As most of the candidates running for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations will tell you, there’s a lot of soul searching that goes into the decision to put your name forward.
For Alvin Fiddler, that included a lot of long walks, snowshoeing and calls from supporters.
Since 2015, Fiddler has been grand chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation which represents 49 First Nations in northern Ontario.
Fiddler is one of two candidates from Ontario running for national chief, with former Ontario regional chief, RoseAnne Archibald also in the race.
He acknowledges there are a lot of differences in terms of priorities among the more than 630 First Nations from coast to coast but says it comes down to what is best for “our land, our children, our communities and our futures.”
There have been some calls, in particular from British Columbia to postpone the election until later in the year. However, Fiddler feels people are ready to get down to work.
“In my conversations with many of the chiefs right across the country, I think people are ready for change,” he said. “They know that the issues we are facing now, need urgent attention, that we need to address these are quickly as possible and that we need to move forward.”
The race for the national chief of the AFN is nearing the finish line.
Seven candidates are running to replace Perry Bellegarde after he announced he would not be seeking a third term.
The vote for the next national chief will take place virtually on July 7.
Roughly, 630 chiefs and proxies will elect the next national chief.
APTN News will be interviewing the seven candidates in the run-up to the July election which will be held virtually.