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Ovide Mercredi

Ovide Mercredi

First Nation Leader

Ovide Mercredi is an Indigenous Canadian politician and an officer of the Order of Canada. He is Cree and a former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Mercredi attended the University of Manitoba and graduated with a degree in law in 1977. While a student he became president of the first Native Students’ Association formed in Canada. He was elected regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Manitoba in 1989. Mercredi had specialized in constitutional law, and became a key strategist for the assembly during the time of the Meech Lake Accord constitutional reform discussions. He also had a strong leadership role in resolving the Oka Crisis.

In 1991, Mercredi was elected national chief for the Assembly of First Nations. During this first term, he played a major role in the Charlottetown Accord constitutional discussions. He was re-elected to this position in 1994, and served as national chief until 1997. As chief, Mercredi addressed the United Nations in both Geneva and New York. He also led a Canadian delegation to the troubled area of Chiapas, Mexico.

In addition to serving as a lawyer and politician, Mercredi is a noted author. He co-wrote the 1993 book, In The Rapids: Navigating the Future of First Nations. Chief Mercredi is also the author of a book of poetry titled “My Silent Drum”.