PC CM OBC
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
|Preceded by||District was created in 1966|
|Succeeded by||District was abolished in 1976|
|Senator for Kamloops-Cariboo, British Columbia|
|Appointed by||Pierre Trudeau|
|Born||Leonard Stephen Marchand
November 16, 1933
Vernon, British Columbia
|Died||June 3, 2016
Kamloops, British Columbia
Leonard Stephen "Len" Marchand, PC CM OBC (November 16, 1933 – June 3, 2016) was a Canadian politician. He was the first person of First Nations status to serve in the federal cabinet, after being the first Status Indian elected and serving as a Member of Parliament. He served as Parliamentary Secretary, Minister of State, Minister of the Environment and Senator. 
Marchand was born in Vernon, British Columbia, as a member of the Okanagan Indian Band. An agronomist by training, he left his profession in the mid-1960s to work with the North American Indian Brotherhood. His work in native affairs took him to Ottawa to lobby on Aboriginal issues. He was hired as a special assistant to two successive Cabinet ministers.
Marchand entered politics and was elected to the House of Commons in the 1968 election as a Liberal Party candidate for the British Columbia riding of Kamloops-Cariboo. He defeated high-profile Progressive Conservative candidate E. Davie Fulton. He was the first Status Indian to be elected as an MP.
He became parliamentary secretary to Jean Chrétien, who was the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, helping persuade Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to begin land settlement negotiations between the federal government and the First Nations.
In 1976, Marchand was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of State for small business. He was the first Status Indian to be appointed to a cabinet position. In 1977, he was promoted to Minister of the Environment, and held the post until his and the government's defeat in the 1979 election.
Marchand returned to British Columbia where he became administrator for the Nicola Valley Indian Administration. In 1984, he was appointed to the Senate, the second Aboriginal Canadian to be appointed (the first was James Gladstone). Marchand persuaded the Upper House to establish the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, on which he served as chairman.
Marchand retired from the Senate in 1998 at the age of 64, eleven years ahead of the mandatory retirement age, in order to spend more time in British Columbia. He died on June 3, 2016.
Legacy and honours
- In 1999, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
- In 2000, Caitlin Press published his autobiography, Breaking Trail.
- In 2014, Marchand received the Order of British Columbia.
|Order of Canada (CM)||
|Order of British Columbia (OBC)||
|Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal||
|125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal||
|Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal||
|Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal||
- Marchand was sworn in as a Member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada on 15 September 1976, giving him the accordant style "The Honourable" and the post-nominal letters "PC" for life.
- In 1999, Marchand was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Thompson Rivers University.
- ICTMN Staff, "Len Marchand, First Status Indian Elected to Canadian Parliament, Walks On", Indian Country Today Media Network, 7 June 2016
- Okanagan band member receives Order of B.C.