Theresa Spence resigns as Chief of Attawapiskat; looks for higher office – National

TORONTO – Chief Theresa Spence has resigned her post as chief of Attawapiskat First Nation to run for a higher office.

The Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN), the umbrella organization in Northern Ontario that includes Spence’s home of Attawapiskat, is holding elections for grand chief and three deputy chiefs during the XXXIV Keewaywin Conference in Aroland First Nation Wednesday.

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Spence is in the running for one of the deputy positions. To be considered for deputy chief, Spence had to resign as chief of Attawapiskat First Nation.

She officially announced her resignation on Saturday and it came into effect Wednesday.

Spence is known for her involvement in the Idle No More movement, where she participated in a hunger strike to raise awareness for aboriginal issues in Canada.

READ MORE: Aboriginal leader begins hunger protest 

She was re-elected as chief for a second three-year term in August 2013.

Spence had been in charge during trying times for the Attawapiskat First Nation including a housing crisis and a financial audit last year.

READ MORE: Attawapiskat First Nation must repay $1.8 million, government says

Voting for the deputy chiefs for NAN will get underway Wednesday afternoon after all nine candidates have had a chance to speak before the chiefs in attendance.

Results are expected to be announced before the end of the day.

Alvin Fiddler is the unofficial winner for the office of Grand Chief.

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