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Thelma Chalifoux: Senator

By Terry Lusty

Senator Thelma Chalifoux The Honorable Senator Thelma Chalifoux is one of Canada's more recent appointments (Nov, 26, 1997) to the Senate of Canada. Born in Calgary, Senator Chalifoux is a 1997 Elder of the Indigenous Sport Council (Alberta) and the North American Indigenous Games. Thelma now resides near Morinville, Alberta, and is no stranger when it comes to commitment, hard work and achievements.

A driving force in the Métis community, this respected lady was the first Métis female to receive a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1995, and be appointed to the University of Alberta Senate. She was the first Métis to chair the National Métis Senate and the Senate Constitution Commission, Co-chair of the Alberta Métis Senate, an Appeal Panel Member with Alberta Family and Social Services, and a Métis Elder for Nechi Institute.

Chalifoux served as a Land Claims Negotiator, was a founder of the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre, was instrumental in developing the Métis Association of Alberta Land and Welfare Departments, devoted several years to Alberta Native Communications Society, and was a determined social activist in the heyday of the community development movement with the Company of Young Canadians. Apart from all this, and more, she has operated her own business interests, the latest being Chalifoux and Associates - Educational and Economic Development Consultants based out of St. Albert.

While all this may seem a heavy burden for Chalifoux, and it is, she has always managed to be there for her family. She raised seven children as a single parent, conducted all sorts of workshops at conferences and schools, and worked tirelessly as one of this country's most ardent advocates of Métis culture, history and identity.

If nothing else, Senator Chalifoux is, without a doubt, living proof of the hardy Métis stock she hails from. Furthermore, she continues to persevere and contribute to the development and betterment of her Métis people and the people of Canada in a positive and constructive fashion.

Education:

Western Canada High -Calgary

Professional Career:

Owner - Chalifoux & Associates; 1996-1998
Consultant & Senator Education Consultants - Métis Nation of Alberta Association; 1990-1995
Newscaster, Producer, Weekly Show Host, Freelance Writer and Lecturer
Entrepreneur, Floral Designer.
Land Claims Negotiator; 1979-1982 and 1996-1998
Panel Member - Alberta Provincial Appeals/Alberta Family & Social Service; 1989-1998
Child Welfare Appeals - Suicide Prevention Advisory council
Active Member of the Métis Nation of Alberta since 1961
Field staff - Community Development/ Company of Young Canadians 1973-1975

Awards:

Métis National Council Award Lifetime Achievement Award - Alta Aboriginal Role Model

Special Interests:

Aboriginal, Environmental, Women, Human Rights, Seniors Issues and Children.

Member of the following Senate committee(s):

Aboriginal Peoples (Chairperson) Agriculture and Forestry

Parliamentary Address:

The Senate of Canada, Ottawa, and ONT. K1A 0A4

Email Address:

chalit@sen.parl.gc.ca


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