Assembly of First Nations elects Perry Bellegarde as new leader

Perry Bellegarde, in headdress at podium, celebrates after winning election as chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Photo from Twitter

Perry Bellegarde, a Native leader from Saskatchewan, won election as the chief of the Assembly of First Nations on Wednesday.

Bellegarde is a member of the Little Black Bear First Nation. He won 60 percent of the vote in one round of balloting at AFN's convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“Canada is Indian land,” Bellegarde told Native leaders after his victory, The National Post reported. “This is my truth and this is the truth of our peoples.”

Bellegarde, who currently serves as chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, brought up energy projects that Native people are fighting nationwide. He said the Canadian government won't be able to proceed without the consent of First Nations.

"Canada will no longer develop pipelines, no longer develop transmission lines, or any infrastructure, on our lands as business as usual," Bellegarde said, the Post reported.

Bellegarde succeeds Shawn Atleo, who resigned in May amid controversy over his support for the proposed First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act.

Get the Story:
Perry Bellegarde, new AFN chief, has known triumphs and disappointment (CBC 12/10)
Perry Bellegarde, fiery new AFN grand chief, will ‘reach out’ for larger share of resource revenues (The National Post 12/11)
Assembly of First Nations at a crossroads as Perry Bellegarde elected chief (CBC 12/11)

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