Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs elects first female leader Cathy Merrick

By The Canadian Press

Chiefs in Manitoba have elected the first female leader of one of the largest First Nations advocacy groups in the province.

Seven candidates were vying for the position of grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs during a by-election after the organization removed the previous leader Arlen Dumas over sexual harassment allegations.

Cathy Merrick won on the second ballot with 37 out of 59 votes.

Merrick is a councillor and former chief of Pimicikamak Cree Nation, also known as Cross Lake, in northern Manitoba.

During an all-candidates forum Tuesday, Merrick said her priorities are affordability for elders, addressing violence in First Nations and seeking justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and men.


Merrickis to serve in the role until July 2024.

She told chiefs that history was made with Wednesday’s election.

“You should all be proud. I’m the first woman chief for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2022.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today