Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Dene, 1951-
She was the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the Parliament of Canada. Blondin-Andrew is a Dene who was the Member of Parliament for the district of Western Arctic in the Northwest Territories. She was first elected in the 1988 election. She was re-elected in 1993 and was appointed Secretary of State for Training and Youth, making her the first Aboriginal woman to become member of the Privy Council and Cabinet. Blondin-Andrew was born in Tulita, Northwest Territories, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Alberta. She was one of the first accredited Aboriginal teachers in the North Before embarking upon her political career, she spent many years working in the North as a teacher, Blondin-Andrew worked as Acting Director of the Public Service Commission of Canada, and as National Manager of Indigenous Development Programs and Assistant Deputy Minister of Culture and Communications for the Government of the Northwest Territories. Under Prime Ministers Chrétien and Martin, she served as Secretary of State then Minister of State, respectively, for Children and Youth. She was re-elected in the 2004 election by a thin margin and was named Minister of State for Northern Development under Paul Martin. She was defeated in the 2006 election.

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