APTN National News
There will be three candidates aiming to be the next national chief of the Assembly of First Nations next month, but former Grassy Narrows chief Simon Fobister isn’t among them.
Fobister had announced his candidacy last month with a press release, but according to the AFN he’s not an official candidate for the Dec. 10 election to be held in Winnipeg.
Instead, it’s former Treaty 3 grand chief Leon Jourdain joining Perry Bellegarde and Ghislain Picard, who both had already said they were running.
According to the AFN, Fobister failed to have the support needed to be nominated.
Each nomination needs to be endorsed by 15 chiefs, and eight of those have to come from the province where the candidate is running.
Both Fobister and Jourdain come from Ontario.
Fobister said there’s still a chance he’ll run and claimed a “mix-up” prevented him from getting his nomination papers in to the AFN.
But the window for nominations ended Tuesday so it’s not exactly clear how Fobister can still run.
Jourdain’s candidacy wasn’t well known until the AFN released the official candidates Wednesday.
Interim AFN National Chief Picard announced his intention to run for the top job at the election in September.
Picard would have to step aside as interim AFN chief once the official election begins. The official election begins five weeks before the vote.
Picard was chosen by the AFN executive to hold the role in the interim after former national chief Shawn Alteo’s sudden resignation in May.
Bellegarde conceded to Atleo in the 2009 race following a marathon round of voting in Calgary. He was widely expected to run again and had been working the phones, calling chiefs for support over the last several months.
It appears that those phone calls paid off, as Bellegarde unveiled supporters from British Columbia, Ontario and New Brunswick.