Denis Rocan, M.L.A. (b.

1949)
Metis politician Denis Rocan was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 19 ! to "##$% an& serve& as spea'er of the assembly from 19 to 199(. )e often wore his Metis sash an& &isplaye& his Manitoba Metis *e&eration Membership when &ebating iss+es of concern to the Metis people of Manitoba. Rocan was a member of the ,rogressive -onservative party% b+t became an in&epen&ent in "##$. )e was% at the time% the only M.tis MLA% an& the only /ory who spo'e *rench. Rocan was born on *ebr+ary 14% 1949 to a Metis family in 0omerset% Manitoba an& was raise& in north1en& 2innipeg. )is Metis roots go bac' to the Lagimo&iere family. )e was e&+cate& at 0acr.1-oe+r in 2innipeg% 0omerset -ollegiate an& 3tterb+rne -ollege. )e is fl+ently biling+al in 4nglish an& *rench. Rocan wor'e& as a farmer before entering political life% an& also operate& a b+il&ing an& moving company an& a grain b+siness. )e was first electe& to the Manitoba legislat+re in 19 !% winning the r+ral% so+thern constit+ency of /+rtle Mo+ntain.

Rocan was re1electe& in the 19 election% the ,rogressive -onservatives emerge& from this election with a minority government an& Rocan was appointe& as spea'er of the assembly by ,remier 5ary *ilmon on 6+ly "1% 19 . Rocan was easily re1electe& in the 199# election in the re&istrib+te& constit+ency of 5la&stone. )e won the constit+ency for a secon& time in the 199( election% b+t was not re1appointe& as spea'er an& serve& for the ne7t fo+r years as a bac'bench s+pporter of *ilmon8s government. Rocan was respecte& by all parties in the legislat+re% an& his ten+re as spea'er was free of the controversies over partisanship which plag+e& his s+ccessor% Lo+ise Dac9+ay.. *+rther re&istrib+tion bro+ght Rocan into the ri&ing of -arman for the 1999 election. )e was easily ret+rne&% an& was re1electe& again in "##:. 3n ;ovember 1!% "##!% Rocan lost the -arman -onservative nomination to <laine ,e&erson. 3n April 1 % "##$% Rocan was remove& from the -onservative ca+c+s for s+pporting the ;D, b+&get% which his party oppose&. )e consi&ere& r+nning as an in&epen&ent can&i&ate in "##$% b+t &ecline&.

-ompile& by Lawrence <ar'well -oor&inator of Metis )eritage an& )istory Research Lo+is Riel =nstit+te

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