Gary Merasty

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Gary Merasty
Member of Parliament
for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River
In office
April 3, 2006 – August 31, 2007
Preceded byJeremy Harrison
Succeeded byRob Clarke
Personal details
Born (1964-09-22) September 22, 1964 (age 54)
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Political partyLiberal Party of Canada
Spouse(s)Brenda Merasty
ProfessionAboriginal leader, business consultant

Gary Merasty, (born September 22, 1964 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and raised in Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan) by his mother Theresa and his many aunts. Gary now lives with his family of six in Saskatchewan which includes his wife and kids (3 daughters 1 son). Gary is a Canadian politician and former Liberal Member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan. A former two-time Grand Chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council,[1] Merasty is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation within Treaty 6 territory. He is the first Status First Nations person to be elected in Saskatchewan.[2]

Early life[edit]

Entry into federal politics[edit]

In one of the closest races of the 2006 federal election, Merasty defeated Conservative incumbent Jeremy Harrison. On election night, Merasty's victory was reported as 10,225 to 10,119, a margin of 106. Jeremy Harrison challenged the result, but a judicial recount confirmed Merasty's victory by a reduced margin of 67 votes.[3] On the morning after the election, Harrison alleged widespread misconduct.[4] However, an investigation conducted by Elections Canada determined that no wrongdoing had taken place.[5]

Political career[edit]

As a Member of Parliament, Merasty served on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and the Legislative Committee on Bill C-2. He also sat on the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

Liberal caucus[edit]

In the Liberal caucus, he served as Indian Affairs associate critic and was a Special Advisor for Aboriginal Outreach.[6]

Motion to implement the Kelowna Accord[edit]

Merasty introduced a motion to implement the Kelowna Accord on Sept. 29, 2006.[7] Although the motion was opposed by the federal Conservative government,[8] it passed by a vote of 160-113.[9]

Motion to apologize to survivors of the residential school system[edit]

Merasty also introduced a motion for the federal government to offer a formal apology to survivors of the Canadian residential school system, which received unanimous all-party support in the House of Commons.

Merasty first asked the federal government to offer a formal apology to survivors of the residential school system on Nov. 7, 2006.[10] Merasty raised the question again on March 27, 2007 after Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians Jim Prentice suggested an apology was unnecessary since the primary aim of the schools was "to provide education for aboriginal children."[11] Prentice again refused to offer an apology.[12]

In response, on May 1, 2007, Merasty introduced a motion into the House of Commons to calling on the House to "apologize to the survivors of the Indian Residential Schools for the trauma they suffered as a result of the policies intended to assimilate First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, causing the loss of aboriginal culture, heritage and language, while also leaving a sad legacy of emotional, physical and sexual abuse."[13] After Merasty introduced the motion, Prentice announced the Conservatives would support it, allowing the apology to pass unanimously (257-0).[14]

Retirement from politics[edit]

In July 2007, Merasty announced he was stepping down as MP for the riding on Aug. 31, to pursue a career in the private sector. A few months later in September, Merasty was appointed VP, Corporate Responsibility and Communications at Cameco Corporation. In 2013, Des Nedhe Development announced the appointment of Merasty as president and CEO.[15]

Awards and boards[edit]

1996—Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Pelican Narrows Community Service Award.

2006—Eagle Feather News Newsmaker of the Year.

2012—Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Merasty has received both the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal[16] (2004) and the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan[17] (2005) for his service to the people of Saskatchewan. Board of Directors Northwest Company (TSX traded company); Board of Directors Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan (2010 to present); Board of Directors Canada West Foundation ( 2008 to present); Chair, Northern Career Quest (2008 to present); Board of Directors Enterprise Saskatchewan (2008–11); Chair, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Association (SIGA) (2000–05); Board of Directors, Dakota Dunes Golf and Country Club (2003–05); Board of Directors Saskatoon Airport Authority (2003–05); Board of Directors Western First Nations Hospitality (2002–05); Chair and director Northern Broadband Initiative (2002–05); Chair and director Westwind Aviation Ltd. (2001–05); Chair and director Northern Development Board (1999-2004); Chair and director Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) and Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group (SITAG) (1999-2005).


Merasty holds Bachelor and master's degrees in Education from the University of Saskatchewan. Merasty was named in the 100 Alumni of Influence by the [[University of Saskatchewan][dead link]] in 2007.[2] In 2005, he received an honorary diploma in Entrepreneurship and Small Business from the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology.[18]


  1. ^ Prince Albert Grand Council
  2. ^ a b "Gary Merasty profile". 100 Alumni of Influence. University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  3. ^ "Liberals hold on to Saskatchewan riding after judicial recount". CBC News. February 10, 2006. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  4. ^ "Officials confirm Merasty win". The StarPhoenix. Saskatoon. January 27, 2006. Archived from the original on July 4, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "Election probe finds no wrongdoing". Leader-Post. Regina. October 26, 2006. Archived from the original on July 4, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ :: Media Releases Archived 2007-06-17 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Official Report * Table of Contents * Number 056 (Official Version)
  8. ^ "Merasty wants accord revived". The StarPhoenix. Saskatoon. September 30, 2006. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  9. ^ Official Report * Table of Contents * Number 069 (Official Version)
  10. ^ Official Report * Table of Contents * Number 078 (Official Version)
  11. ^ "No residential school apology, Tories say". The Globe and Mail. March 27, 2007. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  12. ^ |Article Archived 2012-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Official Report * Table of Contents * Number 144 (Official Version)
  14. ^ "MPs vote 257-0 for residential school apology". CTV News. May 1, 2007. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  15. ^ "Sask. MP Gary Merasty stepping down 'with heavy heart'". CBC News. July 12, 2007. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  16. ^ Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal Archived 2007-06-08 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Office of the Provincial Secretary - Government of Saskatchewan
  18. ^ "Grand chief awarded honorary diploma" (PDF). SIAST. June 10, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)

External links[edit]