Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta 5th Woman of Inspiration 2015-2016 Presented by Syncrude Announced

October 2015

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 5th Woman of Inspiration 2015-2016 Presented by Syncrude Announced

(Fort McMurray) Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the 5th nominee for the Women of Inspiration series 2015-2016:

Elena Gould

Elena is a proud member of the Bigstone Cree Nation. Elena’s interest in promoting her culture and helping people is evident in her professional and private life. As the manager for Aboriginal Relations for the RMWB, her priorities include the management of First Nations and Metis community engagement, the First Nation infrastructure cost sharing agreements regarding infrastructure projects and service provision, development of a municipal policy on First Nations and Metis consultation. The latest addition to this busy portfolio is the new initiative of the Regional Aboriginal Connection (Urban Aboriginal Strategy initiative). All of these duties keep Elena busy, be it in the board room or in the communities, listening to concerns and helping to find solutions. She enjoys her community visits and genuinely takes great pride in listening to the stories of all community members. Elena works tirelessly on addressing homelessness within the region. She is a positive team leader who mentors those younger or less experienced and appreciates being mentored by others wiser and more experienced.

Elena has also worked for the Provincial government as a program analyst (First Nations Development Fund) as well as being the National Aboriginal Day Coordinator. In this position, she coordinated the grant program for this one day of recognition of the contribution to Canada of Aboriginal people. This national day celebrates the richness of the culture and encourages all to enjoy the history of Canada’s First People.

Ms. Gould enjoyed her time working for the University of Alberta in a variety of roles, from being a research assistant in the Cree Language Program to being a seminar leader for the faculty of Native Studies; she thrived on the ability to learn and focused on how to put her learning to practical usage to help her community.

Elena manages to squeeze community work into her hectic work schedule. She is a steering committee member of the Indigenous Woman’s Literacy Skills Development Program at Keyano College, volunteers with the Fort Chipewyan Pet Rescue Society, serves on the Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association (ANFCA), helps to coordinate the Regional Aboriginal Recognition Awards, is a Board member of the Nistawoyou Friendship Centre. She also represents the municipality of the CEMA Traditional Knowledge Working Group.

Whether Elena is working hard at her desk, or in the community helping out or working with a community board or association, her goals are to promote and make this a better community for all. She is an excellent role model for young Aboriginal women and girls. She demonstrates by her own commitment and action, what we can achieve if we try.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude will honour Elena and 11 other nominees, at the Women of Inspiration Celebration which will take place in June, 2016

The Women of Inspiration is a partnership between Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude, with a goal to recognize women throughout the Wood Buffalo region who inspire others, break new ground or old barriers and help create change. The series also aims to show local girls positive role models who live right here.

To nominate a woman of inspiration, please visit our website at www.girlsincofnorthernalberta.org or contact the Girls Inc. office at 780-790-9236.

For more information, please contact:
Ann Dort-MacLean
Executive Director –  Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
Phone: 780-790-9236
Email: girlsinc@telus.net