The Assembly of First Nations will elect a leader today. The incumbent is Perry Bellgarde, former chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indigenous Nations. Chiefs from 634 First Nations communities will vote in a national chief during their convention in Vancouver.
Five candidates are vying for the top job. Perry Bellegarde is the incumbent chief of the AFN. He is from the Little Black Bear First Nation in Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan. He says his close relationship with the federal government has secured billions of dollars in new funding for Indigenous issues over the last three budgets though he has been criticized by other candidates for being too cosy with the government.
Others in the running are Russ Diablo from Kahnawake, a Mohawk community south of Montreal. Sheila North, of Manitoba. Miles Richardson of British Columbia. And Katherine Whitecloud, of Manitoba. (with files from Canadian Press)