Ovide Mercredi

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Ovide Mercredi
OM
Ovide Mercredi.JPG
National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
In office
1991–1997
Preceded by Georges Erasmus
Succeeded by Phil Fontaine
Personal details
Born (1946-01-30) January 30, 1946 (age 68)
Grand Rapids, Manitoba
Spouse(s) Beryle Taylor (deceased) November 10, 2004

Ovide William Mercredi, OM (born January 30, 1946) is a Canadian politician. He is Cree and a former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Mercredi attended the University of Manitoba and graduated with a degree in Law in 1977. While a student he became President of the first Native Students’ Association formed in Canada. He was elected Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Manitoba in 1989. Mercredi had specialized in constitutional law, and became a key strategist for the Assembly during the time of the Meech Lake Accord constitutional reform discussions. He also had a strong leadership role in resolving the Oka Crisis.

Mercredi was elected as National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations, the national political body representing over 600 First Nation Chiefs across Canada. During his first term, Mercredi played a major role in the Charlottetown Accord constitutional discussions. He was re-elected as National Chief in 1994, and served until 1997. As National Chief, Mercredi addressed the United Nations in both Geneva and New York. He also led a Canadian delegation to the troubled area of the Mexican state of Chiapas.

In addition to serving as a lawyer and politician, Mercredi is a noted author. He co-wrote, with Justice Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond, the 1993 book In The Rapids: Navigating the Future of First Nations.

Mercredi is an advocate of non-violent methods for change and he has been nominated by the Government of India for the Gandhi Peace Prize. He has also received honorary law degrees from St. Mary's University and Bishop's University.

In April 2005, Mercredi announced he would challenge Bev Desjarlais for the New Democratic Party nomination in the riding of Churchill for the next federal election, but he later withdrew his candidacy.

In May 2007 Mercredi along with his fellow Manitoba Chiefs began seeking compensation from Manitoba Telecom Services for every cellphone signal that passes through First Nations land, saying the airspace should be considered a resource like land and water. Mercredi was quoted as saying "When it comes to using airspace, it's like using our water and simply because there's no precedent doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do."

He is the current chancellor of University College of the North in northern Manitoba, and delivered his inaugural address at a ceremony on November 6, 2007.[1]

On Friday June 12, 2009, Ovide Mercredi received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Athabasca University.[2][3]

Mercredi became Chief of the Misipawistik Cree Nation and served his community from 2005 to 2011.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ovide Mercredi installed as chancellor of Manitoba's newest university". CBC News. November 7, 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  2. ^ Edmonton Journal, page B4, June 12, 2009
  3. ^ AU Convocation Honorary Doctorates