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grand river Métis council

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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 four 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: Vacant
Senator: Diane Kilby

Diane has an extensive background as a community and union activist; most particularly for women’s, 2SLGBTQ, 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 on Council since November 2016, serving in various capacities.

Treasurer: 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.
Secretary: Denise Keith
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.

Colleen has also served as the Women’s Rep for Region 9 Métis Nation of Ontario Women’s Council (MNOWC).
Youth Representative: Avaline Booth
Pat St_edited.jpg
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)   

Councillor: Jennifer McMillan
Councillor: Jennifer Terry
our mission 

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.

Council Members

geographic boundary

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GRMC Geographic Boundary
Geographic Boundary
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