Perry Bellegarde re-elected as AFN chief amid controversy

Mohawk elder Mike Mitchell swears in re-elected AFN leader Perry Bellegarde.

VANCOUVER- Perry Bellegarde reclaimed his seat as national chief for the Assembly of First Nations, in an election that also saw his challengers accuse the federal government of interference. Bellegarde won 328 of the 522 votes in a second ballot, giving him just over the 60 per cent needed to be elected as leader for a second term. Bellegarde, who is from the Little Black Bear First Nation in Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan, has said his close relationship with the federal government has secured billions of dollars in new funding for Indigenous issues over the last three budgets. He has been criticized by other candidates for being too cosy with Ottawa. Following his election, he said the assembly’s strong voice has meant positive change for Indigenous communities. First Nations…

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