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Our Nations

A bold statement,
A personal committment...

Grand Chief Sheila M. North is a Lifelong Activist for the Treaty, Title, Inherent, and Human Rights of First Nations Peoples.

Also given the name Wikahsko Iskwew (Sweetgrass Woman), Sheila is a Cree Leader, Politician, Policy Advocate, Activist, Journalist, and Author, of the Bunibonibee Cree Nation in the Treaty 5 Territory who formerly served as the Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, MKO. She was elected in 2015 as the first woman to hold the position.

Chief North knows that our Ancestors created our National Organization to Honour Our Sovereign Nations to elevate and implement our Rights.

North aims to strategize and frame discussions that will uphold and implement Treaty & Inherent Rights. Sheila will use her journalism expertise to broaden the discussion on First Nations rights in the country. 

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Tansi, Boozhoo, Wotziye, Waaciye, Taanshi, Hau/Han, Tungasugit, Hello Chiefs, Councils, Elders, Knowledge Keepers Community Members, and Youth,

The state of the relationship between First Nations and the AFN is on a new path, and we are coming together to tackle critical needs and celebrate our strengths.

My vision for First Nations from coast-to-coast-to-coast is for a strong and united Assembly of First Nations. The AFN is your organization, a Chiefs’ organization that must continue to be accountable to the Leadership, while being inclusive, gender-balanced, and reflective of the diversity of our languages, customs, and cultures that define us all as First Nations people across this country. 

As your National Chief, I will do my utmost to protect, promote and enhance our identities as First Nations people in what is now Canada and its provinces. This means protecting Inherent, Treaty, Title and Human rights from the west coast of Vancouver Island to the far northern territories reaching to the Arctic Ocean, to First Nations’ territories on the east coast where first contact was made with the newcomers. Moreover, as National Chief, I will protect our unique political and legal status as Nations within this country. As our Knowledge Keepers tell us, ‘We did not grow up in Canada, Canada grew up in our territories.’

We have made progress as Nations with this current federal government. We have increased levels of high school graduation, fewer on-and-off reserve people living in low-income households, and more First Nations with enhanced infrastructure such as high-speed internet. I acknowledge the strong advocacy of the Chiefs that has made this progress possible. However, there is much more that needs to be done to bring our people to the forefront, and this Liberal government and its reconciliation priorities may or may not be around forever.

There will be many challenges in the near future that we must address as a united Assembly and in consultation with the people we represent. The most pressing challenges will be related to climate change, while maintaining and enhancing the economic benefit agreements that many First Nations have in place with the resource extraction industry. It is always a balance of fulfilling our responsibility as the original stewards of the land and ensuring that First Nations are at the table for equity ownership negotiations. We have a climate change plan developed by the Chiefs that addresses these concerns and challenges, and I plan to work together to implement all recommendations of the AFN Climate Change Plan, as directed by the Leadership.

We are also in a new budget cycle. Federal and provincial finance ministers are in consultation with First Nations on our budget priorities. The AFN has for several years submitted pre-budget ‘asks’ that have always amounted to hundreds of billions of dollars to address critical needs such as housing and infrastructure, economic development, health, education, rights and justice, lands, MMIWG, and Indian Residential Schools. These dire needs are very important to our families and relatives - working together we can assist and further enhance our people's livelihoods. There may be only one or two federal budgets left with this current government. Chiefs, I look forward to your direction, strategizing for the 2024 federal budget, and including your proactive planning, in the event of an election of a Conservative federal government.

During this critical time of change, our families, community members and First Nations need a strong, unwavering voice to take us forward together!    Chiefs - with your vote - I'd be honoured to serve as your next National Chief. 

Ekosi, Thank you,


Sheila M. North

Candidate for National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations


On December 6th, 2023 vote
Sheila North
for National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations

Let's make AFN work for Chiefs and our People, not the other way around.

AFN Elections












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