Chiefs of the National Indian Brotherhood/Assembly of First Nations
- 1968–1970 – Walter Dieter - Cree - Saskatchewan
- 1970–1976 – George Manuel - Secwempec - BC
- 1976–1980 – Noel Starblanket - Cree - Saskatchewan
- 1980–1982 – Delbert Riley - Chippewa - Ontario
- Name changed in 1982 to Assembly of First Nations
- 1982–1985 – David Ahenakew - Cree - Saskatchewan
- 1985–1991 – Georges Erasmus - Dene - NWT
- 1991–1997 – Ovide Mercredi - Cree - Manitoba
- 1997–2000 – Phil Fontaine - Nakawē - Manitoba
- 2000–2003 – Matthew Coon Come - Cree - Quebec
- 2003–2009 – Phil Fontaine - Nakawē - Manitoba
- 2009–present – Shawn Atleo - Nuu-Chah-Nulth - BC
10 different men have been NIB/AFN National Chief. Five of them have been Cree, the only tribal group that has had more than one AFN National Chief. Three of the National Chiefs have been from Saskatchewan.
Time in office by First Nation affiliation:
- Cree - 18 years
- Nakawē - 9 years
- Dene - 6 years
- Secewepemc - 4 years
- Nuu-Chah-Nulth - 3 years
- Chippewa - 2 years
Time in office by Province of origin:
- Manitoba - 12 years
- Saskatchewan - 10 years
- BC - 9 years
- NWT - 6 years
- Quebec - 3 years
- Ontario - 2 years
There are about 630 potential voting First Nations and here is how many come from each province or region:
- BC - 31.3%
- Prairies - 28.6%
- Ontario - 22.0%
- Saskatchewan - 11.1%
- Manitoba - 10.0%
- Alberta - 7.6%
- North - 6.6%
- Quebec - 6.2%
- Atlantic - 5.4%
Two thirds of the eligible electors for the AFN National Chief come from west of Ontario.
There about 145 Cree Indian Act Bands and about 17 more that are part Cree. This means about a quarter of the eligible electors are connected to the Cree.
Even though BC has the most potential votes, the differences between different First Nations in BC means that is not very easy at all for anyone to bring together all the Chiefs in BC to work together.
First ballot will likely see about 550 to 570 votes. I suspect that a large number of the First Nations that do not show will be very small independent bands from BC. As an example the New Westminster Band has a population of 12.
Each of the serious campaigns is going to try and get one of their supporters in BC to get the proxy from one of the small First Nations that would otherwise not be coming to the General Assembly.