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Historic Swearing-in of the first Otipemisiwak Métis Government

Press Release

Edmonton, October 17, 2023 – Alberta Métis have made history with the swearing-in of the first Otipemisiwak Métis Government. President Andrea Sandmaier, members of the Citizens’ Council, and District Captains took the oath of office before hundreds of Métis Citizens following the largest leadership vote in the Métis Nation of Alberta’s (MNA) history, and according to MNA research, the largest leadership vote ever held for an Indigenous government in Canada.

“The swearing-in of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government is a monumental milestone in our continued journey to Métis self-government,” said Andrea Sandmaier, President of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government. “My colleagues and I are committed to working hard for our fellow Citizens to advance the interests of Métis Nation Citizens within Alberta and push Métis self-governance across the finish line.”

The following individuals were sworn in on October 15, 2023:

Provincial Office:

  • • Andrea Sandmaier, President of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government
  • • Tai Amy Grauman, Women’s Representative
  • • Rebecca Rae Lavallee, Youth Representative

Citizen Representatives:

  • • Darryl Wesley Campbell, Citizens’ Representative, Foothills Métis District 1
  • • Catherine Schnell, Citizens’ Representative, Medicine Hat Métis District 2
  • • Joseph (Joe) Brad Chodzicki, Citizens’ Representative, Red Deer Métis District 3
  • • Lisa San Filippo, Citizens’ Representative, Rocky View Métis District 4
  • • Nelson Anthony Lussier, Citizens’ Representative, Calgary Nose Hill Métis District 5
  • • Jason Chernow, Citizens’ Representative, Calgary Elbow Métis District 6
  • • Kaila Mitchell, Citizens’ Representative, Jasper House Métis District 7
  • • Lisa Wolfe, Citizens’ Representative, Lac Ste. Anne Métis District 8
  • • Sarah Wolfe, Citizens’ Representative, Fort Edmonton Métis District 9
  • • Aurora (Aura) Leddy, Citizens’ Representative, Edmonton Whitemud Métis District 10
  • • Alfred L’Hirondelle, Citizens’ Representative, St. Albert Métis District 11
  • • Karen (KC) Collins, Citizens’ Representative, St. Paul-Cold Lake Métis District 12
  • • Shannon Dunfield, Citizens’ Representative, Grande Prairie Métis District 13
  • • Barry Allan Dibb, Citizens’ Representative, Peace River Métis District 14
  • • Bobbi Faye Paul-Alook, Citizens’ Representative, Fort Vermilion Métis District 15
  • • Judy Ann Cardinal, Citizens’ Representative, Fort Chipewyan Métis District 16
  • • Brooke Bramfield, Citizens’ Representative, Fort McMurray Métis District 17
  • • Valerie Anne Quintal, Citizens’ Representative, Conklin Métis District 18
  • • Charles Reinhart (Jason) Ekeberg, Citizens’ Representative, Lac La Biche Métis District 19
  • • Noel Joseph Tremblay, Citizens’ Representative, Athabasca Landing Métis District 20
  • • Nolan Grant Lacombe, Citizens’ Representative, Lesser Slave Lake Métis District 21
  • • Nancy Margaret Cardinal, Citizens’ Representative, Wabasca-Desmarais Métis District 22

District Captains:

  • • Amber Boyd, District Captain, Rocky View Métis District 4
  • • Carmen Lasante, District Captain, Calgary Elbow Métis District 6
  • • Bernard (Bernie) Poitras, District Captain, St. Paul-Cold Lake Métis District 12
  • • Brian Ladouceur, District Captain, Athabasca Landing Métis District 20
  • • Regan Auger, District Captain, Wabasca-Desmarais Métis District 22

With the representatives of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government sworn in, the first meeting of the Citizens’ Council was held on October 16. During the meeting, President Sandmaier announced the appointment of the first Otipemisiwak Métis Government Cabinet. Each Provincial Secretary is responsible for a specific portfolio and is united in the shared goal of advancing Métis rights recognition and self-government, preserving Métis culture, and securing a brighter future for future generations of Métis.

The following individuals will form the first Cabinet for the Otipemisiwak Métis Government:

  • • Secretary of Records – Shannon Dunfield
  • • Secretary of Treasury – Jason Ekeberg
  • • Secretary of Advancement of Women & Girls – Tai Amy Grauman
  • • Secretary of Citizenship & Registry – Joseph Chodzicki
  • • Secretary of Harvesting & Culture – Grant Lacombe
  • • Secretary of Housing & Infrastructure – Valerie Quintal
  • • Secretary of Mental Health and Addictions – Kaila Mitchell
  • • Secretary of Health & Seniors – Bobbi Paul-Alook
  • • Secretary of Youth & Sport – Rebecca Lavallee
  • • Secretary of Child & Family Services – Brooke Bramfield
  • • Secretary of Education & Language – Lisa Wolfe
  • • Secretary of Tourism & Economic Development – Lisa San Filippo
  • • Secretary of Environment & Climate Change – Jason Chernow
  • • Secretary of Metis Settlements & First Nation Relations- Karen (KC) Collins

“I am incredibly honoured to appoint the first Cabinet of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government,” said Sandmaier. “Together, we will be a government that advocates for all Citizens of the Métis Nation within Alberta while reflecting our values and traditions, exercising our inherent and constitutionally protected Métis rights, supporting our Citizens and communities and preserving and enriching our language, culture, and way of life.”

This swearing in, and appointment of Cabinet marks an important next step in the journey to Métis self-government. The Otipemisiwak Métis Government Constitution, which was ratified in the largest Indigenous vote in Canadian history on November 2022, came into force and effect following the election held in September 2023. Additionally, Bill C-53 – the Recognition of Certain Métis Governments in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan and Métis Self-Government Act – was introduced by the Government of Canada in the House of Commons on June 21, 2023. The MNA calls on parliamentarians to ensure its swift passage.

“It is imperative that Bill C-53, our Métis self-government legislation is passed,” said  Sandmaier. “As President, I will not rest until Bill C-53 is law.”

Self-government for the Otipemisiwak Métis Government and the passing of Bill C-53 will open doors with both Canada and Alberta, including:

  • • a new fiscal relationship with Canada to finally provide Métis-designed supports to Métis Citizens in health, housing, language, education, training, economic development, and justice; and,
  • • improving the services provided to Métis Citizens in Alberta such as support for those living with disabilities, delivering culturally-appropriate child and family services, mental health supports, and care for Métis elders.


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