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November 20th, 2023
“We’re not spending enough time on putting forward our own champions that are coming from Indigenous communities that are exercising unextinguished jurisdictions and are winning.” —candidate for AFN national chief Dean Sayers
Dean Sayers admits he wasn’t sure he was going to run for national chief. He had been chief of the Batchewana First Nation in Ontario for 17 years. His bid for another term was lost in July, but that created an opportunity to put his name forward to lead the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).
“I was considering other opportunities in my area, in my career, to continue helping out through different lenses, through different positions, but the chiefs kept calling me. And wherever I would go, they would say, ‘You should really run for national chief’,” said Sayers.
So he went to ceremony, consulted with Elders, spoke with his family, and on Oct. 26, less than a week before the official nomination deadline, he declared his intention.