Please join University of Manitoba President Dr. David T. Barnard for an evening of poetry reading, dialogue, and book signing with Ovide Mercredi, who is launching his first collection of poetry: My Silent Drum.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Marshall McLuhan Hall, 204 University Centre
Parking is available in any student lot or the parkade.
"Poetry has become an extension of my advocacy for fairness and justice." - Ovide Mercredi
Ovide Mercredi biography:
Ovide Mercredi is a highly respected lawyer, negotiator, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, lecturer, activist, artist, author and poet.
Of Cree descent, Mercredi was born in 1946 into a traditional trapping, hunting and fishing lifestyle in Misipawistik Cree Nation (Grand Rapids), Manitoba. He went on to pursue a career in justice, earning his law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1977. He was one of the student leaders who established the first Native Students’ Association in Canada, and the Indian and Eskimo Student Centre.
In 1989, he was elected Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Manitoba. He was a key strategist in defeating the Meech Lake Accord, and he played an integral role in resolving the Oka Crisis. He was elected National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations in 1991. He was re-elected in 1994 and served until 1997. As National Chief, Mercredi played a major role in the Charlottetown Accord constitutional discussions and addressed the United Nations in both Geneva and New York.
Mercredi became Chief of the Misipawistik Cree Nation and served his community from 2005 to 2011. During his tenure, he negotiated an agreement with Manitoba Hydro that will result in a $100 million contribution over 50 years for new housing and renovations. He also secured new funds for adult learning and training, a community-governed health centre and greenhouse project, and brought in modern amenities like a gas station, community store, coffee shop and improved communications.
In 2006, Mercredi was invested with the province’s highest honour, the Order of Manitoba. He was nominated by the Government of India for the Ghandi Peace Prize and has received honorary degrees from Bishop’s University, St. Mary’s University and Lethbridge University. In 2007, Mercredi was installed as the first chancellor of the University College of the North, which serves students above the 53rd parallel. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Manitoba in 2013.
Over the past several years, Mercredi has been involved at the University of Manitoba through numerous speaking engagements and has provided advice to the Dean, Faculty of Social Work, on Indigenous knowledge and teachings as it relates to Child and Family Services. Mercredi has also provided advice and support to the University of Manitoba’s President and to the Executive Lead, Indigenous Achievement, on a full range of issues. He currenty sits on the Board of Directors of Canadians for a New Partnership, which is working to build relations between First Peoples and all Canadians.
My Silent Drum is his first book of poetry.