Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, will be appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for his lifetime of public service.

Phil Fontaine was born in Sagkeeng First Nation in 1944. He attended a residential school in his youth and later in his life voiced criticism of this system.

As AFN National Chief, Fontaine negotiated the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which provided compensation and programs to help residential school survivors. Fontaine’s tenure as AFN National Chief was the longest in the organization’s history; he is the only chief to be elected to three terms.

The criterion for the Order of Canada is “outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.”

Phil Fontaine will be awarded his insignia at Rideau Hall in Ottawa at a date to be announced.