Fontain new leader of AFN
EDMONTON - Phil Fontaine is the new leader of the Assembly of First Nations. He defeated Six Nations Chief Roberta Jamieson on the second ballot.
Fontaine won the election with a vote of 338 to 217, or 61 per cent support. AFN rules require the winner to capture at least 60 per cent of the vote.
Matthew Coon Come, who defeated Fontaine during the last election in 2000, was knocked out of the race in the first ballot, getting just over 18 per cent of the vote. He then threw his support behind Jamieson.
During his tenure, Coon Come had faced criticism for being remote and confrontational, but he called on delegates to give him more time to accomplish the changes he wanted to make.
"The agenda that Phil Fontaine is advocating is one of dependency, of hopelessness," Coon Come said, comparing the prospect of a Fontaine victory to Moses leading his people back into slavery.
Throughout the campaign, Fontaine promoted a conciliatory approach to dealing with the federal government, saying the AFN needs a higher national profile. Federal funding of the AFN has been cut in half.
Jamieson, Canada's first native woman lawyer, was calling for reform within the AFN, and wanted to see more young and better educated native leaders. Many have been impressed with how strong Jamieson was in Tuesday's debate.
WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT?
Reprinted under the Fair Use http://nativenewsonline.org/fairuse.htm
Tsonkwadiyonrat (We are ONE Spirit)
Native News Online
a Service of Barefoot Connection
FREE LEONARD PELTIER!! "YOU ~ARE~ THE MESSAGE"