By Judy Bird

Students at the First Nations University of Canada elected Brad Bellegarde as their new Regina campus Student Association president on Friday April 10, and he is eager to get to work.

Bellegarde, a member of Little Black Bear First Nation, is a fourth year student, completing a degree in Journalism with a minor in Indigneous Studies. He said that he was motivated to run as student association president because of the upcoming federal election.

“Funding for First Nations students is a huge issue. More students are taking out loans and not getting funding. As president, I want to utilize my position to mobilize students to call for an increase in funding,” he said.

The FNU Student Association is part of the Canadian Federation of Students, and with about a half million members, Bellegarde believes those united voices can be heard and bring about change.

With education as a treaty right, Bellegarde says his goal is to sit at the table with the Assembly of First Nations and Members of Parliament from different parties to talk about the need for more funding for First Nations university students.

“Increasing funding will give people a head start instead of a hand out,” said Bellegarde.

He also plans to build relationships locally with outside organizations and institutions that will help students in the long run, potentially either with scholarship support or as future employers.

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