Michèle Audette

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Michèle Audette
Born (1971-07-20) July 20, 1971 (age 48)
Wabush, Labrador, Canada
NationalityCanadian
OccupationPolitician and Activist
Known forpresident of the Native Women's Association of Canada

Michèle Taïna Audette (born 20 July 1971) is a Canadian politician and Native Canadian activist. She has served as president of Femmes autochtones du Québec (Quebec Native Women) and the Native Women's Association of Canada. She served from 2004 through 2008 as Associate Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Relations with Citizens and Immigration of the Quebec government, where she was in charge of the Secretariat for Women. In 2017, she was appointed as one of the five commissioners of the government's national inquiry: Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Life[edit]

Audette's mother was returning to Schefferville by train when she unexpectedly went into labour. The train stopped and her mother was airlifted by helicopter to the nearest hospital, in Wabush, Labrador, where Audette was born. She grew up in Schefferville, Maliotenam, and Montreal. Her mother, Evelyne St-Onge, is Innu and her father, Gilles Audette, is French-Canadian from Montreal. The family was denied a house on her mother's reserve under federal law because her mother married a non-Native man.[1] St-Onge was a co-founder of Quebec Native Women (FAQ), which fought against the clause in the federal Indian Act that stated that a Native woman who marries a non-Native man did not have the right to live in her reserve community. Native men who marry non-Native women do not suffer such restrictions.[1]

As Audette grew up, she too became an activist in indigenous affairs. She worked to raise awareness and gain government action on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. She served as president of Femmes autochtones du Québec (FAQ), then led the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC).[2] She also acted in one of the short film vignettes on Canadian history known as Heritage Minutes as a member of an Attikamek family teaching early French settlers how to make maple syrup.[3]

Audette was appointed as Associate Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Relations with Citizens and Immigration Quebec government, in charge of the Secretariat for Women, serving from 2004 through 2008. She has conducted public relations for and acted as coordinator of many festivals. She has also worked as a researcher for Aboriginal Nations, a news magazine broadcast on Télé-Québec.

In 2017, Audette was appointed as one of five commissioners to the national inquiry: Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Electoral politics[edit]

Some years after her first government service, Audette decided to enter electoral politics. In the 2015 Canadian federal election, she ran as the Liberal candidate for the Quebec riding of Terrebonne[4] but was not elected.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Audette, a mother of five, lives in both Wendake near Québec City and the Innu reserve of Maliotenam near Sept-Îles, Quebec, with her domestic partner Serge Ashini Goupil. He is a consultant with the indigenous rights group Nation Innue.[6]

Electoral record[edit]

2015 Canadian federal election: Terrebonne
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Bloc Québécois Michel Boudrias 19,238 33.01 +2.23
Liberal Michèle Audette 16,316 27.99 +21.07
New Democratic Charmaine Borg 14,928 25.61 -25.93
Conservative Michel Surprenant 6,615 11.35 +3.28
Green Susan Moen 1,016 1.74 -0.95
Strength in Democracy Louis Clément Sénat 171 0.29
Total valid votes/Expense limit 58,284 100.00   $221,503.04
Total rejected ballots 1,256 2.11
Turnout 59,540 70.63
Eligible voters 84,298
Bloc Québécois gain from New Democratic Swing +14.08
Source: Elections Canada[7][8]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b García, Leani (Spring 2013). "Politics Innovator: Michèle Audette, Canada". Americas Quarterly.
  2. ^ Déry, Emy-Jane. "Michèle Audette en larmes lors de l'annonce de la tenue d'une enquête sur les femmes autochtones disparues ou assassinées". Le Journal de Québec. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  3. ^ "Syrup". Historica Canada. 1997. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  4. ^ Lévesque, Catherine (August 21, 2015). "Michèle Audette To Run For Liberals In Quebec Riding Of Terrebonne". The Huffington Post Quebec. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  5. ^ "Former NWAC president Audette misses red wave". APTN National News. October 20, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  6. ^ Curtis, Christopher (August 5, 2016). "Michèle Audette "a fighter" for missing and murdered aboriginal women". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  7. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Terrebonne, 30 September 2015
  8. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine