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Profile: Edith Cloutier

More about some of the people from the 8th Fire TV series.

Community Leader:


Washing dishes at age fifteen at a Native Friendship Center might not seem like the best route to advancement. But eight years later Edith Cloutier was the Executive Director of the Native Friendship in Val-d'Or Quebec.

It's a position she still holds today, as well as being President of the Quebec Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centers.

Cloutier's mother is Algonquin/Abenaki and her father Quebecois.

She has won wide recognition for her work, including an Aboriginal Achievement Award for Public Service.

The almost two hundred Native Friendship Centers across the country play a critical role for Aboriginal communities.

They help newcomers adjust to urban life and offer a wide range of cultural activities. Cloutier believes strongly that being an Aboriginal in the city doesn't mean having to sacrifice one's cultural identity.

"We've seen so many strategies that were set up to assimilate people, and we're still here. For me, we can be a native person that has a foot in the bush and a foot in town, but really be who we are and in a modern world."


Native Friendship in Val-d'Or Quebec