A founding MNO citizen announces retirement

Louise Goulding
Louise Goulding holds the smudge feathers presented
to her by MNO citizen, Irene Peel.

After dedicating over two decades of service to the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), Louise Goulding has announced her retirement as Deputy Chief Captain of the Hunt. “It was an honour to have served the people of this great Nation for the last 22 years,” said Louise. “I have chosen to announce my retirement the week of May second as it marks the 22nd anniversary of my attendance at the MNO’s Founding Delegate’s Assembly, which took place May 4-7, 1994.”

“Louise Goulding is a truly exceptional individual who has been fighting for Métis people since the very beginning of the MNO,” stated MNO President Gary Lipinski. “The MNO would not be where we are today if it had not been for Louise’s dedication and perseverance to advocate for Métis people.” 

The Founding Delegates Assembly took place in May of 1994 wherein Louise was appointed area representative for Mac Tier. “We
Louise_Founding Delegates AssemblyLouise Goulding’s badge from the MNO’s Founding
Delegates Assembly in Toronto in 1994.
were all presented with sashes and it was very informative,” explains Louise. “I knew I wanted to be a part of it even from the Founding Delegates Assembly because I could feel it from the people, the leaders; I could feel that they were going to move mountains for the Métis people of Ontario.” Louise is one of the founding members of the MNO and her involvement stretches back all the way to 1993. “In October of 1993, I got a letter to participate in the Founding Delegates Assembly in Toronto for the Métis Nation of Ontario and that was pretty exciting,” said Louise.

The following year in 1995, Louise was appointed the first MNO Captain of the Hunt for Region 7; she stayed in this role until 2013. In 2008, Louise was then appointed MNO Deputy Chief Captain of the Hunt–a role she has maintained up to her retirement announcement.

Louise’s diverse work within the MNO also includes her election as PCMNO Councillor for Region 7 in 1999. While on PCMNO, Louise was later a member of the Finance Committee.

Louise is also a founding member of the MNO Moon River Métis Council (MRMC) and was elected President in 2004. Louise has also held various other positions within the MNO MRMC such as Chair and Secretary.

Louise’s involvement with the MNO does not stop there. From 2004-2010, Louise held the position of Chair for the Rendezvous Committee for Region 7. Louise was also made the MNO Representative at the Métis National Council’s Métis Rights Panel from 2010-2013.

Louise has also been an instrumental force in helping to record Métis history through her work with the MNO Moon River Métis Council’s (MRMC) historical report: From the Straits of Mackinac to Georgian Bay: 300 years of Métis History and their oral history video: In Our Blood.

In 2009, Louise was awarded the Suzanne Rochon-Burnett (SRB) Volunteer of the Year Award. Every year since 2006, the SRB Volunteer of the Year award is presented to an MNO citizen who has made ongoing contributions to the Métis Nation and his or her own community.

“It is undeniable the impact that Louise has had on the Métis people and the Métis Nation of Ontario,” states President Lipinski. “Her positive attitude, contagious smile and conviction for the Métis are all qualities that will be particularly missed."

Louise’s humble spirit is evident as she jokes that “perhaps what I will be most remembered for are my fish fries!”

On a personal level, Louise explains that while working with the MNO she has gained so many amazing friends and has countless memories she will forever cherish. “I have grown so much during these last 22 years and have learned so much, which has helped shape me into the person I am today,” said Louise.

Louise would like to thank the past and current leadership of the MNO. “It has been a great pleasure to serve alongside this Nation’s great leaders,” she explains. “I truly enjoyed working with all of you and I will forever cherish our friendships. I wish the new leadership much success in continuing to move this great Nation forward.”

While in her role as MNO Region 7 Captain of the Hunt, Louise spent countless hours in court assisting MNO Harvesters with the help of the MNO’s legal counsel. “The MNO’s legal counsel has made it easier for me to walk into a courtroom knowing that I have their full support and much needed guidance,” explained Louise.

Last but not least, she acknowledged her husband Chris. “From the beginning he has supported me, my people, and my Nation, and has stood by my side over the last 22 years,” she explained. “Without him, I would never have been able to spend so many hours volunteering for a Nation I love so dearly.”

“This is an incredible accomplishment to have worked in so many roles and helped so many Métis people across Ontario,” stated President Lipinski. “Louise has had a big presence in the MNO over the years and her work has been invaluable and will not be forgotten.”

Although one chapter has ended, Louise is excited for the next chapter in her life to begin as she continues working full time with her husband Chris at their construction company, Moon Island Construction Ltd. Louise also looks forward to spending more time with her four grandchildren. 

Published on: May 4, 2016

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