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Audrey Dumont Poitras

Audrey Dumont Poitras

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A brief biography of Metis politician Audrey Poitras of Alberta. See also the "People of the Metis Nation," "Dictionary of Metis Biography"and "Women of the Metis Nation."

A brief biography of Metis politician Audrey Poitras of Alberta. See also the "People of the Metis Nation," "Dictionary of Metis Biography"and "Women of the Metis Nation."

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Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Feb 08, 2010
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09/17/2013

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Audrey Mae Dumont Poitras.
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(b. 1950)
 
Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President Audrey Poitras was selected as a recipientof a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (NAAA) in Politics in 2011.As the first woman elected President of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) in 1996,Audrey eliminated the organization’s financial debt, balanced the budgets, and beganraising the profile of the MNA. Ms. Poitras went on to become the longest servingPresident of the MNA, with 14 years at the helm of the oldest Métis organization inCanada. She was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).Audrey oversaw the creation of the MNA’s Métis Centre of Excellence – theRupertsland Institute which is a partnership with the University of Alberta promotingeducation and training. This Centre of Excellence is another independent affiliate of theMNA. Under her leadership, the MNA also commenced the longest Métis harvesting trialever conducted. The case, R. v. Jones & Hirsekorn is the first Métis harvesting rights caseto address mobility issues throughout the Métis Nation.She has also established endowment funds of almost 10 million dollars withinstitutes and universities in Alberta. These funds go towards the support of Metisstudents at the post-secondary level.
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This article is from the book 
Women of the Metis Nation.
(Lawrence Barkwell, Ed., Winnipeg: Louis RielInstitute, 2010.) ISBN 978-0-9809912-5-3
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Poitras also spearheaded the development of a Metis historic site at Métis Crossingnear Smoky Lake. In 2005 Ms. Poitras was named one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people by
 Alberta Venture
magazine.
Audrey was born at Elk Point, Alberta, the daughter of Jean Baptiste Dumont and MabelKinch. Jean Baptiste was born at the Metis community of St. Paul, Alberta, he spoke Cree, Michif and French, and he worked as a trapper and farmer. Her mother Mabel was from England.In 1996, Audrey Poitras became the first woman elected to the Presidency of the Metis Nation of Alberta. Audrey’s family is linked to that of the famous Gabriel Dumont, and Dumont’sspirit is very much alive in Audrey.Audrey was raised near the farming community of Elk Point, Alberta. This is situated near the Metis Settlement of Fishing Lake. She and her husband Gordon are dynamic participants atthe community level. Gordon Poitras is a descendant of Pierre Poitras, a Metis from St. FrançoisXavier who represented that parish in the conventions of 1869 and 1870 when he served on Riel’sCouncil at Red River.Audrey and Gordon Poitras are successful in both their public and private undertakings. For a number of years they ran a dry cleaning franchise (Master Cleaners) operating as PoitrasCleaners from 1979 to 1990. In the late 1980s Audrey returned to school while still working. Sheattended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and became a Certified Accountant in1990.On the public service front the Poitras’ were involved in the founding of Metis Local 1885.This local initiated structural and organizational changes in the MNA. Audrey was one of the keyinitiators in developing the Alberta Metis Women’s organization. She was one of the founders of Metis Local 999 and currently a member of Metis Local 2085.Because of her skills and expertise Audrey was appointed as the representative of AlbertaMetis Women to the Selection Committee of Apeetogosan (Metis) Metis Development Inc. Hereshe acted as a key advisor in the appointment process for the Trustees of Apeetogosan (Metis)Metis Development Inc.
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