Picard became interim chief in July, two months after Shawn Atleo's surprise resignation over the Harper government's proposed changes to First Nations education.
Picard suggested at the time that Atleo had gone too far in his support of Bill C-33 and that he had no choice but to step down.
The new leader will be elected in Winnipeg in December.
Picard is an Innu from Pessamit and has been leader of the Assembly of First Nations for Quebec and Labrador since 1992.
He is the first declared candidate.