MAY 8, 1937


Born in Mashteuiatsh, Innu Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation reserve in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, Quebec, Cleary was a businessman, chief negotiator, journalist, news director at Télé-Capitale, and professor of journalism at Laval University in Quebec City, before turning to politics.  He was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 2004 Canadian federal election as a member of the Bloc Québécois for the riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent.  He served as the Bloc’s critic to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.  In 2006, he was defeated by Josée Verner from the Conservative Party of Canada.  Cleary was the first person of Aboriginal descent to be elected in Quebec, as well as the first Innu person elected from any province, to the House of Commons.

Sources:  “Former Bloc MP Bernard Cleary, strong defender of Indigenous rights, has died at 83,” CBC, 8/2/2020.  Retrieved 12/28/2020, Former Bloc MP Bernard Cleary, strong defender of Indigenous rights, has died at 83 | CBC News
 “Bernard Cleary,” Newsbreak, undated.  Retrieved 2/28/2020, Bernard Cleary - Biography & News - News Break
Photo:  Government of Canada (Parliament), 2004.  Permissive Use.  Source:  Profile - Cleary, Bernard (

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