SAND POINT (June 13, 2006) – With resounding applause and ovation from participating Chiefs, Elders, Youth and Women, John Beaucage was unanimously acclaimed as the leader of the Anishinabek Nation to ascend to the office of Grand Council Chief.

“I am very pleased and grateful for the overwhelming support of the leadership in endorsing my solutions-based agenda and allowing me to continue as Grand Council Chief,” said Beaucage who will serve a three-year term.  “This new mandate ensures the Anishinabek Nation will play a strong leadership role in addressing health needs, social issues, poverty and housing.”

At the annual Grand Council of the Anishinabek at Sand Point First Nation, John Beaucage was acclaimed as Grand Council Chief following nominations yesterday.  Earlier today, the Chiefs-in-Assembly also elected Glen Hare as Deputy Grand Chief in a traditional standing vote.

As incumbent Grand Council Chief, Beaucage ran on a revolutionary campaign that included the May 17th release of a historic “Political Manifesto”, which is gaining significant interest among First Nations across Canada.  This document includes such concepts as advancing traditional government, eliminating the Indian Act in 10 years, eliminating First Nations poverty in 20 years and declaring Ojibway the official language of the Anishinabek Nation.

Beaucage was first elected as Grand Council Chief in a by-election in October 2004.  He is the former Chief of Wasauksing First Nation and Board member of the Union of Ontario Indians.  An economist by education, Beaucage also worked over 25 years in the Canadian civil service.

The Chiefs-in-Assembly elected Glen Hare as the new Deputy Grand Chief of the Anishinabek Nation.  Hare is the former Regional Grand Chief of the Robinson Huron region and former Chief of M’Chigeeng First Nation.  Hare is a strong advocate for social and child welfare issues as well as hunting and fishing rights. 

“I appreciate the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way in addressing the issues facing our First Nations,” said Deputy Grand Chief Hare.  “I look forward to working with Grand Council Chief Beaucage and the Union of Ontario Indians in advancing the vision of the Anishinabek Nation.”

Hare will also serve a three-year term.

The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First Nations across Ontario. The UOI is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.