Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver—The First Nations Leadership Council extends its congratulations to National Chief Phil Fontaine on his successful re-election bid to lead Canada’s 630 First Nations, his third term since 1997.
The incumbent garnered a resounding first ballot victory at today’s Assembly of First Nations’ 27th Annual General Assembly, held at the Canada Place Convention Centre in Vancouver, receiving 76% of 490 total votes to win the election over his only challenger, Hereditary Chief Bill Wilson.
“I would like to congratulate National Chief Phil Fontaine on his victory today. I look forward to continuing to work with National Chief Fontaine to ensure that First Nations are fully engaged in the social and economic opportunities of this country so that our people and communities are able to create new and positive memories. Our future is strong," said Shawn Atleo, Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations and member of the First Nations Leadership Council.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with National Chief Fontaine to ensure momentum is maintained on crucial issues such as closing the social and economic gaps that exist between First Nations and the rest of Canadians by implementing the BC Transformative Change Accord and other commitments made in Kelowna during last year’s First Ministers Meeting,” said Grand Chief Ed John, member of the First Nations Summit political executive and the First Nations Leadership Council. “We also look ahead to the National Chief’s efforts to help First Nations finalize treaties here in BC.”
“I am absolutely elated that Phil Fontaine has been given a consecutive mandate as our National Chief,” said Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and member of the First Nations Leadership Council. “Mr. Fontaine’s seasoned, consistent, and steady leadership has been recognized and endorsed by the Chiefs from sea to sea to sea.”
“Now that the AFN election is behind us, we can focus on taking the Harper government to task on his adversarial and prejudicial approach toward the rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada,” added Chief Phillip.
The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the BC Assembly of First Nations. The Council works together to politically represent the interests of First Nations in British Columbia and develop strategies and actions to bring about significant and substantive changes to government policy that will benefit all First Nations in British Columbia.
For more information:
BC Regional Chief Shawn Atleo, BC AFN (604) 220-5822
Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC, (250) 490-5314
Grand Chief Edward John, FNS, (604) 219-1705