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CHALIFOUX, Honourable Senator
Dr. Thelma J.
February 8, 1929 - September 22, 2017
The Honourable Senator Dr. Thelma J. Chalifoux was appointed to the Canadian Senate by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien on November 26, 1997. She became the first female indigenous person appointed to the Senate of Canada and served until February 8, 2004, when she retired and returned to Alberta. A history maker and trailblazer, prior to her appointment she worked as a teacher and community organizer and was very active in both local and national Métis communities. Upon her retirement from the Senate, she founded the Michif Cultural and Resource Institute (now the Michif Cultural Connections) in St. Albert, Alberta, an organization devoted to preserve, protect and promote the rich Métis culture in northern Alberta.
As the Matriarch of a large extended family of more than seventy children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and five great-great- grandchildren, she was a great example of grace under pressure and courage to keep going no matter what challenges one faced. She uplifted spirits - changed hearts and minds for the better and left this world a far better place than when she found it.
A Traditional Metis Wake will be held Wednesday, September 27, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at the Connelly-McKinley, St. Albert Funeral Home in St. Albert. A Funeral Mass will be Celebrated and live streamed Thursday, September, 28, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Holy Family Parish, 75 Poirier Avenue, St Albert, with a lunch reception to follow. Interment will be at the St. Albert Cemetery following the reception.
In lieu of flowers Memorial Donations may be made to the Michif Cultural Connections c/o Musee Heritage #5 St Ann St., St. Albert, Alberta T8N 3Z9.
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Published in Edmonton Journal on Sep. 26, 2017.
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