Chief Perry Bellegarde, of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, is a member of the Little Black Bear First Nation, Treaty Four where he was raised. Perry is married to Jan, from the Carry the Kettle First Nation, and has two sons, Zachary and Riley, whom he treasures spending time with enjoying numerous activities. He received his elementary education in the nearby communities of Goodeve and Balcarres and after graduating from highschool, he was the first Treaty Indian to convocate from University of Regina with his Bachelor of Administration degree. In obtaining this degree, he was awarded Scholarships from the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College and the Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan for his academic achievements.
Upon completion of his degree, Perry's family and community encouraged him to bring his expertise to the First Nations community at which time he began working with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology. Shortly thereafter, with his community's encouragement and support he sought office within Indian Government and achieved the position of Vice-President/Assistant Tribal Representative and subsequently the President/Tribal Council Representative of the Touchwood/File Hills/Qu'Appelle Tribal Council.
As Tribal Representative he led the TFHQ Tribal Council in successfully negotiating a $6.6 million Treaty Four Specific Claim and restored the original grounds, on which treaty four was signed, to reserve status in an unprecedented six months. Beyond this, he led in the establishment and transfer of the Fort Qu'Appelle hospital to Indian control which served the needs of the entire community of Fort Qu'Appelle, both First Nations and non-First Nations. Chief Bellegarde initiated and directed the TFHQ Tribal Council in establishing an urban services office in the city of Regina to serve the needs of off-reserve Indian people living in that city.
Perry has consistently taken the advice of the Elders and moved aggressively to resolve unfinished treaty business in the area of natural resources and revenue sharing. He has carried this focus to the regional, national and international level and represented the Treaty Four First Nations in the United Nations developments on the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In furthering his goals and continuing on a path of leadership, he competed for and was successful in securing the position of Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Since his election he has maintained his focus and brought together First Nations Representatives from across Western Canada to enter into a protocol agreement with quarterly meetings to address the outstanding issues around the 1930's Natural Resource Transfer Agreement. Chief Bellegarde supervises the Treaty Governance Process which is now leading into its second phase, where they will be negotiating models of governance and new fiscal relations with the Crown and First Nations and will eventually lead into the development of a Treaty implementation act. Regarding the Justice issues, Chief Bellegarde is demanding a public inquiry into the Saskatchewan Justice system. He has also taken a lead role in challenging the government to resolve the aboriginal veterans issues both regionally and nationally due to his position as the Regional Vice-Chief to the Assembly of First Nations. He coordinated his national portfolio responsibilties with his leadership of the Federation.
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