Alongside youth, chiefs and grassroots supporters, Beaucage made the announcement at a press conference in Ottawa on February 3. Anishinabek Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, from Ontario, has tossed his hat into the ring to be the next leader of the Assembly of First Nations.

“Today, we’re here to take the first step in the rebirth of the Assembly of First Nations,” said Beaucage. “I have a vision for a new AFN where the rights-based agenda is paramount and First Nations assert a renewed jurisdiction towards self-determination, self-government and Nationhood.”

At the press conference Beaucage announced his 10-point framework of key policy and priorities for a new AFN, which includes everything from renewed transparency, commitments to youth, treaty implementation, fighting poverty and environmental protection.

Beaucage, an economist, was appointed chairperson of the $300 million First Nations Market Housing Fund in May 2008.

Elected chiefs from each First Nation will participate in the vote for a new chief of the AFN in Calgary, Alberta on July 22.