2014 Phil Fontaine

Phil Fontaine, OC, Founder and President of Ishkonigan Inc. and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN)


Phil_FontaineThe Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs is pleased to announce Phil Fontaine, OC, Founder and President of Ishkonigan Inc. and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), as this year's recipient of the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership. The award honours the accomplishments of a Canadian who has demonstrated leadership in public policy. It recognizes exemplary actions taken by an individual to promote policy that has changed the face of Canada or a community within Canada, often in the face of public opposition.

In 2014, Couchiching celebrates the singular leadership of Phil Fontaine in Canadian public policy, as exemplified by his passionate and effective advocacy for First Nations rights. Mr. Fontaine is the longest-serving National Chief in AFN history and the only one to be elected to three terms. He has been instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of human rights to the lives of all Canadians, and First Nations peoples in particular.

As former Chief of the AFN, Mr. Fontaine successfully led the resolution and settlement of the 150-year Indian residential school tragedy, which cumulated in a historic apology by the Canadian government. Mr. Fontaine also advocated for the implementation of the Kelowna Accord and signed the Declaration of Kinship and Cooperation of the Indigenous and First Nations of North America. He was the first Indigenous leader to address the Organization of American States. Mr. Fontaine is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and holds honorary doctorate degrees from numerous institutions including Brock University, University of Windsor, Lakehead University, and Queen’s University. He was honoured with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1996, is a Member of the Order of Manitoba and most recently was appointed to the Order of Canada. Mr. Fontaine is currently the President of Ishkonigan Inc., a successful consulting company providing advisory services to First Nations, governments, and the private sector.

Mr. Fontaine was honoured at the 2014 Couchiching Gala.

2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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