Perry Bellegarde

Chief Perry Bellegarde (Little Black Bear First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory) has championed First Nations rights and well-being for 35 years. He served two terms as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) from 2014-2021 and identifies as an oskâpêwis or helper.

Chief Bellegarde has served on a wide range of boards including the Assembly of First Nations where he served as the Board Chair, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, YMCA Canada, YMCA Regina, the Globe Theatre and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.  He is a graduate from the Director’s College from McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business.

As National Chief, Chief Bellegarde worked to close the quality-of-life gap between First Nations and other Canadian families. He was instrumental in passing legislation to protect Indigenous languages and ensuring national implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He has also promoted rights-based solutions to climate change on international platforms.

In 2018, he received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. He holds Honorary Doctorates from Queen’s and Lakehead universities. In 2021, he was named ‘Nation Builder of the Year’ by the Empire Club of Canada and became Honorary President of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In 2023, he received the Alumni Crowning Achievement Award: Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Regina. Chief Bellegarde is also a Special Advisor to the law firm, Fasken, and King Charles III’s Sustainable Markets Initiative.