Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde, AFN New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island Regional Chief Roger Augustine and AFN Nova Scotia-Newfoundland Regional Chief Morley Googoo today welcomed the appointment of Brian Francis, Chief of Abegweit First Nation in P.E.I., to the Senate of Canada.
“We need more First Nations people around all decision-making tables and that includes the Senate of Canada” said National Chief Bellegarde. “We congratulate Senator Francis on this appointment. He has an outstanding record of achievement. He will make great contributions to the Senate of Canada which will create a better country for all.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of Francis as a P.E.I. senator on October 11. Francis has been Chief of the Abegweit First Nation since 2007 and resigned as leader this week to assume his position in the Senate.
“Chief Francis has done an outstanding job representing our Mi’kmaq people in many positions throughout his illustrious career,” said AFN Regional Chief Augustine. “We have confidence that his representation in the Senate will ensure we have a knowledgeable and respectful voice in Parliament on key issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada. This appointment is well deserved and we are honoured to support Senator Francis in his new endeavor.”
Senator Francis is the second Mi’kmaq Senator to be appointed to the Senate of Canada. Senator Dan Christmas from Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia was appointed in December 2016.
AFN Regional Chief Morley Googoo stated: “I am so proud of these outstanding and deserving Mi’kmaq leaders. They are an integral part of the new narrative for our people. This is a narrative that has evolved over hundreds of years and today I am so pleased to see this honourable step toward rightful representation for our ancestral leaders through Senator Francis who will act as custodian of our future.”
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.