05/27/2014 10:27 EDT | Updated 07/27/2014 05:59 EDT

First Nations begin task of finding new leader

Aboriginal leaders are gathering in Ottawa today to figure out where to take their fight over education, and to start
the process of finding a new leader.

The Special Chiefs Assembly has been called to decide on the timing and location for an election to replace Shawn Atleo, who resigned as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations earlier this month.

Atleo stepped down after being heavily criticized for supporting a Harper government bill aimed at reforming aboriginal education,saying he didn't want to be a "lightning rod" in the debate over Bill C-33.

Aboriginal chiefs from several provinces want Ottawa to scrap the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act (FNEA), saying it has failed to meet conditions set out by aboriginal leaders.

But some First Nations are stating support for the FNEA.

In a press release issued Monday, Saskatchewan First Nations and Tribal Councils say Bill C-33 should be reintroduced in the House of Commons.

“There is a need to have the proposed legislation reintroduced and a willingness to assess areas that the legislation can be improved upon through constructive dialogue and not political posturing and rhetoric," said Chief Lance Byhette of Buffalo River.