SEPTEMBER 30, 1944


Born in Fort Alexander Reserve, Manitoba (MB), Phil attended Powerview Collegiate in 1961.  As Chief, Sagkeeng First Nation (FN) in 1973, he set up a tribe-run education system, alcohol treatment centre, and Child & Family Services agency.  As MB Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations (AFN), he fought the Meech Lake Accord where Quebec, but not FNs, would get “distinct society” status.  In 1990, he testified on abuse he met at residential school.  He was Grand Chief, Assembly of MB Chiefs (1991).  Phil was elected National (Ntl) Chief (NC), AFN (1997), lost in 2000, reelected in 2003 & 2006.  As AFN NC, he helped negotiate the Residential Schools Settlement.  He addressed the Organization of American States & lobbied for the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.  Honors: Ntl Aboriginal Achievement (1996); Equitas Human Rights Education (2010); and Univ. of Ottawa, Distinguished Canadian Leadership Awards (2011); Member, Order of MB  (2004); and Officer, Order of Canada (2012).

Source:  Tabitha Marshall, “Phil Fontaine,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2/2/2103.  Retrieved, 7/19/2020, 
Photo:  CassieBav, 1/26/2010.  Permissive Use.

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