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John Beaucage is one of Canada’s most respected First Nation leaders. He was elected as Grand Council Chief of the 42-member First Nations of the Anishinabek Nation (Union of Ontario Indians) in 2004, after serving four consecutive terms as Chief of Wasauksing First Nation.
As Grand Council Chief, John played an instrumental role in the First Ministers' Meeting which took place in Kelowna, BC in November of 2005. Leading up to the First Ministers' Meeting, he served as the Co-chair for First Ministers' Working Groups for both Housing and Relationships.
Since leaving his position as Grand Council Chief in 2009, John has served on a number of boards, is CEO of the Lake Huron Anishinabek Transmission Company and is working on green energy projects with several First Nations across the country.
In April 2010, John was appointed as Ontario’s first Aboriginal Advisor to the Minister of Children and Youth Services for a one year term. He currently provides advice on Aboriginal child welfare issues, facilitates discussions between the Minister and Aboriginal leaders on Aboriginal child welfare issues, and provides advice on Aboriginal child welfare policy matters. He is also an expert resource to the Commission to Promote Sustainable Child Welfare.
Among his many public service roles, John has been a strong advocate for First Nations health and environmental responsibility and sat on the Premier’s Cabinet for Smoke-Free Ontario, Ontario’s Expert Panel on Climate Change and the Ontario Biodiversity Council.
An Economist by education, John worked for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for over 25 years in Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Regina and Saint John, New Brunswick. He held the Ontario Portfolio for Housing and Infrastructure and previously co-chaired the National Portfolio for Housing for the Assembly of First Nations’ Chiefs Committee on Housing. In May of 2008, he was appointed Chairperson of the $300 million First Nations Market Housing Fund announced in as a new and innovative way to give First Nations citizens the opportunity to own their homes on reserve.
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, with a combined degree in English and economics, he has done post-graduate work in First Nation planning at the University of British Columbia. John has been awarded an Honourary Doctorate from Nipissing University.
Eyaabay (his traditional name) is a Pipe Carrier from the Bear Clan. A band member of Wasauksing First Nation, he was raised on the Shawanaga First Nation and has extended family in Nipissing First Nation.
John and his wife Bonnie have been married for 38 years and have four children and eight grandchildren.