Running for AFN National Chief July 25, 2018

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
Running for AFN National Chief July 25, 2018

Bellegarde, Diabo announce intentions of running for AFN national chief

Russ Diabo says he’s running for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations to defeat two people – incumbent Perry Bellegarde and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I felt compelled,” the Mohawk policy analyst from Kahnawake, Que. says in wide ranging interview with Nation to Nation scheduled to air Thursday evening.

“The federal government needs to be called out that their self-government and land claims policies are unfair and unjust.”

He’s confident he can get the 15 chiefs needed for an official nomination....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

So far, those who have indicated intention to run for National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations is @perrybellegarde @SheilaNorthMKO and @RussDiabo

— Pam Palmater (@Pam_Palmater) April 8, 2018

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..diabo is the 1st story

Nation to Nation

Mohawk policy analyst Russ Diabo says he’s running to accomplish a few things: Take out incumbent Perry Bellegarde, who is running for reelection, go after Trudeau and fix the AFN.

“It’s lost its legitimacy to many of our people,” Diabo said of the AFN, adding he has many ideas to change it that he’ll announce in the future.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

  Russell Diabo Platform

Therefore, as a candidate for National Chief I am presenting my priorities and approach for consideration of the Chiefs and our Indigenous First Nation Peoples.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Assembly of First Nations 2018 election is a battle for sovereignty

The Assembly of First Nations will hold its election for national chief on July 25 in Vancouver. Only the chiefs of the 634-plus First Nations are eligible to vote but most chiefs' assemblies see less than half of those attend, and of those, many are proxies and not actual chiefs. 

While elections for prime minister, premier and even mayors attract nightly political commentary, analysis and predictions in the months and weeks prior to their elections, there is generally very little commentary about the AFN election outside of Indigenous media like APTN, Windspeaker or smaller Indigenous political blogs. Yet, what is at stake in this election for First Nations should be of great concern to Canadians.

This election feels more like a boiling point -- a critical juncture spurred by the growing discontent of the AFN that was apparent in the last three AFN elections for National Chief. The outcome of this election could change everything for the better or the worse and Canadians will be impacted either way....


It's well past time for a woman to lead the AFN. Sheila North is the current Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak

 Katherine Whitecloud is the former Manitoba regional chief for the AFN

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs meg

Assembly of First Nations is out of touch and needs an overhaul, says ex-national chief


Some want voting changes

​Patrick Madahbee, a former Anishinabek Grand Council chief, retired this year after more than four decades in First Nations politics. 

Madahbee, who was a 27-year-old grand council chief at the 1980 Skyline Hotel meeting, said it's time for the AFN to modernize and change the way the leadership is selected.

"All our citizens should be choosing their leadership at every level in order to empower our people," he said. "Whether that will happen in the near future is the question. I don't think it will happen that quickly."

Rolland Pangowish, who worked as a senior official at AFN for about 15 years under four different national chiefs, said he joined the organization to make a difference. But over time, Pangowish said he has seen the AFN become a prisoner of the federal government's funding and policy priorities.

"It is very skewed in the government's favour," Pangowish said. "They manage the negotiations and set the rules."

He said that during his time at the AFN, internal work to chart new paths and models often fell victim to backroom deals between the national chief and Ottawa, which reflected the priorities of whoever occupied 24 Sussex at the time.

The AFN is no longer an advocacy organization, he said. Instead, it is "stagnating" as a "policy consultation mechanism" for Ottawa.

Pangowish left the AFN in 2003, having been the director of the treaty and lands unit. When he returned home to Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve in Ontario, he was surprised people no longer viewed the organization as their champion.

"There was more fear of what the AFN was going to do than a feeling it was representing the people," he said. "The organization should be folded and start again, building from the ground up."


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Russell Diabo rocks the boat in race to be national chief of the Assembly of First Nations


“They want to convert bands into municipalities and reserves into private property,” Russell Diabo states. “That’s the objective.”

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Good read on Russel Diablo. Thanks, epaulo. I really want to support a woman in this race and certainly was hoping for Pam Palmater victory last time but I am not that impressed by Sheila North and know very little about Katherine Whitecloud.

Here is the only commentary I found from Pam Palmater on this week's election:

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs laine. we'll see in a few hours i suppose. i sincerely hope for substantial change to occur. don't really know if that is possible under current structures.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

When will the results be announced?  


Pipeline Perry it is. Minister helps...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Bellegarde elected national chief on second ballot in cloud of controversy

Perry Bellegarde was elected national chief of the Assembly of First Nations on the second ballot Wednesday after the other candidates accused the federal government of interfering in the outcome.

Perry took 328 votes in the second ballot to take more than 60 per cent of the vote to win his second term.

But even before the results of the first ballot was announced, candidate Russ Diabo was sounding the alarm on Crown-Indigenous relations Minister Carolyn Bennett meeting with the Alberta caucus of chiefs and proxies early Wednesday.

Then after the first ballot was announced four candidates, excluding Bellegarde, took to the stage in the main assembly hall to complain about Bennett.

“It’s direct interference by a federal Crown minister in this political process,” said Diabo on the main stage moments after Bellegarde fall short of the votes needed on the first ballot.

“She shouldn’t have been anywhere in this building on election day.”