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‘If you want to become an MP, you better listen to us’: Bellegarde says First Nations are becoming an electoral force

By Jolson Lim      

'Why should we just give First Nations people the First Nations stuff?' AFN national chief Perry Bellegarde says, adding that he'd love to see more Indigenous people also filling the ranks of public service and other appointed roles.

Perry Bellegarde, pictured in an interview in The Hill Times' office on Dec. 13, said he expects the Liberal government to table legislation recognizing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the spring of 2018. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

First Nations people are now voting in federal elections more than ever before and emerging as such an influential force in Canadian politics that candidates of all stripes will have to consider Indigenous issues when running for federal office, says Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde. “The concept of dual citizenship, we're embracing that,” Mr. Bellegarde told The Hill Times’ editorial board in an interview on Dec. 13, asserting that the 2015 federal election was a

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