Seven to vie for AMC grand chief role
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/10/2022 (235 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Eight days before an election to choose a new grand chief for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs an official list of seven candidates has been released.
After some previous delay, the First Nations advocacy organization posted the names on social media Tuesday — four of which are women.
The candidates are former Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak grand chief and CBC journalist Sheila North, former Opaskwayak Cree Nation vice-chief and band councillor Jennifer Flett, AMC First Nations family advocate Cora Morgan, former Pimicikamak Cree Nation chief Cathy Merrick, former O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi chief Eugene Eastman, former Berens River chief George Kemp, and Little Saskatchewan band councillor Darrell Shorting.
The election is being held during the AMC general assembly at the Wyndham Garden Hotel Airport in Winnipeg, Oct. 25-27. An all-candidates forum is being held Oct. 25, with voting the next day.
Only chiefs of the 62 of 63 First Nations in Manitoba represented by the AMC, or their proxies, who are registered can vote.
North and Flett were not on an earlier list of candidates circulating among AMC members Monday.
North said it was because of a problem, which has since been corrected, of a person nominating multiple candidates in error.
“We didn’t miss the deadline,” she said Tuesday. “It was an issue with one of the nominators who didn’t know the rules, but it impacted three of the candidates. I’m just glad it has been rectified.”
The other woman not on the early list, Flett, who has worked for Corrections Canada for two decades, admitted she was “much happier” Tuesday than she was Monday.
North said it is likely the first time an election for AMC grand chief has “the women outnumbering the men (candidates)… I’m not positive, but I would say it is historic.”
The election was triggered when grand chief Arlen Dumas was stripped of his office, after facing accusations of sexual assault and harassment.
“What I’m hearing from a lot of chiefs is they want to get the AMC back to a level of integrity,” North said Tuesday.
“It has been a long two years with the (COVID-19) pandemic and with the internal struggles which happened. It is time to get back to work to be the advocate and partner for Indigenous people.”
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.