National Chief Perry Bellegarde to speak on campus

By Costa Maragos Posted: September 21, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is from the Little Black Bear First Nation in Saskatchewan and a U of R alumnus.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is from the Little Black Bear First Nation in Saskatchewan and a U of R alumnus. Photo courtesy of the Assembly of First Nations.

The Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is coming to campus to talk about “Building a stronger Canada for all of us: closing the gap in the quality of life for First Nations people.”

“The gap is the vast difference in the quality of life experienced by First Nations people and non-Indigenous Canadians. The gap is well documented and is holding all of us back from building healthy and thriving First Nations and a stronger Canada,” says Chief Bellegarde.

Chief Bellegarde will discuss why First Nations’ priorities are Canada’s priorities and describe efforts the Assembly of First Nations is making to ensure these issues are addressed during the remainder of the federal election campaign.
 
“Chief Bellegarde’s message of ‘closing the gap’ speaks to the critical role of providing educational opportunities for First Nations and our efforts to Indigenize our University,” says Dr.Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina. “At the University of Regina, we continue working to ensure that the right supports are in place to foster the success of our Aboriginal students. We have dramatically increased the number and value of scholarships and bursaries for Aboriginal students, for example, and developed mentorship programs for first-generation Aboriginal university student success. These are important steps, but we have a long way to go as a University and as a society.”

 The event is presented jointly by the University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada.

“One of the basic themes that National Chief Bellegarde emphasizes is that Indigenous people have incredible potential to contribute to Canada’s social and economic well-being,” says Dr. Mark Dockstator, President of First Nations University of Canada.“However in order to do that, the gaps that currently exist in areas like education and reconciliation for example, must be bridged. FNUniv has the expertise, the determination and the ability to be that bridge.”

Perry Bellegarde was elected as Assembly of First Nations National Chief in December, 2014. Prior to that, he held a variety of key political positions including Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

Chief Bellegarde who graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Administration is from the Little Black Bear First Nation, which is Treaty 4 Territory.

The University of Regina sits on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 land.

The public is invited to Chief Bellegarde’s presentation. Admission is free.

Event:       Building a stronger Canada for all of us
Date:         Sept 23, 2015
Time:         7:00 p.m.
Location:   Education Auditorium
                  Education Building, Main Campus
                  3737 Wascana Parkway