Wilfred Bellegarde ~ Saskatchewan

Published on July 31, 2014 by Amy

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Wilfred Bellegarde
Wilfred Bellegarde

“I appreciate the education young people are recieving today, and I hope they use it to the advantage of our own people. I mean, not like some people they get an education and they take advantage of the grassroots people.And I hope these fellas that are getting their education don’t use their intelligence to deprive Indian people of their money which is rightfully theirs.

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After seeing the Federation grow to the present state of governing capacity and responsibility they’ve taken on their shoulders to better the lives of Indian people in Saskatchewan. I can’t thank the younger people enough, who have taken interest and responsibility to improve the living conditions in which many of our people find themselves in thorugh no fault of their own. My sincere wish is to see the day when Saskatchewan Indians will have say in their own destiny.”

Wilfred was born July 23 , 1921 on the Littlle Black Bear Reserve. Wilfred received all his schooling from Lebret Residential Schoolm which he attended for eleven years. Upon finishing his schooling Wilfred then joined the army for the subsequent three and one half years . After his discharge from the army in the mid 1930′s he joined the work force as a labourer, sometimes working for as little as fifty cents a day.

Wilfred first became involved with politics in 1946, when he attended meetings in Saskatoon called by Tommy Douglas where he called on the Indian people to get together and organize themselves so that they would speak with one voice.

Three years later in 1949 Wilfred was elected Chief of the Little Black Bear Reserve, A position he was to hold with distinction for a period of twenty – three years.

Wilfred also became involved in the early developments of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians during which he was elected to the position of Secretary. In subsequent elections, in the following years he was elected to a number of positions. First he was elected to the position of Secretary Treasurer. Later he was elected to the positions of Second Vice – President. First Vice President, culminating in his election to the position of Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, a position e held for the following three years.

In 1965 wilfred joined the Department of Indian Affairs as a Community Development worker. In the following years he was appointed as Social Services Administrator which he held until he retired from that post in 1975. In 1966 Wilfred then held the position as chairman of teh Provincial Advisory Board following which he was appointed, as chairman of the National Advisory Board, a position he held for three years.

Today, Senator Bellegarde is living on the Little Black Bear Reserve while carrying out his responsibilities for the Senate.

Source: fsin

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