November 3, 2021, Denendeh, NWT – The Dene Nation Executive Committee met to provide a date of the Dene National Chief Election of the Dene National Assembly considering the health and safety of the people of Denendeh affected by COVID-19.

  • The Executive Committee of the Dene Nation decided that the Annual General Assembly will be held in early 2022.
  • The Dene National Chief election is scheduled to take place in the first-ever online voting system.
  • All election-related activities, including campaign activities, are open until the polls close on December 9, at 5:00 pm with delegates and voting instructions to be presented to delegates once band councils submit their delegate list (after November 19, 2021).

All Grand Chiefs/Spokesperson of the Akaitcho, Dehcho, Gwich’in, Sahtu, and Tłįcho provided the guidance to support an election for the role of Dene National Chief.

Nominations for the Dene National Chief/Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief NWT were opened on July 21st in advance of the 2021 Dene National Assembly.

As of the close of nominations at 5:00 pm on August 11th, Gerald Antione of Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation and current Dene National Chief, Norman Yakeleya have submitted their names to stand for Dene National Chief.

For further information on the election process, please contact the Returning Officer.

Alan Cash, Returning Officer: Email: returningofficer@denenation.com,

Fax: (867) 920-2254 Telephone: (867) 445-5006

Important Dates:

November 19, 2021 – 11:59 pm – Delegate Voters List Deadline

November 23, 2021 – 2:00 pm  – Dene National Chief Candidates Forum Broadcast on Facebook LIVE and CKLB-FM Radio

December 1 to 9, 2021-closes at 5:00 pm  – ONLINE ELECTRONIC ELECTION for DENE NATIONAL CHIEF

Dene Nation Election
Dene National Chief Election Notice
Online Polls Open December 1 to 9, 2021
November 2021 Delegates Notice-Voters List– Downloadable

Reminder to all Dene Band Councils to please prepare and submit their voting delegates list for the first Online Electronic Dene National Chief Election.

All Voting Delegates will need to provide:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

All voting delegate information must be submitted by November 19th to Alan Cash, Dene Nation Returning Officer.

Once the November 19th at 11:5pm deadline has passed, the voters’ list will be closed, and no additions or substitutions will be possible.


For More Information: Contact the Returning Officer at (867) 445-5006 or by email at returningofficer@denenation.com

Dene Nation Election Info Sheet November 2021 – Downloadable

2021 Election of the Dene National /

Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief NWT

How did we get here?

Traditionally, Dene National Chiefs have been elected at Dene Nation Assemblies by community-selected delegates present at those Assemblies.

The 2021 Dene National Assembly (DNA) was to take place in Fort Simpson in the third week of July.  Owing to spring floods in the Dehcho and ongoing Covid restrictions, the Dene Nation Executive Committee postponed the DNA until mid-September 2021.

Nominations for the Dene National/AFN Regional Chief position opened on July 21 and officially closed on August 11, with two confirmed nominations received.

Two weeks into the official campaign period, the Executive Committee determined that the September DNA would not proceed as planned to protect Dene citizens from the increasing Covid threat. The Executive Committee directed the rescheduling of all election-related activities, including suspended campaign activities until a new plan and date.

The Election for Dene National Chief/Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations will be online, electronically, from December 1-9, 2021, using the One Feather Electronic Online Voting System.

The Covid situation in the Northwest Territories grew considerably worse through September and early October 2021. While numbers currently appear to be improving, it isn’t easy to see how the Dene Nation could hold an in-person Assembly in 2021. Because of the pressing need to hold an election for the Dene National/ AFN Regional Chief, the Executive Committee met through teleconference call on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. They have agreed to an electronic election held separately from a Dene National Assembly.

Who will be eligible to vote?

Voting rights will be the same as at a Dene National Assembly. The voters’ list would include all community Chiefs, members of the Executive Committee, and delegates selected by the leadership in each Dene community following Dene by-laws. Returning Officer Mr. Alan Cash has written to each community and was faxed and emailed on Thursday, November 4, asking for a list of their selected delegates’ names and their birthdates, phone numbers, and email addresses to be submitted to the Returning Officer no later than November 19.

How will Communities select their delegate?

In the words of the by-laws, “absolute discretion” in the selection of their voting delegates. Still, Chiefs and Councils will be encouraged to consider individuals with their email addresses who would be willing and able to use their email to vote electronically anytime during the nine days the poll will be open.

Isn’t nine days a long time to have the poll opened?

Yes. It’s much longer than the time traditionally allotted for in-person voting at the Dene National Assemblies. Still, one of the advantages of electronic voting is easy access to the polls, and the hoped-for benefits of a more extended poll opening should be higher voter turnout and more time to resolve individual voter problems when they arise.

Though most people tend to think about voting on one specific election day, it’s worth noting that we had over 20 days to cast mail-in ballots in the recent federal election. Most of us had five days to cast in-person votes (4 days at the advanced polls plus the September 20 election day).

If I’m selected to vote, where would I go to vote? Would I have to download software and meet with anyone?

If selected as one of your community’s delegates, you can vote from the comfort of your own home or anywhere you can access your email.  You don’t have to download any software or unique apps, and you can vote any time of day or night between December 1st and 9th, 2021 at 5:00 pm sharp.

So, how’s it going to work?

If you’re a chosen delegate, you will be sent a personalized email from the Dene Nation’s contractor, One Feather Technologies.

You can expect that email before the end of November. It will contain some information about the election. Still, most importantly, it will ask you to confirm, by reply email, your birthday and phone number and your willingness to participate in the electronic election.

Suppose you confirm your identity and willingness to vote electronically. In that case, you will be sent another email on December 1, providing you with a link to a ballot so that you can vote for one of the two candidates. You select the candidate of your choice; One Feather Electronic Voting System will submit your vote, and the recorded vote completes the voting process. The process should take less than 2 minutes.

Will my vote be anonymous and secret?

Yes. Your vote, once cast, is encrypted and stored in an electronic ballot box – no one can see it – and it cannot be withdrawn or changed.  Once your ballot goes in the ballot box, it cannot be linked back to any specific voter.

Can I vote more than once?

No. Once a voter votes from their confirmed email, that voter is denied further access to the ballot box and is prevented from voting a second time—the One Feather voting system is designed to record only one vote recorded in real-time.

Does each voter need a unique email address?

Yes. You can use a shared email address, like a family email, but only one vote per email address. The Returning Officer, Mr. Alan Cash, will assist any voter who needs to set up a free Gmail account to vote in the election.

Is the system used by One Feather secure?

Yes. One Feather voting event websites are App Transport Security compliant, ensuring that all data is encrypted in transit and stored behind Canada’s best firewalls and data protection systems. No data will be on any person’s device, and all systems are cloud-based with technologies to the highest standard of data care and protection.

The Dene National Assembly will proceed when the Executive Committee selects a date.