Incumbent National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo was re-elected recently as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Atleo was elected for a second three-year term, emerging victorious after three ballots of voting that took place on Wednesday, July 18 during the National Assembly of First Nations.
For the first time in history the race had an even split of male and female candidates. Atleo’s strongest opponents were Dr. Pam Palmater and Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus. Both Palmater and Erasmus gathered steam as they drew support from other candidates forced to drop off the first and second ballot, but in the end it was Atleo who once again emerged as National Chief.
Even in initial ballots, Atleo had a wide lead, receiving 52 per cent of the first and 59 per cent of the second. He fell just three votes short of the necessary 60 per cent to win on the second ballot, so voting continued to a third. In the end he earned 341 votes, surpassing the 60 per cent needed of the 540 votes cast. Palmater finished with 141 votes while Erasmus trailed with 30.
In his acceptance speech, Atleo vowed to pressure the government to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. He also said he plans to continue to focus on education and economic development as top priorities.