Leadership in his community:
Chief Perry Bellegarde’s lifetime commitment Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights and service to First Nations peoples began with his election in 1986 as the Assistant Tribal Council Representative for the Touchwood-File Hills-Qu’Appelle Tribal Council. In 1988 he was elected Tribal Council Representative – a position in which he served until 1998, followed by 5 years of service as the Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and Saskatchewan Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. Chief Bellegarde was then elected to the Council of Little Black Bear First Nation in 2007. He subsequently served as Chief of Little Black Bear for two and a half years until being elected in 2012 to the positions he now holds: Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and Saskatchewan Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Leadership on the regional stage:
Twice Chief Bellegarde has led the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, first in 1998, and elected again in 2012.
Leadership at a national level:
As Chief of the FSIN, Chief Bellegarde also serves as the Saskatchewan Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations.
Leadership in the public sector:
As Vice President, Labour and Aboriginal Initiatives for the Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan, Chief Bellegarde was responsible for ensuring that the crown sector developed representative workforce and procurement strategies to ensure greater First Nations and Métis participation in the labour force and the economy. He also implemented a youth internship program: GradWorks which is still being implemented today.
Leadership in educational achievement:
In 1984, he became the first Treaty Indian to graduate from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Business Administration. In March 2012, Chief Bellegarde graduated from the Certified Corporate Board Training through The Directors College sponsored by the Conference Board of Canada and McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business.
Leadership being recognized:
Chief Bellegarde has been honoured with the bestowing of two Eagle feather headdresses in recognition of his service to First Nations peoples as both an elected leader and one who has consistently participated in traditional ceremonies. Additionally, he is the recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Saskatchewan Medal and the Confederation Medal.
Leadership at the board level:
His community service has included serving on the Boards of Directors of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Ranch Ehrlo, the Globe Theatre, and the Regina and National Chapters of the YMCA. He has also served on the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nation’s Indian Government Commission and the Lands and Resources Commission as well as the Board of Directors for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.
Leadership according to his principles:
Guided by the teachings of Elders and Chiefs, Chief Bellegarde has always taken on a role as a vocal and relentless advocate for self-determination, inherent and treaty rights. A consensus builder by nature, the highly experienced Chief Bellegarde has a demonstrated ability to achieve results that positively impact First Nations people.
The Assembly of First Nations is at a pivotal point in its history. The AFN must be relevant, responsive and respectful because creating positive change for First Nations– in our homes, at our jobs and with our families—is essential. Our people need and deserve effective leadership that is based on extensive experience and an exceptional degree of focus. I am committed to delivering exactly that.”
- Chief Perry Bellegarde