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NAN leadership congratulates RoseAnne Archibald on historic AFN win

Acting Grand Chief Walter Naveau says Archibald has broken barriers throughout her life and will bring a powerful voice to the national stage.
Roseanne-Archibald Photo by Laura Barrios
RoseAnne Archibald hails from the Taykwa Tagamou Nation, located in Northern Ontario, near Cochrane. (Lauria Barrios/Anishinabek Nation)

THUNDER BAY -- Nishnawbe Aski Nation's acting grand chief says he feels a tremendous sense of pride and optimism following the election of RoseAnne Archibald, the first female national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Archibald, the former Ontario regional chief, defeated Saskatchewan's Reginald Bellerose on the fifth ballot, the election results revealed on Thursday afternoon.

It's a historic first and Archibald is well-suited for the task at hand, during challenging times for Canada's Indigenous population, still reeling from the discovery of hundreds of children's bodies buried on former residential school sites in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, said NAN's acting Grand Chief, Walter Naveau.

"RoseAnne has broken barriers throughout her life of leadership. She has delivered a powerful message that the healing and strengthening of our Nations can only happen when women’s voices are heard, understood, and respected. It is time for our youth to hear these words, and she is setting the path for our daughters and granddaughters to step into their rightful leadership roles and responsibilities," Naveau said, in a release issued by NAN.

"RoseAnne brings unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the office of the National Chief and will be a powerful advocate for all Nations. We look forward to working with her and strengthening our relationship with the AFN."

Naveau said a united voice is needed to solve the ongoing issues facing Canada's Indigenous population, from health care and education to housing and endless boil-water advisories.
"Now more than ever, our Nations must come together to move forward and create meaningful action, healing, and reconciliation. I know that RoseAnne can unite us and lead us with a good heart, and we look forward to continuing our journey together on the Good Red Road.”
Archibald became the first woman and youngest chief of Taykwa Tagamou Nation in 1990. She was the first woman and youngest Grand Chief of the Mushkegowuk Council, and the first woman and youngest NAN Deputy Grand Chief. She became the first woman elected as Ontario Regional Chief in 2018.
Archibald takes over from outgoing national Chief Perry Bellegarde.

Former NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler dropped off the AFN ballot after three rounds, encouraging his supporters to cast their ballot for Archibald.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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