ROBERT BERTRAND – NATIONAL CHIEF, CONGRESS OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLES
Robert Bertrand is the National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP). Chief Bertrand was elected on September 30th, 2016 during CAP’s 45th Annual General Assembly.
Having served as President and Grand Chief at the Native Alliance of Québec (NAQ) from 2011 – 2016 and as Member of Parliament for the riding of Pontiac-Gatineau-Labelle from 1993 – 2004, Chief Bertrand brings a broad experience in public administration, government relations and representation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens.
Hailing from Fort Coulonge, Québec, Chief Bertrand began his career in life insurance before entering politics where he served as MP for eleven years. During his time in Parliament, he acted as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defense of Canada, Assistant Party Whip, as well as Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defense and Veterans Affairs and Sub-Committee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee.
Chief Bertrand was a member of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANO) from 1994 to 1996. While serving as Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Aboriginal Education of AANO, the sub-committee released its report, Sharing the Knowledge: The Path to Success and Equal Opportunities in Education in 1996.
As an Indigenous leader, Chief Bertrand greatly raised both the profile of the Native Alliance of Québec and their standing on the provincial and national Indigenous stage. He also served as a member of the CAP Board of Directors for seven years.
Chief Bertrand’s wealth of political experience and his understanding of today’s Indigenous issues greatly assists the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples in their mandate to serve the needs of Indigenous peoples living in urban, rural, and remote areas. Chief Bertrand is committed to ensuring that the federal government honours its fiduciary responsibility to Métis and non-status Indians (MNSI) as determined by the Supreme Court of Canada in Daniels v. Canada on April 14, 2016. In addition, he is working hard to maintain fiscal and governance responsibility at CAP in addition to building and retaining close working relationships with each of its eleven provincial and territorial affiliates (PTOs).
Chief Bertrand encourages off-reserve Indigenous Peoples to be proud of their culture and their heritage and to show it. This is how the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and its constituency will grow together.
Since 1971, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, formerly known as the Native Council of Canada, has committed itself to advocate for the needs of off-reserve status and non-status Indians, Métis and Southern Inuit Peoples.