Assembly of First Nations chief Perry Bellegarde sits down with the Montreal Gazette – Montreal Gazette

by pmnationtalk on October 18, 2016413 Views

October 17, 2016

Perry Bellegarde offers a glimpse of what reconciliation can look like for Canada and its indigenous peoples.

More than any of the legal or political victories achieved by the Assembly of First Nations since Bellegarde was elected national chief in 2014, it was a recent visit with a group of schoolchildren that gave him a sense of hope.

Last year, Bellegarde — the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations — visited a Catholic school in northern Ontario. Because there’s no elementary school a nearby Ojibwe territory, parents send their children to attend classes in nearby Thunder Bay.

“We all walk in, and they wanted to demonstrate something to us,” Bellegarde recounted. “And the most wonderful thing happened.”

“They began speaking Ojibwe, all of them, the white kids and the indigenous kids, at a Catholic school. And it wasn’t the white kids rolling their eyes and saying, ‘Oh no, more of this Indian crap.’ They were smiling and proud and passionate.”

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