grand river Métis council

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GET TO KNOW YOUR COUNCIL

President: Jennifer Parkinson
Council History: Jennifer sought to learn more about her Métis roots so she started attending Grand River Métis Council (GRMC) events with her husband and three children in 2010. In February 2012, GRMC welcomed Jennifer as their new Interim Chair. Jennifer was eager to learn Métis history, culture and the political environment of the Nation. She became very active in the community, in schools and the Nation. In October of 2014, Jennifer was elected as GRMC’s President. Since 2010, Jennifer has expanded and shared her knowledge with thousands of children each year by going into schools, colleges and universities. Today, Jennifer is very active politically, meeting with various proponents, government officials and government ministries, all in the pursuit of solidifying Métis citizens’ rights in Canada. Jennifer continues to enjoy her journey and support the Métis Nation.
Métis Ancestry: Jennifer was born in Ottawa and raised in Ottawa, Toronto & Guelph. She is married with three adult children and has two grand children. Exploring her Métis heritage has been very exciting. She has found many extended family and a few historical figures along the way. Her traditional homelands include Pembina, North Dakota and Red River, Manitoba. Says Jennifer, “My hope is to continue learning more about my Métis heritage and contribute through being an active participant of the Métis Nation of Ontario.”
Chair: Alicia Hamilton
Council History: Alicia joined council in February 2016, holding one of the Councillor positions. In September 2018, she became Chair.
Métis Ancestry: Alicia’s historic Métis homelands are Red River, Manitoba and Pembina, North Dakota. She grew up in Waterloo and did not discover her Métis ancestry until she was a teenager. It has been such a wonderful experience for her, learning about the history of her Great-Grandmother’s family, as well as learning and teaching Métis culture and history to the next generation.
Senator: Leslie-Anne Muma
Council History: Leslie began attending Council events in Guelph around 2005. She was elected to GRMC as Secretary/Treasurer in 2014. Today she still holds the Treasurer position.
Métis Ancestry: Leslie’s Métis ancestry is from the west in Manitoba and Pembina ND. She was born in Halifax, NS but raised for a little time in Fort Frances, ON. It was here that her grandfather, without uttering a word about their heritage taught Leslie and her siblings. As time goes by her grandfather’s teachings have started to make sense, as Leslie has learned more about her Métis culture and roots. Searching for her heritage and history she has discovered that her relatives include Uncle Cuthbert Grant Jr, Uncle Gabriel Dumont, and cousin Louis Riel. Leslie was raised mainly in Nunavut on Baffin Island and the North West Territories where she attended residential school in Fort Smith & Inuvik.
Métis Teaching: Leslie enjoys going into schools all over the Grand River Council area. Grand River Council citizens are teaching Métis history, music, dance, and culture to all ages. Leslie is firm in her belief of the importance that we, as a community, learn what we can of our own history and culture and share it with our youth.
Secretary: Alison Gamble
Council History: Since she was a young teenager, Alison has attended Métis community council meetings and events alongside her family. In winter 2019, she joined the Grand River Métis Council as Youth Councilor.
Métis Ancestry: Alison’s historic Métis homelands are the Red River Settlement in Manitoba, with ancestry in the Normand-Carriere and Sansregret-Laderoute Métis family lines. She grew up in Dryden, Ontario, and has been practicing the Métis Way of Life long before knowing about or identifying with her Métis ancestry. Alison has fond memories of a childhood filled with fiddle music, harvesting blueberries as a toddler from her mother’s hip, cooking bannock over open fires, and a strong love for walleye fishing ever since she could hold a rod and reel. Since becoming a young adult, Alison has become proud to share with others about her Métis heritage, and cast away the secrecy and oppression that has followed our people for generations.
Treasurer: Cassandra-Pandora Wilhelm
Council History: Pandora joined council in 2018 as interim Secretary.
Métis Ancestry: Pandora’s historic Métis homelands are Georgian Bay, Ontario and Drummond Island. She grew up in the Georgian Bay Region and did not discover her Métis ancestry until she was a teenager. It has been a very interesting journey of self-discovery.
Women's Representative: Colleen Brunelle
Council History: Colleen joined the Grand River Métis Council in June of 2016 and was elected as Women’s Representative in November 2016. Colleen is a strong advocate for Women’s Health & Wellness issues and sits on various committees and working groups which deal with the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.  Her experience as a Social Services Manager at the County of Wellington, has given her the ability to navigate government policy and liaison with community partners to better serve women facing crisis and in need of support.  She is experienced in the areas of crisis management as it pertains to women and their children and able to approach client-centered solutions through the lens of poverty, social justice and restorative action.   
Métis Ancestry: Colleen is originally from Penetanguishene, Ontario and can trace her Métis ancestry through the Dusome-Clermont line of the historic Georgian Bay Métis Community.  François Dusome worked for the Northwest Company in Red River, Manitoba where he met and married his wife Françoise Clermont – a “woman of the Wild Rice Tribe”.  Their ninth and youngest child Jane, married Louis Brunelle – her great, great paternal grandfather.
Métis Teaching: Unknowingly, Colleen grew up in the Métis way of life.  Her father, a descendant of a commercial fisherman, was an avid hunter and fisher who introduced her to wild game and fishing on Georgian Bay. His taxidermy hobby educated many on the species of fish in Georgian Bay (and where NOT to swim!). Many “shore lunches” were held on Giant’s Tomb and the secrets of cooking whole meals under the beach sand were shared.  Her family has always been connected to the water.  Early family gatherings often included fiddles, guitars and “bonhomme” jiggers from her musical maternal side. And there was pea soup. Debates still abound around whose recipe is “meilleur”.  (It is hers – of course).
Youth Representative: Pauge Coture
Council History: coming soon
Métis Ancestry: coming soon
Councillor: Pauge Coture
Council History: coming soon
Métis Ancestry: coming soon
Councillor: Diane Kilby

Diane has an extensive background as a community and union activist; most particularly for women’s, LGBTQ, Métis and disability rights.

 

During her paid working career, Diane was a senior policy officer with the federal government which involved being able to read and interpret legislation, a senior union business agent and a licensed real estate salesperson.

 

Diane is a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario; she first learned about our heritage through the storytelling of her grandfather, Louis Napoléon Labatte. She was born and raised in Orillia and is a verified descendant from the Métis at Michilimackinac and Drummond Island.

 

Diane has been a Councillor with Grand River Métis Council since November 2016 and vows to continue to work for our Nation so long as she breathes.

Councillor: Pat St. John

Pat comes to the Grand River Métis Council with a background in Broadcasting, Marketing, Management and Education.  Born in Brantford Ontario Pat began his broadcasting career as an on air personality in Hamilton and Toronto, progressing into management with Vice President positions with the CHUM group (Bell Media) McLean Hunter (Rogers), Maritime Broadcasting and Power Corporation. Here at home Pat was in management with CHYM and CKGL in Kitchener and in Guelph he was the VP/GM with MAGIC 106.1 and CJOY.  

 

Pat also enjoyed five years as a Vice President at Conestoga College where he was responsible for Media Studies, Continuing Education and Training and Development.  Pat was also the President and CEO of Shad (Waterloo) an award-winning enrichment and entrepreneurship program for high school students.  Pat also likes to travel so it is no surprise that he was recently elected as President of the Board for the new Tesla University which is currently under development in Aruba.  

 

Currently Pat is the President of Wellport Broadcasting, Niagara and Executive Producer of Holgate Productions, Toronto. What is interesting, Pat actually purchased the Niagara Radio Stations from Suzanne Rochon-Burnett.  This is where he also met Tony Belcourt.  Suzanne and Tony encouraged Pat to further explore his Métis roots and as they say, the rest is history.  Pat is very proud to serve on Council and is constantly in awe of the experience and talent gathered around the table at the monthly meetings. 

 

While still exploring his Métis heritage Pat’s ancestors have been verified by the MNO Registry as St. Luc Cardinal and Marguerite Desjarlais from the Metis Nation Homeland (Alberta)   

our mission statement

To promote and preserve the Métis way of life.

To look to our elders, to attain and maintain our  Métis traditions, culture, spirituality and the respect of Mother Earth. 

To ensure future generations carry on this vision, we are committed to educating our Youth.

 

geographic boundary

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GRMC Geographic Boundary
 
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