The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies has appointed Riel Bellegarde as its new president.

Bellegarde, a member of the Peepeekisis First Nation, has worked for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for the past 16 years.

He has held a number of positions with the federal government department including director general for the Saskatchewan region since 2003.

Bellegarde says in a release, “I believe that SIIT has a critical role to play in ensuring that our young people have the skills to realize their true potential and participate fully in Saskatchewan’s dynamic, growing economy.”

SIIT has been in operation since 1976.