Candidate for President

Jennifer Parkinson, Candidate for President

My story begins in Ontario as both my parents and I were born in Ottawa and have lived in Ontario all of our lives. Moving around Southern Ontario I grew up in Ottawa, Toronto and Guelph.

Even though I grew up in urban areas, I was connected to the land. I learned wilderness survival skills as teenager and spent most weekends in the woods. I attended university twice to study science and have also taken Industrial Electrician courses and workforce management. At one time I spoke both French and Japanese. I have been a buyer, project manager and manufacturing process analyst.

We currently live in Guelph and will soon celebrate our 36th Wedding Anniversary. We have 3 adult children and 3 wonderful Grandchildren.

I am a successful Entrepreneur, with 40 years experience. I have developed strong leadership and communication skills, listening to all sides and determining the best course of action. I am a Community builder, developing strong and lasting relationships. I am a natural Networker, quickly connecting and getting to know people. I am also a great Negotiator as I don’t take things personally and always view a challenge as an opportunity.

I became involved with Grand River Métis Council a little over 8 years ago as Chair of the Council. I have been Council President for just over 5 years. In that time, I used my entrepreneurial skills to help Council make money, further develop existing relationships in the community, and foster new ones. Eventually, Council was able to pay for their own office for 2 years before they had a staff person. Together we built up a savings and are now able to support various Council activities and initiatives.

Moving forward as a proud Nation, I believe we need stronger communication in English and French with frequent pre-set dates and much greater transparency.

We should provide web and telephone updates. We need steering committees that tap into the wide-ranging abilities of our communities. We need greater Citizen involvement by using platforms where Citizens can comment and make suggestions, with a process to allow all Citizens to vote on key issues.

Stronger policies, clearer direction and bylaws need to be put in place and adhered to. Clearly defined roles responsibilities and accountabilities for each elected position, have to be made available to our Citizens. We, in leadership positions, need to always be accountable to and take direction from our Citizens.

We must keep moving forward and achieve self-government for the Nation. As Métis to build a stronger future for the generations to come.