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Derek Nepinak has been grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs since 2011 but is not seeking re-election. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press) Manitoba’s First Nations chiefs are choosing a new leader today.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will vote for a grand chief to replace Derek Nepinak.

Nepinak, who was first elected grand chief in 2011, announced in November 2016 that he would not seek re-election, saying he doesn’t like how the system continues to be tied to colonization.

"We are not self-governing but we are actually playing to the tune of federal governments and the funding they provide through the Act political system," he said.

In a post on Facebook last November, Nepinak said he will continue to live his life in the service of people but will not "accept any more titles within the colonization system."

Chiefs will vote at 1 p.m. at the AMC’s annual general assembly in Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, located in Nelson House in northern Manitoba.

There are five candidates vying to become AMC grand chief:

Craig Blacksmith — Member of Dakota Plains Wahpeton Oyate.

Arlen Dumas — Member of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation.

David Kobliski — Member of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation.

Sharon Mason — Member of Wasagamack

Garry McLean — Member of Lake Manitoba Treaty 2 First Nation

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