Our Past, Our Future
This is a series of profiles featuring our beloved Metis Elders who have generously shared traditional knowledge and practices with our Nation.
Audreen Hourie is a Metis, born in the Metis community of Grand Marais, Manitoba. She has put much effort into keeping Metis culture strong by teaching and volunteering.
Audreen was a founding board member of Pemmican Publications in 1980 and became managing editor in March 2000 until she retired in 2004. Before that she had worked for the MMF in various roles for over 25 years, in the areas of research, education and cultural development and was a leader in providing training to Metis people in the book publishing industry.
Audreen was also interim President of the MMF while John Morrisseau was on sick leave. As a lead up to the MMF land claim court case against the federal government, Audreen worked on the land claims research team both in Ottawa and in Manitoba.
In 1979, Audreen organized and participated in sit-ins at the provincial legislature protesting the high unemployment rates amongst Aboriginal people. That year, Audreen and other protesters took over the Employment and Immigration Canada offices in Winnipeg and stayed there for nine days.
Her sit-ins led to the government passing what was dubbed “The Norway House Law” which changed the regulations for peaceful sit-ins.
She has been honoured with a Ka Ni Kanichihk Keeping the Fires Burning Award and the Audreen Hourie Governance Fellowship available to Metis students enrolled in the Masters of Indigenous Governance or Masters of Development Practice program at the University of Winnipeg was named in her honour. The funds for this award come from the MMF and are matched by the University of Winnipeg.
With files by Lawrence Barkwell, Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research, Louis Riel Institute