OTTAWA, June 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde expressed condolences yesterday to the family and friends of Len Marchand, the first status Indian in Canada to be elected as a Member of Parliament, hailing him as a leader for First Nations and Indigenous peoples.
"I am very saddened by the news of the passing of Len Marchand," said National Chief Bellegarde. "Len Marchand was an inspiration and a groundbreaking leader for First Nations and all Indigenous peoples. He was a man of many firsts and we will always remember his work, his life, his dedication and his achievements. This is a tremendous loss for all of us and, on behalf of the AFN National Executive, we send our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and community."
Len Marchand was born in Vernon, B.C., in 1933. In 1968, he ran for the Liberals in the Kamloops-Cariboo riding and became the first status Indian elected as a Member of Parliament, serving from 1968 to 1979. During his career Marchand served in Cabinet holding a number of portfolios, including minister of state for small business and environment minister. In 1984, he was appointed to the senate and became only the second Indigenous senator in Canada. Marchand retired in 1998 and received the Order of Canada in 1999. He passed away yesterday at the age of 82.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
For further information: Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or firstname.lastname@example.org