Senator Brian Francis was appointed to the Senate of Canada on October 11, 2018. He is the first person of Mi’kmaq descent in Prince Edward Island to serve in this role.
Senator Francis was born on September 28, 1957 in Lennox Island, Prince Edward Island. After receiving his early education in Lennox Island and Summerside, he completed four years of apprenticeship training and became a journeyman carpenter. He was the first Indigenous person in the province to receive his inter-provincial red seal trade certificate. He went on to obtain a Certificate in Conflict Resolution Studies from the University of Prince Edward Island.
Senator Francis has 40 years of combined experience in government positions from the front lines to management. He served in various capacities with the public service including from 2002 to 2007 as the Aboriginal Coordinator with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, where he acted as a point of contact for Prince Edward Island First Nations on fisheries related matters. Coming from a fishing family, he used his years of knowledge and firsthand experience to assist the Prince Edward Island First Nations with implementing their funding agreements. In addition, Senator Francis was one of the formal signatories to the Canada/Prince Edward Island/Mi’kmaq Partnership Agreement and the Canada/Prince Edward Island/Mi’kmaq Consultation Agreement, which set out a framework for consultation on proposed actions or decisions that could adversely impact asserted or established Aboriginal and treaty rights in the province.
From 2007-2018, Senator Francis was the elected Chief and Band Administrator of the Abegweit Mi’kmaq Nation. During his term, he worked tirelessly to improve the social, economic and cultural well-being of his community. He helped increase access to educational and employment opportunities for members on and off reserve, and led several infrastructural projects. Examples include a biodiversity and enhancement hatchery, a water tower to secure safe drinking water, paving projects, and housing developments.
Today, Francis lives near Charlottetown with his wife, Georgina. They are proud parents and grandparents.