Niibin Makwa, (Derek Nepinak, LLB, BA (Hons.), is in his last year of his second term as the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), the largest political advocacy organization in Manitoba with over 62 First Nations communities represented. Prior to his role at the AMC, Derek was the Chief of his community, the Pine Creek First Nation in west central Manitoba, where he was also the chairman of the West Region Tribal Council and sat on the Treaty four executive council for Manitoba. Derek has instituted a rights based approach to Indigenous leadership, grounded in inherent and treaty rights, which often runs in contrast to programs, services and policies within the Indian Act system.
Derek has a First Class Honours B.A. from the University of Alberta, a Law degree from the University of Saskatchewan, completed the intensive program in Indigenous lands, resources & governance at Osgoode Hall Law School, and partial completion of his Masters degree in Indigenous governance at the University of Winnipeg. While attending law school, Derek was recognized for his work in the community and his legal writing, having earned the Roger Carter Scholarship from the Native Law centre at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as the best student submission award to the Indigenous law Journal at the University of Toronto.