Thunder Bay – NEWS – Chiefs and proxies from Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s (NAN) 49 First Nations have elected Derek Fox, of Bearskin Lake First Nation, as Grand Chief during the 39th Annual Keewaywin Conference today.
“I am honoured to be elected as Grand Chief and I thank our leaders, community members and my family for the support they have given me. I acknowledge the Chiefs and Elders who have guided me, and I am honoured for the trust they have placed in me,” said Grand Chief Derek Fox. “Our forefathers were visionaries who envisioned the people of Nishnawbe Aski united as a Nation. I share this vision, and will work with our newly elected Executive Council, First Nations communities, and federal and provincial Treaty partners to ensure that the Treaties are honoured and our rightful claim to our lands and resources are never compromised.”
Grand Chief Fox also acknowledged outgoing Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, and members of the former Executive Council and thanked them for their years of leadership and dedication.
Also elected were three Deputy Grand Chiefs, who will form the 2021-2024 Executive Council:
Anna Betty Achneepineskum, of Marten Falls First Nation
Bobby Narcisse, of Aroland First Nation
Victor H. Linklater, of Taykwa Tagamou Nation
The son of former NAN Grand Chief Charles Fox, Derek Fox is an Anishinaabe who has served two terms as Deputy Grand Chief (2015-2018, 2018-2021). A lawyer by training, he practiced civil litigation with a focus on Aboriginal, corporate and commercial law.
He has a passion for his people, his territory, and for instilling a love of culture, sport, and education in Anishinaabe youth. He encourages young people to be focused and determined so they can reach the highest levels of education possible. Among his priorities as Grand Chief are providing more opportunities for NAN youth, preservation of language and culture, economic development, improvements to housing on-reserve, and action on climate change.
The Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chiefs were sworn into office immediately for a three-year term. The Keewaywin Conference (August 10-12) continues Thursday.