The recent Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief election was a spectacle of farce and dysfunction, revealing the deep rot that has consumed this supposed representative body of Indigenous peoples. The inability to reach quorum, despite multiple rounds of voting, speaks volumes about the level of disillusionment and disenfranchisement amongst member nations. They see the AFN for what it truly is: a cog in the colonial machine, designed to appease and pacify rather than empower and liberate.
The unwavering adherence to arbitrary and rigid procedural rules – exemplified by the insistence on a 60% threshold for victory – is a slap in the face to Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. This colonial imposition serves only to maintain the status quo, ensuring the continued dominance of a self-serving elite and hindering the emergence of a leader with a genuine mandate for change.
But beneath the surface of this manufactured crisis lies a simmering tension, a yearning for something more. The diverse range of candidates and their proposed approaches – from Woodhouse's tepid reformism to North's radical call for a complete rejection of the colonial system – reflects the complex and multifaceted nature of Indigenous struggles. This diversity is not a weakness, but a strength, a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of our people. It is also an opportunity for critical dialogue and introspection, a chance to re-evaluate the very foundation of the AFN and its role in our collective liberation.
As Indigenous anarchists, we must seize this opportunity to ignite the flames of resistance. We must amplify the voices of the marginalized and dissenting, challenge the legitimacy and authority of the AFN and its ilk, and promote alternative models of governance based on autonomy. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in their struggles for LandBack, self-determination, and the dismantling of the colonial system. We must foster solidarity and collaboration across traditional territorial boundaries, recognizing that our liberation is inextricably linked.
The AFN election is not an isolated event; it is but a symptom of a broader malaise within the Indigenous political landscape. Let the AFN crumble under the weight of its own contradictions, a symbol of a failed system, while we rise above the ashes, empowered and united, to build a world that truly embodies the principles of freedom, justice, and equality for all.
Yet, amidst this darkness, there are glimmers of hope. The historic election of Wab Kinew as Manitoba's first First Nations Premier demonstrates the growing desire for Indigenous leadership at all levels, a leadership that is not beholden to the whims of colonizers and their institutions.