Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


First female Grand Council Chief elected in Anishinabek Nation

By CJ Goater Jun 5, 2024 | 3:03 PM

GCC Linda Debassige Election - Photo submitted by Anishinabek Nation Via Ryan Peplinskie

The first-ever Anishinaabekwe or female Grand Council Chief has been elected in the Anishinabek Nation.

Linda Debassige won the Stand-up Election 28-9 against fellow candidate Reg Niganobe.

“I look forward to following in the footsteps of all the great leaders who have served the Anishinabek Nation before me, and letting the experience of our ancestors continue to guide me in my work every day,” states Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Debassige. “It’s time for us to rise up, and rise together. I look forward to rising up with Anishinabek Nation leadership and E’Dbendaagzijig.”

Debassige has served as Gimaa Kwe (Chief) of her community of M’Chigeeng First Nation for nearly a decade, previously serving as a political advisor to former Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee.

Prior to the Grand Council Chief election, votes were cast for a deputy and Chris Plain was elected to the role. Plain is currently Aamjiwnaang First Nation’s Chief and he previously held the Interim Southwest Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief position at the Anishinabek Nation.

“I’m grateful to the community of Aamjiwnaang First Nation for allowing me to stand for this position and I look forward to serving the Anishinabek Nation with the new Grand Council Chief to
the best of our abilities for all of the nations,” states Deputy Grand Council Chief Plain.

The Anishinabek Nation represents 39 First Nations in Ontario including the Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay.

In previous Grand Council terms there were four regional deputy chiefs, but moving forward there is only the position Plain was elected to. For this term four regional Chiefs are supporting Debassige and Plain;

  • Southwest Region – Chief Joe Miskokomon
  • Southeast Region – Marsha Smoke
  • Northern Superior – Mel Hardy
  • Lake Huron – Scott Mcleod

The primary duty of the Grand Council Chief and Deputy is to serve the collective will and protect the rights and interests of the Anishinabek Nation and E’Dbendaagzijig.