With an election looming, National Chief Perry Bellegarde is attempting to intimidate any challengers by ordering craftsmen to construct the largest headdress ever.
The organization’s 633 Chiefs are expected to choose a new leader in the summer of 2018. However, no Chiefs have officially thrown their headdresses in the ring and Bellegarde is hoping it stays that way.
“No Chief will dare to challenge me when I’m wearing this ginormous headdress,” a confident Bellegarde told reporters.
“This baby is going to block out the sun.”
Although it seems an unusual move to outsiders, Indigenous political observers say it’s not a new strategy.
“Chiefs call it ‘peacocking,'” said columnist Doug Cutleg. “Ovide Mercredi did it during the 1991 election when he wore a very small ribbon shirt so he would appear much larger to opponents.”
Cutleg also said that former National Chief Shawn Atleo wore stilts underneath a long coat to intimidate challengers during the 2012 leadership convention.