National Indigenous Council Elders (NICE)
Marion Meadmore turned ideas into action and helped bring a stronger voice to Indigenous people in Canada. At 79, her mission continues as the longtime community leader chips away at a formidable task: eliminating poverty among Indigenous people.
"When i see a need," Meadmore explains "I work really hard to meet it."
The commitment to others stems from the lessons of her father, a farmer and chief of the Peepeekisis First Nation in Saskatchewan, where Meadmore grew up. He taught her and her siblings that they were "there to look after people." It's value Meadmore never lost sight of, even as she endured a decade in the Residential School System, separated from her parents' love.
When Meadmore moved to Winnipeg in the 1950's, she saw poverty among her people for the first time. In the years that followed she worked to build a support hub for Indigenous people moving to 'the big city' and improve their access to safe, affordable housing. She helped to create the Indian & Metis Friendship Centre, Kinew Housing Inc., and what is now the Assembly of First Nations.
Much of Meadmore's early advocacy work was done as a volunteer and stay-at-home-mom. Her dad, a University of Manitoba alumnus, instilled in his daughter a passion for education in 1977, Meadmore graduated from the U of M with a law degree and made history as the first female Indigenous lawyer in Canada.
Today, meadmore's contributions are both legacy... and still to come. She recently formed the National Indigenous Council of Elders to develop new ways to create wealth. "When we're controlling our own destiny and we're able to pay for it, that would be success," Meadmore says.