood for election as National Chief.
More than 2,400 First Nations leaders, Elders, women, and youth are gathered for the AFN’s 39th Annual General Assembly under the theme Working Together: Our Rights, Our Way, Our Future. The AGA continues tomorrow with discussion on priority matters and deliberation of resolutions to set national direction for the coming year. The AGA is being webcast on the AFN website at www.afn.ca
There was some controversy earlier today when Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett met Treaty First Nations from Alberta at breakfast during the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly. Minister Bennett was there at the invitation of Regional Chief Marlene Poitras, who had invited her at the behest of some Alberta Chiefs.
Chief Poitras dispelled the controversy with these remarks.
“I understand that media and the Electoral Officer for the Election for the National Chief has been informed by candidates that the Minister attempted to influence the votes of the Alberta Chiefs to favour a particular candidate,” stated Chief Poitras.
“I was present during the meetings as were members of my staff, and we can confirm that at no time did the Minister reference any candidate, oppose or speak against any candidate’s platform, or speak to the election itself. The meeting was focused strictly on the initiatives of the Alberta Chiefs who asked questions and presented their positions.”