Bobby Cameron has been re-elected to a third term as chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN).
Cameron defeated former FSIN vice-chief Robert Merasty for the position, garnering more than 75 per cent of the vote.
Vice-chiefs David Pratt, Dutch Lerat and Heather Bear were also re-elected.
The one new member of the executive will be vice-chief Aly Bear, a lawyer and mother of two young daughters who said her passion for Indigenous justice and systems of governance motivated her to run.
“Everything that I have done up to now was to study about Indigenous law and our traditional governance systems,” said Aly Bear, who recently passed the bar. “So this seemed to align with everything that I was already doing.
“I’m very, very passionate when it comes to justice and when it comes to advocating for our people.”
She said she feels “extremely honoured” to be working alongside the four returning members of the executive.
“Everybody else has put a lot of time in their lives devoting themselves to leadership and serving our people,” she said. “As someone who is new to the table, I have big shoes to fill.”
She is looking forward to using her legal knowledge to advocate for Indigenous people.
“Some of my dreams and visions for the future are to help create safe spaces for our Indigenous people within the urban centres,” she said. “I also really hope we can address ongoing issues that are happening when it comes to systemic discrimination within the legal systems.”
Cameron, Pratt and Aly Bear were elected to three-year terms, while Lerat and Heather Bear — whose previous terms were extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic — were elected for two years.
The FSIN had faced calls to delay last night’s election, after some candidates were rejected from the ballot without explanation.
However, the FSIN says all of its rules were followed, and an injunction to delay the election was dismissed in court earlier this week.
The FSIN represents over 70 First Nations in Saskatchewan.