Congratulations to Perry Bellegarde who was elected as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations here in Canada. As an organization that proposes to speak for the almost five hundred Indian bands across the country, Perry has got his work cut out for him. His predecessor, Shawn Atleo, resigned after he was unable to convince a majority of the chiefs that his negotiation on aboriginal education with the Federal Government was the way to go. Considering that almost half of the eligible chiefs didn’t show up for Perry’s election since they no longer consider the AFN relevant, tells you what he’s up against.

On another note, both Chief Bellegarde and his probable nemesis, Prime Ministrer Stephen Harper, are career politicians. This could be a good thing in the sense that they may understand the meaning of the word: Negotiation: it means, “not getting what you want but getting what you can live with.” The chiefs “didn’t get that” with Shawn Atleo’s efforts.  Chief Bellegarde sold himself as a champion of aboriginal rights with over-the-top rhetoric like; “Canada is Indian land” I’d say he better tone it down and show a little more common sense, pragmatism and flexibility if he wants to make a positive difference in the lives of his people, particularly the next generations.