Assembly of First Nations leadership elections
Assembly of First Nations (National Indian Brotherhood before 1982) leadership elections are held every three years to elect the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Each chief of a First Nation in Canada is eligible to cast a vote. Currently there are 633 eligible voters.
AFN rules state that a candidate needs 60% of the votes to win the election. If multiple candidates are on the ballot, the candidate with the fewest votes on each ballot is dropped until one candidate has reached the required percentage of votes. Additionally, any candidate who receives less than 15 per cent of the vote on a ballot is automatically dropped.
If only two candidates remain, however, the candidate with fewer votes is not dropped from the ballot automatically, but rather the race continues to another ballot until the leading candidate reaches 60 per cent or the trailing candidate voluntarily concedes.
Winner: Walter Dieter
Winner: George Manuel
Winner: George Manuel
Winner: George Manuel
Winner: Noel Starblanket
Winner: Delbert Riley
For this election the two candidates with the fewest votes on the first ballot were dropped. This applied to Linklater and Powderface. Riley then announced he would withdraw.
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At the close of nominations on June 16, the declared candidates were AFN's British Columbia regional chief Shawn Atleo, Roseau River First Nation chief Terry Nelson, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations chief Perry Bellegarde, British Columbia land claims negotiator Bill Wilson and former Union of Ontario Indians chief John Beaucage.
Beginning with the second ballot, the convention went into an unprecedented deadlock, with six successive ballots in which the final two candidates effectively tied at roughly 50 per cent of the vote. Under AFN rules, a candidate requires 60 per cent of the vote to win unless their opponent voluntarily concedes the race. Bellegarde conceded after the eighth ballot, on which Atleo had surged ahead to a 58 per cent finish.
Nelson and Wilson were automatically dropped after the first ballot, as both failed to garner 15 per cent of the vote. Both candidates endorsed Bellegarde on the second ballot. Beaucage, as the last-place finisher among the three remaining candidates, voluntarily dropped out shortly after the ballot results were announced, also endorsing Bellegarde.
At the close of nominations on June 12, the declared candidates were Shawn Atleo, Diane Kelly, Bill Erasmus, Terrance Nelson, Pamela Palmater, Ellen Gabriel, Joan Jack and George Stanley.
The 2014 leadership election took place on December 10. The candidates were Perry Bellegarde, the chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the runner-up to Atleo in 2009; Ghislain Picard, the AFN's regional chief for Quebec and Labrador and the organization's interim chief since Atleo's resignation; and Leon Jourdain, the former grand chief of the Treaty 3 area in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.
The 2018 leadership election took place on July 25, 2018, at the Annual General Assembly in Vancouver, British Columbia. Loretta Pete Lambert, of the Little Pine Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, was the chief electoral officer. The candidates were the incumbent, Perry Bellegarde, from the Little Black Bear First Nation; policy analyst Russell Diabo, a member of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake; Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Sheila North, a member of the Bunibonibee Cree Nation; economist and former President of the Council of the Haida Nation Miles Richardson; and Katherine Whitecloud, former Manitoba regional chief for the AFN, and member of Wipazoka Wakpa Dakota Nation.
- "Atleo aims for top job in Canada". canada.com, June 4, 2009.
- "New leader must press to end aboriginal poverty: Fontaine". cbc.ca, July 21, 2009.
- "AFN race deadlocked after sixth ballot" Archived 2009-07-26 at the Wayback Machine. The Globe and Mail, July 23, 2009.
- "Race for First Nations chief narrowed to three" Archived July 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Calgary Herald, July 22, 2009.
- "First Nations chief vote down to 2 candidates". cbc.ca, July 22, 2009.
- "Perry Bellegarde named new AFN national chief". CBC News, December 10, 2014.
- "Perry Bellegarde to run for Assembly of First Nations leadership". CBC News, October 1, 2014.
- "Quebec regional Chief Picard takes interim AFN helm". APTN National News, July 16, 2014.
- "Assembly of First Nations chief candidates face off in debate". Toronto Sun, November 6, 2014.
- Tremblay, Paulette (2018-05-14). "Chief Electoral Announcement" (PDF) (Press release). Ottawa: Assembly of First Nations. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- Narine, Shari (July 12, 2018). "Russell Diabo: 2018 AFN National Chief Candidate". Windspeaker. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- Narine, Shari (July 9, 2018). "Katherine Whitecloud: 2018 AFN National Chief Candidate". Windspeaker. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- "Assembly of First Nations Election for the Office of National Chief 2018 Candidate Biographies" (PDF) (Press release). Assembly of First Nations. 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-07-16.