RoseAnne Archibald says it’s time for the female leader to step forward and serve as national chief.
Archibald, who’s running for the position of national chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), officially launched her campaign today during a virtual announcement from her home community of Taykwa Tagamou Nation.
“I believe the healing and strengthening of our nations will happen as a result of women’s voices being heard, understood and respected,” she said at the event.
The nomination period for the national chief candidate closes June 2, with the election taking place Wednesday, July 7, at the 2021 AFN Annual General Assembly.
The current national chief is Perry Bellegarde, who is not seeking re-election.
Archibald was elected as the Ontario Regional Chief (ORC) in 2018 and she was the first woman elected in this role. Her decision not to run again for ORC has likely stunned many people, she said, thanking the people who nominated her for the province’s regional chief position three years ago.
Archibald has also served as Taykwa Tagamou Nation chief, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) deputy grand chief and as Mushkegowuk Council's grand chief.
Today, Archibald mentioned how her mother's and her family's leadership helped her to become more creative and progress forward. She said she’s committed to addressing the calls for transparency and accountability of the AFN while advancing issues related to gender-based discrimination and lateral violence.
“I believe it’s time for real and evolutionary changes within the AFN,” she said.
Her platform includes creating a national consensus-based agenda for action, drafting an updated consultation protocol, respecting the authority and autonomy of regions, having community-driven solutions, supporting nation-building and First Nation law-making based on inherent and treaty rights, and economic self-sufficiency through business development.
Taykwa Tagamou Chief Bruce Archibald joined the virtual event and expressed support to his sister.
“Over the years, she’s been a very strong advocate on behalf of First Nations right across the region here, especially Ontario,” he said. “We’re very proud of her today stepping up to run for this position.”
NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler has also announced his candidacy for the seat of National Chief. He became NAN grand chief in 2015 after serving several terms as deputy grand chief.
Among those who announced their candidacies for AFN National Chief are also a Listuguj Mi’gmaq Nation member Cathy Martin and a Michel First Nation member Jodi Calahoo-Stonehouse.
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com