She was speaking in the Foyle constituency to mark nominations opening to replace the party’s two Foyle MLAs.
On Tuesday Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan said they would step down before mid-September.
But neither turned up for their party president’s press conference.
Anderson and Mullan stepped down following a whitherings internal party review into how Sinn Fein was being run in Derry after disastrous electoral performances in the constituency in 2019.
The report called for the entire Derry city Sinn Fein leadership to stand down in a bid to revive the party’s fortunes in the city.
Elisha McCallion was dethroned as Foyle MP by SDLP lead Colum Eastwood who wrestled the seat back from Sinn Fein with a landslide victory of over 17,000 votes.
Mrs McDonald said she would “await with interest” names that would come forward for selection, with the convention taking place on 8 September.
She said reviews and change were challenging but that it was the “nature of life and politics”.
The party leader also rejected suggestions she had been snubbed by Ms Anderson and Ms Mullan on her visit to Derry on Thursday, who did not join her for a press conference.
“We’re friends, we’re activists together and we work in common cause,” she added.
“I am absolutely certain and confident that we’ll emerge from this stronger and in a united fashion.”
Mrs McDonald also responded to criticism from Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson over a row at Belfast City Council regarding the Queen’s 70th Jubilee events.
Sinn Féin has asked for the events to be equality screened, with reports to be made public by the council.Equality screening is a process whereby policy proposals are assessed to determine if they will have a negative effect on a particular group of people.
On Wednesday Sir Jeffrey tweeted that: “Unionist patience growing thin with such narrow approach”, adding: “Certain decisions (are) imminent.”
Mrs McDonald responded that Sinn Féin was “not getting in the way” of unionist celebrations.
“I really think Jeffrey should take the temperature of that down and not be sowing division or mistrust where there is no division or call for mistrust,” she said.
“It’s a process issue and I’d have thought Jeffrey would know that.”Tags: