Audrey Poitras

As the first woman elected President of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) in 1996, she eliminated the organization’s financial debt, balanced the budgets, and began raising the profile of the MNA. Ms. Poitras has gone on to become the longest serving President of the MNA, with 14 years at the helm of the oldest Métis organization in Canada. She oversaw the creation of the MNA’s new Métis Centre of Excellence – the Rupertsland Institute which is a unique partnership with the University of Alberta promoting education and training. This Centre of Excellence is now another independent affiliate of the MNA. Under her leadership, the MNA also commenced the longest Métis harvesting trial ever conducted. The case, R. v. Jones & Hirsekorn is the first Métis harvesting rights case to address mobility issues throughout the Métis Nation. She established endowment funds of almost 10 million dollars with institutes and universities in Alberta. In 2005 Ms. Poitras was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was named one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people by Alberta Venture magazine.