Board of Directors
Muriel Stanley Venne is Métis from Lamont Alberta. Muriel has a long history of bringing Aboriginal human rights issues to the forefront and continues to work tirelessly. In 1973 she was appointed by Peter Lougheed as one of the first seven Commissioners of the Alberta Human Rights Commission to serve four years. In 1998, she presented Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, with The Rights Path Alberta in Hobbema. Muriel is the Founder of the Institute for the Advancment of Aboriginal Women that has created the Esquao Awards to recognize the achievements of Aboriginal women.
Muriel received the 1998 Human Rights Award on the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the Alberta Human Rights Commission and the 50th Anniversary of the UN International Declaration of Human Rights. She has received the Order of Canada and Governor General's commemorative Medal in honour of the Person's Case and the Alberta Government Centennial Medal. In 2006, she received the Rotary Club's Integrity Award and the YWCA Lois Hole Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, Alberta Venture Magazine named Muriel as one of the fifty most influential people in Alberta and in 2007, she was honoured as Global Woman of Vision. in addition to many more awards and recognitions, Muriel was elected Vice President of the Métis Nation of Alberta from 2008 - 2012.
Lewis Cardinal is Woodland Cree from Northern Alberta. As a communicator and educator, he has dedicated his work to creating and maintaining connections and relationships that cross cultural divides. His work has mirrored his personal vision of a socially-just and responsive society. His long track record of public service includes: founding Board member of Racism Free Edmonton, Executive Board member of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, Board member of Little Warriors, former Chair of Edmonton Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee, Bissell Centre Board of Governors, Chair and Founder of Global Indigenous Dialogue, Trustee and Executive member of the Council for a Parliament of World Religions, and Executive Vice-President of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Network.
Lewis recently received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for Public Service, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Public Service, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Grant MacEwan University, the Human Rights Award of Recognition from the Centre for Race and Culture, as well as, the Alberta Centennial Medal for his work in Human Rights and Diversity. Lewis is the owner of Cardinal Strategic Communications, specializing in Education, Governance, and Communications.
Marggo Pariseau was born in High Prairie Alberta to a Métis mother and French father, she was fortunate to be able to walk in both cultures. Her father insisted that she be raised French Catholic and attended a French school. Her Cree grandmother was determined that she learn the traditions of her people and only spoke Cree to her. Marggo followed her Kokum everywhere she went – picking berries, hunting working hard all summer preparing for the harsh winters and always being grateful at the end of the day. It was stressed that taking care of yourself was important; even making your bed each morning was an example of taking care of your spirit. She now has four children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Marggo has supported Aboriginal women for over 40 years in various capacities. She was the Manager for 20 years at the Women’s Emergency Accommodation Center, 5 years as an employment counsellor and 15 years as a family support worker. She presently works hand and hand with the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, to work with women leaving corrections that need support integrating into the community and facilitating the Esquao Independence Program.
Roy Louis is a member of the Samson Cree Nation. He is from a family of leadership and former President of the Indian Association of Alberta. Roy is a co-founding member of Peace Hills Trust Company and Peace Hills General Insurance that are now into their 30th year. He helped initiate the Pe Sakastew Healing Centre in Hobbema with former Commissioner Ole Ingstrup. In 2003, he and his wife Judy traveled to China to receive an International Award for the Healing Centre. Mr. Louis was a member of the Senate for the University of Alberta and a member of the Capital Health Authority Board until 1998. Currently, he sits on the RCMP’s Aboriginal Advisory to the Deputy Commissioner of “K” Division. Roy is also an Aboriginal Advisory to Commissioner of Corrections Don Head in Ottawa.
Roy has been widely recognized for his continued volunteerism and promotion of cultural awareness and business development for First Nations. He is the recipient of Canada’s 125 Medal in 1992, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005, the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal in September of 2012, and, in 2013, a lifetime achievement award from the Alberta Aboriginal Role models.