Born in Maniwaki, Quebec, Patrick Brazeau is a member of the community of Kitigan Zibi. A champion of the rights of Aboriginal peoples, Patrick worked with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) since 2001. He was elected as CAP’s National Chief in February 2006, and re-elected to a four-year term in November 2008.
Patrick was called to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in December 2008.
Patrick used his tenure in Aboriginal politics to promote the economic and social development of Aboriginal peoples, especially those who live off-reserve. Equally important to Patrick’s endeavours was the protection of Aboriginal and human rights.
As National Chief, Patrick was a vocal proponent of the repeal of section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which granted the same protective measures for human rights to citizens living under the Indian Act as all other Canadians had enjoyed since 1978.
Patrick is a vigorous advocate of accountability, responsibility and transparency in Aboriginal affairs. He is vocal proponent for the replacement of the Indian Act with more progressive legislation that aims to reconstitute true Indian Nations – such as the Mohawk, Cree, Algonquin and Ojibwa nations, to name but a few – and to reflect the tenets of modern-day governance.
Patrick believes that Canada’s Aboriginal affairs must be reformed in order to end the status quo which overwhelmingly supports a system of Indian Reserves where poverty and hopelessness remain pervasive. He believes this hopelessness must be replaced with conditions that support the mental health and well-being of Aboriginal youth.
Perhaps most importantly, Patrick believes in a strong sense of personal responsibility for one’s own future. He feels strongly about self-sufficiency for Aboriginal peoples at both the individual and community levels. Patrick is a strong advocate for youth participation in the parliamentary process.
Above all, Patrick is a proud Canadian, a determined federalist and a staunch advocate for national unity across this country.
Patrick has worked extensively at the United Nations and collaboratively with other international agencies.
Patrick Brazeau is the fifteenth Aboriginal Senator named to the Senate since Confederation. He also holds the distinction of being the third youngest person ever named to the Upper Chamber of Parliament.
Patrick served in the Canadian Armed Forces (Naval Reserve/HMCS Carleton) and has a 2nd degree black belt in Karate. He holds a diploma in Social Sciences from Heritage College and has also studied Civil Law at the University of Ottawa.