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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Minister Geoffrey Kelley congratulates Ms. Eva Ottawa on the occasion of her swearing-in as Grand Chief of the Atikamekw nation

QUÉBEC, October 11, 2006 – On October 7th of this year, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, Minister for Native Affairs, attended, in Manawan, the swearing-in of Ms. Eva Ottawa as Grand Chief and President of the Council of the Atikamekw nation. In his speech, Minister Kelley made a point of congratulating Ms. Ottawa, the first woman to hold this position in the entire history of the nation.

“I would first like to underscore the undeniable personal qualities of Ms. Ottawa and her great determination in taking up this new challenge. I salute her arrival as Grand Chief, which testifies to a great desire for change within the Atikamekw nation. This is the start of a long affirmation process for Aboriginal women and it is entirely to their credit,” stated Minister Kelley.

Ms. Ottawa has obtained two Bachelor’s degrees from Université Laval, one in law and the other in sociology. She has notably worked as a consultant for the Manawan Atikamekw Council, within the context of the negotiations with federal and provincial authorities. Over the next four years, Ms. Ottawa will be called upon to defend the interests of a nation made up of approximately 6,000 members, 60% of whom are under 25, spread out between the communities of Manawan, Opitciwan and Wemotaci. This is the second election by universal suffrage of the Atikamekw nation. Ms. Ottawa succeeds Grand Chief Ernest Awashish who did not seek a new term of office.

“I would like to wish Ms. Ottawa great success during her term of office and assure her of my full cooperation in the pursuit of harmonious relations between Québec and the Atikamekw nation,” concluded the Minister.

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Online as of : October 11, 2006