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Cindy Woodhouse is new National First Nation Chief, Dean Sayers out in 2nd round


Voting for the new National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations has ended Thursday after six ballots the previous day and the second place finisher conceded, clearing the way for his opponent and frontrunner Cindy Woodhouse to take the position.

Cindy Woodhouse is the new National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. Dec. 7/23 (Supplied)

A seventh ballot was scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, as neither of the final two candidates had reached the required 60 per cent of votes, but that was delayed.

Shortly before noon, David Pratt made a concession speech at the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, clearing the way for his opponent and frontrunner Cindy Woodhouse to take the position as National Chief.

Former northern Ontario First Nation Chief Dean Sayers was one of six candidates, but he was eliminated after the second round of voting.

Sayers ended the first round of voting in the middle of the pack with 12.6 per cent of the vote, dropping down to 10 per cent in the second round.

The assembly is being held in Ottawa --the unceded unsurrendered Territory of the Algonquin People.

Woodhouse is the Manitoba Regional Chief and Pratt of Muscowpetung First Nation in Saskatchewan is First Vice Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.

Voting went late into the night with the sixth ballot closing at 11:30 p.m. with no significant movement.

Out of the 415 ballots cast, Woodhouse received 234 (50.8 per cent) and Pratt received 181 (39.3 per cent).

Voting continues until one candidate reaches 60 per cent or someone concedes, AFN spokesperson Kelly Reid told in a phone interview.

Once a leader is selected, the Oath of Office and an honouring song will take place ahead of possible remarks from the winner.

Reid said the day's agenda is full with several motions to be tabled.

CTV News has reached out to Sayers for comment. 

The winner will replace Interim National Chief Joanna Bernard who has served in the role since July after former National Chief RoseAnne Archibald was removed from office following an investigation. Top Stories

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