Congress National Chief ‘can’t remember’ roots of own Indigenous ancestry 

(Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief Robert Bertrand. APTN/Photo)

The chief of a national organization representing off-reserve Indigenous peoples that receives millions of dollars annually from Ottawa couldn’t pinpoint the roots of his Indigenous ancestry during an interview with APTN News Wednesday.

The Indigenous ancestry of Congress of Aboriginal of Peoples (CAP) National Chief Robert Bertrand was a question on the minds and lips of some delegates who attended the organization’s annual general assembly in Ottawa this past weekend, according to Sen. Patrick Brazeau and former CAP national chief Kevin Daniels.

In an interview at CAP’s Ottawa headquarters the national chief was initially vague on his Indigenous ancestry and then said he couldn’t “remember” when pressed on the issue.

“I am, in my opinion, I am Metis from the Quebec side,” said Bertrand, a former Liberal MP. “I have Indian blood. My ancestors were from Algonquin descent. I don’t see the relevance of it.”

Bertrand said he couldn’t remember from which part of Quebec his Indigenous roots stemmed or how many generations back his Indigenous roots began.

“I can’t remember off-hand,” he said. “I am sure I am Indigenous. If you are asking me if it’s the third generation, I can’t remember.”

He eventually said the Algonquin ancestry of his ancestors came from somewhere in the Oka, Que., area.

Bertrand said he met the criteria set out by the Native Alliance of Quebec and eventually became its leader.

However, he couldn’t describe the criteria or explain how he met it.

“I met the criteria at (the Native Alliance of Quebec) and you know, I don’t understand what the big problem is,” he said.

The Native Alliance of Quebec membership form accepts a family tree, certified by a genealogist, as proof of Indigenous ancestry.

Bertrand was president of the alliance from 2011 to 2016. He was elected national chief of CAP in September 2016.

Bertrand was a Liberal MP from 1993 to 2004 for the Pontiac-Gatineau-Labelle riding in Quebec. He was also a member of the Aboriginal Affairs committee from 1996 to 1997 and he served as Parliamentary Secretary for National Defence from 1998 to 2000.

Brazeau, a former national chief for CAP, said in an interview Monday that several delegates he spoke with during CAP’s annual general assembly wondered about Bertrand’s Indigenous ancestry.

Daniels also publicly questioned Bertrand’s ancestry during a Saturday morning meeting at the Marriott Hotel. Daniels grabbed the organization’s Eagle Staff creating a row that left him in a back room until Ottawa police arrived. He was then taken and held by overnight by Gatineau, Que., police on an outstanding warrant.

Daniels returned to CAP’s Ottawa office on Wednesday with a letter giving the organization until Friday at 1 p.m. to hand over the Eagle Staff. If the organization failed to meet the deadline Daniels said he would be holding a press conference to “expose more CAP secrets.”

Daniels was the one who brought the Eagle Staff to CAP.

“More confrontations are now in the works,” said Daniels, in the letter. “You have been warned.”

CAP received about $4.5 million from several federal departments during the 2016-1017 fiscal year, according to its own records.

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21 thoughts on “Congress National Chief ‘can’t remember’ roots of own Indigenous ancestry 

  1. He’s a pretendian, taking an important job away from real Native people! He can’t speak for us, no lived experience, etc.

  2. The acceptance of the blank history for the Native people has become the norm . Since the 60’s scoop has been set upon the Native people by the Government of Canada , who do you think should be responsible for the reunions for all these people. They dirtied the floors of the schools with the thefts of the Native children . Well , do your due diligence Canadian Government to clean it up. No half asses jobs will be acceptable . Find the families for these people for they are your man made machines of modern day Native people. I see many ads with, Private investigators,I still see museums from the early 1900’s . These people need homes to go to now that school is over. These people yearn for their kinships to be renewed for the honors of the family fires to keep burning. Stories that must be passed on from generation to generation. teachings of the lands animals , natural elements for life’s survival as a Native Nation. Be responsible without the clause section 1 -c(ss) 23 blah blah blah. You made these children who they are , Get them back to their families.

  3. Do the right thing and resign. This is an embarrassment to the organization. He clearly is uncomfortable being questioned about his ancestry. There is no pride or confidence in his voice. He sounds like someone who just got caught. Who are his family? What community claims him? What Indian doesn’t state proudly who they are? Who are the board of directors? Why the hell are they not doing anything about this?

    SO many questions….

    One thing is for certain: Any shed of credibility is gone with this guy as the helm.

  4. I agree… he needs to be reviewed. .he needs to submit his DNA test as well…
    He obviously has something too be uneasy about !!!!

  5. The identity politics behind this APTN article is that if you are really a “Real” Indigenous person, you do not “forget” where you are from ….

    Off-hand, without looking it up or asking your parents for help, what are the names of your eight great-grandparents…. How about four ?…. How about two?…. One? If they (you) are of mixed heritage, which nation are they each from and give the names of each nation root ancestors and their respective generation relative to you. Too difficult? How about giving, off-hand, the full name of the ancestor whose surname you so proudly wear today who was first recorded in Canada. What was their nation of origin? Where did they come from and how many generations ago?

    Mr. Bertrand did not “forget” where he is from or the roots of his indigenous ancestry that was transmitted to him from one generation to the next. He clearly said that he is a Metis of Algonquin descent and very proud of it. What he says he doesn’t “remember”, off-hand, were the names of his ancestors and their generation….. Really?

    This is the very type of detailed information sought by bigots and racists alike, both Indigenous and Non-indigenous, to try to discredit the indigenous identity of people of proven mixed heritage like Mr. Bertrand and thousands of other indigenous people like him across the country. These are tactics used by colonialism to divide and conquer.

  6. Why the mistrust, descent and innuendo? Is there something I’m missing? This all looks very personal to me and nothing to do with CAP. Both Daniels and Brazeau had their turn at the wheel. They have to know that their remarks and behaviour is bringing us ALL down! Is that the intent???

  7. I’m sorry but this is a problem if you cannot clearly state your indigenous ancestry and you represent a national organization.

  8. So typical.
    A minority group under Brazeau, try to disrupt a legitimate AGA for off reserve non status and Metis people.
    Daniels had his chances and Brazeau was silenced by actions of his own. These people think that one must be a status Indian in order to lead the CAP. Mr. Bertrand has aboriginal roots and that is certain. Why are we the only people in Canada who must continuously prove our aboriginal ancestry? One of the teachings for aboriginal values is honesty and respect, something Brazeau and Daniels can’t follow. The Congress is under attack from the feds as can be seen by actions from Trudeau and people think that a few million should suffice and solve all problems for members. Remember that AFN and Metis Nation gets several tens of millions, so CAP is the poor sister. Don’t forget it was CAP who fought the Daniels case—no one else, but these groups now want the credit while trying to exclude all CAP members.
    Under Mr. Bertrand, for the first time in a very long time, CAP had a surplus in the fiscal year, not like when Brazeau and Daniels were in charge. It is hard to meet and get recognition from a colonial style government which ignores both the CAP and Womens’ Alliance, but these people are tryng on our behalf—leave it alone.

  9. Name ONE….JUST ONE…..ONLY ONE thing this organization has done for ANY off reserve FN person..please..just ONE..thats not too much to ask….Brazeau..maybe you can put your lips to where they have always been….oh ya he is no longer PM…

  10. check out david chrantrand back ground he is a treaty indian himself i feel the media should leave our people alone and ask the man with a turban why he wants to become leader of the national NDP party and may prime minister of canada someday now that would be something we are just trying to get our fair share thats coming to the off-reserve status and non-status and unrepresentented metis kevin daniels and patrick brazeau had their their chance but failed we now have leader and a good board that are making some headway so please just leave well enough alone

  11. For months I’ve been trying to contact them. I have a few questions. How does CAP justify it’s membership? Why is there no rep from Manitoba? To justify $4.5 million funding, it should have a certain number of members!! What are these numbers? Membership list? Mandate? Why is it not accessible? Where can one get their organization info? Is it legit? If so, can one explain. Where and when are meetings held?

  12. It really does not matter who is leading it…that organization does NOTHING for off reserve First Nations people…nothing.

  13. This guy is a former politician and the Government is known to have infiltrated groups early on and steered them to disaster. There would be no better way to enrage the white community than to perpetrate an organization like this which would effectively abort any other valid similar group or movement from the start as all would be reliant on federal funds. You notice the government spent money on this guy without even checking on his credentials yet there are thousands of registration applications which have merit languishing at INAC registry simply from lack of resolve to settle them. My own application is 20 years sitting on a table yet this guy can get 4.5 million dollars in a year making false claims. Where is the supposed oversight from the Government? Further where is the oversight from the originals who will be impacted by this? Did they go and get a few trinkets like the Metis nations have and the ‘wine & dine’ consultation money they all spent on a grand Elders meeting while shills like this operate while they stuff their faces. Personally I feel Trudope has all these people flamboozled with fancy words and nice footwork just like his daddy did- a big empty promise floating around selling pictures and not sound policy.

    1. I agree totally. Sure does make for more division among our people but I guess that was the plan of this article right!!

    2. I agree. This only creates more of a division. I am non status and non treaty and these type of articles make it hard for others to believe in the people who can trace their lineage.

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