On this historic day when the first woman is elected to head the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Chiefs of the AFNQL unite around National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, designated by the General Assembly after five rounds of voting. The Chiefs of the AFNQL assure her of their support, as their ancestors would have done at times in their history when they had to come together to be stronger. The AFNQL also acknowledges the honourable gesture of Mr. Reginald Bellerose who conceded victory as well as the dignity of all the other candidates in this leadership race, Mr. Alvin Fiddler, Dr. Cathy Martin, Ms. Jodi Calahoo- Stonehouse, Mr. Kevin Hart and Mr. Lee Crowchild.
"This is a time of significant change and advancement. RoseAnne Archibald is the right person to guide our collective battles. Since the beginning of the pandemic, First Nations leaders have been challenged to respond to the immediate and critical needs of their people and to take action. They have also been able to support each other, to pool resources, to come together to be stronger. In such circumstances, the role of a National Chief, designated by all the Chiefs of the territories, is even more important. Her role as unifier, spokesperson and representative of the great diversity of the Nations is of the utmost importance," declared Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
The Chiefs of the AFNQL would also like to express their gratitude today to Mr. Perry Bellegarde. Faced with a previous federal government that was opposed to any form of advancement of First Nations, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic and many other issues, Mr. Bellegarde fulfilled his duties with all his energy and conviction.
"More than ever, unity among First Nations Chiefs is crucial, the sharing of our knowledge and capacities is essential. The AFNQL will be there to support National Chief Archibald in her responsibilities," concluded Chief Picard.