Mr. Speaker, from Little Black Bear First Nation in Treaty 4 in Saskatchewan, Perry Bellegarde has just taken on the toughest political job in Canada. He was elected convincingly yesterday as the new National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
In three decades of activism, he has served as a tribal councillor, as chief of Little Black Bear, as chief, twice, of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, and as regional chief of the AFN.
He also has experience in crown corporations and in community organizations ranging from the Globe Theatre and the YMCA to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.
As Chief Bellegarde now works to energize the AFN, this new national leadership offers Canada an opportunity to make historic progress in building respect, trust, and the momentum, at long last, to close the gaps between first nations and all other Canadians. Let us not miss that chance.