Bellegarde Aiming To Become Next National Chief

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 15:46



A former chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations confirms he wants back into politics — but this time, on the national stage.


Perry Bellegarde has confirmed he will run in next year’s election for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.


The Little Black Bear band member says he has already informed most tribal councils in Saskatchewan that he intends to run.


Bellegarde says he has vast experience at the national stage and knows how to deal with the federal government.


He also considers it an advantage that he has no ties to any political party.


Bellegarde says he doesn’t object to the leadership Phil Fontaine has brought to the AFN thus far — but he says it’s time for new ideas.


Bellegarde says the AFN has to do better at lobbying the federal government for services covered under treaties.


He also wants to see a new fiscal relationship with the Crown.


Bellegarde says he will spend much of the next year reaching out to First Nations leaders and residents in eastern Canada.