Manitoba Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse Emerges as Front-Runner in AFN National Chief Election

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Special Chiefs Assembly (SCA) in Ottawa, Ontario, from December 5-7, 2023, is witnessing a dynamic and closely contested race for the position of National Chief. With the fourth round of voting currently underway, all eyes are on Manitoba Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse, who has consistently led the polls and is emerging as the odds-on favourite to become the new National Chief.

In the initial round of voting, Cindy Woodhouse secured a notable 35.1%, followed by David Pratt with 25.6%, Sheila North with 13.9%, Dean Sayers with 12.6%, Reginald Bellerose with 7.4%, and Craig Makinaw with 1.7%.

The second round brought even more momentum for Cindy Woodhouse, with her garnering 41.2% of the votes. David Pratt maintained a strong position with 30.2%, while Sheila North and Dean Sayers secured 12.4% and 10%, respectively.

The third round, conducted from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., saw Cindy Woodhouse extending her lead with 47.9% support. David Pratt maintained a substantial backing with 30.8%, and Sheila North secured 9.5%. This round marked a crucial phase in the election process, as candidates with the lowest votes were systematically removed.

As the AFN election protocol dictates, candidates must secure 60% support to become the Chief. The fourth round of voting is currently in progress, adding an element of suspense to the proceedings. Each round will eliminate the candidate with the lowest votes, paving the way for a definitive outcome.

Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse’s consistent lead positions her as the front-runner in this tightly contested race. If this trend continues, she is poised to make history as the new National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. The results of the fourth ballot will undoubtedly shape the future leadership of AFN. As the delegates await the outcome, the anticipation and excitement surrounding Cindy Woodhouse’s potential victory are palpable. The AFN Special Chiefs Assembly continues to be a pivotal moment in Indigenous leadership, reflecting the diverse voices and choices within the Assembly.

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