FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
Chalifoux joined the Métis Association in the late 1960s during the early growth of local-level activism within Métis communities. Upon joining, Chalifoux strove to fix major issues affecting the Metis by advocating within governmental bodies. She argued that there were inadequate levels of social welfare programs despite clear indications that Métis communities were among a large majority of those in Canada not meeting their basic needs. Chalifoux, advocated for the increase of affordable shelter, food, and higher welfare grants and subsidies for Métis families. She later focused her efforts on the formation of the Welfare Unit, a group of investigators that looked into complaints concerning the Alberta Government Welfare Department’s dealings with Métis communities and families. Her efforts exposed welfare injustices like those that occurred at Fort Chippewa concerning the lack of funds given to various families in desperate need of assistance. Her investigations revealed accounts like that of a widow parenting “five children [and was given] $60 a month to live on.” She took a special interest in helping disadvantaged Métis women who had fallen through the cracks of government bureaucracy and otherwise would have remained voiceless.
Chalifoux was appointed to the Canadian Senate on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien on November 26, 1997, making her the first Indigenous woman and fourth Metis person to serve in the Canadian Senate, following Richard Hardisty, William Albert Boucher, and Gerry St. Germain. She held the position until 2004 when, at the age of 75, she retired and returned to Alberta. The following year Alberta Venture magazine ranked her number 8 on their list of 50 Greatest Albertans.
After her retirement, she founded the Michif Cultural and Resource Institute now the Michif Cultural Connections Company, an organization dedicated to preserving and sharing Métis history of Alberta. Chalifoux was the first woman to receive the National Aboriginal Achievement Award – known today as the Indspire Award – in 1994.
Chalifoux died at the age of 88 surrounded by her family on September 22, 2017, after a period of failing health.
On May 8, 2018, the Edmonton Public School Board of Trustees voted to name the new Thelma Chalifoux School (grade 7- 9) in Larkspur in her honour.
Question of the Day
Is there a level of caffeine that could kill a human being?
Yes. A lethal dose is 10 grams, or about 100 cups of coffee consumed within 4 hours.
Advice of the Day
Misfortunes and twins never come singly.
Home Hint of the Day
Did you run out of toilet-bowl cleaner? Substitute household (5 percent) bleach or vinegar.
Word of the Day
Civilian garb as opposed to a military uniform.
Puzzle of the Day
Why is the horse the most curious feeder in the world?
He eats best when he has not a bit in his mouth.
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