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Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly elect new Grand Council Chief

Press Release

Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly elect new Grand Council Chief

SUDBURY (June 5, 2024) – Following a Traditional Stand-up Election, Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly elected Linda Debassige as the Grand Council Chief for the 2024-27 term.

Candidates Reg Niganobe and Linda Debassige participated in the Stand-up Election with the vote results being 28-9.

This historic vote marks the first-ever Anishinaabekwe Grand Council Chief for the Anishinabek Nation.

“I look forward to following in the footsteps of all the great leaders who have served the Anishinabek Nation before me, and letting the experience of our ancestors continue to guide me in my work every day,” states Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Debassige. “It’s time for us to rise up, and rise together. I look forward to rising up with Anishinabek Nation leadership and E’Dbendaagzijig. I am incredibly grateful and humbled to be here today.”

Linda Debassige has served as Gimaa Kwe of her community of M’Chigeeng First Nation for nearly a decade. She previously served as Political Advisor to former Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee.

Before the Grand Council Chief election, a vote was cast for Deputy Grand Council Chief. Candidates for this position included Chris Plain and Melvin Hardy, with the newly elected Deputy Grand Council Chief being Chris Plain after a 21-16 Stand-up Election. In the previous term, there were four Regional Deputy Grand Council Chiefs; however, in this election and moving forward, there will be one Deputy Grand Council Chief.

Chris Plain is the current Aamjiwnaang First Nation Chief and also held the Interim Southwest Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief position at the Anishinabek Nation.

“I’m grateful to the community of Aamjiwnaang First Nation for allowing me to stand for this position and I look forward to serving the Anishinabek Nation with the new Grand Council Chief to the best of our abilities for all of the nations,” states Deputy Grand Council Chief Plain.

The primary duty of the Grand Council Chief and Deputy Grand Council Chief is to serve the collective will and protect the rights and interests of the Anishinabek Nation and E’Dbendaagzijig.

As part of Traditional Election procedures, nominees participated in a Sweat led by Anishinabek Nation Head Getzit Mishomis Richard Assinewai and supported by Electoral Officer Gordon Wainduence Jr. on the eve of the election on June 5.

The Grand Council Chief and Deputy Grand Council Chief will be supported by the four Regional Chiefs:

  • Chief Joe Miskokomon, Southwest Region
  • Marsha Smoke, Southeast Region
  • Mel Hardy, Northern Superior
  • Scott McLeod, Lake Huron

Relevant Links

The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 member First Nations across Ontario, representing approximately 65,000 citizens.  The Anishinabek Nation is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact. 

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For inquiries, please contact:

Laura Barrios
Communications Coordinator
Anishinabek Nation
(705) 498-1957
laura.barrios@anishinabek.ca

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