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Leonard Stephen “Len” Marchand was born on November 16, 1933, and died on June 3, 2016.
He was a Canadian politician.
Leonard was the first person of First Nations ethnicity to serve in the federal cabinet.
Leonard Marchand was the first Status Indian to serve as a Member of Parliament.
He was an agronomist by training.
Leonard resigned his profession in the mid-1960s to work with the North American Indian Brotherhood.
However the work he did in native affairs took him to Ottawa to lobby on aboriginal issues, and he was hired as a special assistant to two successive Cabinet ministers.
Then he started politics and was elected to the House of Commons in the 1968 election as a Liberal Party candidate for the British Columbia riding of Kamloops-Cariboo.
Leonard Marchand won high-profile Progressive Conservative candidate E. Davie Fulton.
Marchand became parliamentary secretary to Jean Chrétien, who was the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and persuaded Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to begin land settlement negotiations between the federal government and the First Nations.
During 1976, Marchand was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of State for small business.
During 1977, Leonard was promoted to Minister of the Environment, and held the post until his and the government’s defeat in the 1979 election.
On his return to British Columbia, he became the administrator for the Nicola Valley Indian Administration.
Leonard was appointed to the Senate, in 1984, the second Aboriginal Canadian to be appointed (the first was James Gladstone).
Leonard Marchand persuaded the Upper House to establish the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, on which Marchand served as chairman.
Leonard Marchand retired from the Senate in 1998 at the age of 64, eleven years ahead of the mandatory retirement age, in order to spend more time in British Columbia.
He was made a Member of the Order of Canada, in 1999.
The Caitlin Press published his autobiography, Breaking Trail, in 2000.
Marchand received the Order of British Columbia, in 2014.
Leonard Marchand passed away at 82 yrs old.