Métis community leader well-positioned to manage stewardship at MVA
- Andrea Ledding | July 02, 2018
The Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) has hired a new Chief Executive Officer: none other than Andrea Lafond.
“Andrea Lafond has been in her position of CEO for 30 days but has gleaned an enormous amount through broad consultations with staff, stakeholders and board members,” says MVA Board Chair Colin Tennant. “In that short time, I’ve observed a quiet confidence, keen observation skills, an intuitive sense of direction and a natural inquisitiveness.”
Tennant adds that her proposed visioning exercise this fall will only help identify unique opportunities for the MVA’s future.
“From our perspective, hiring Andrea definitely remains the right decision for our board. Meewasin’s future certainly looks very good.”
Meewasin is a conservation agency dedicated to conserving the cultural and natural resources of the South Saskatchewan River Valley.
Lafond has high praise for the MVA as well.
“The path that led me to Meewasin was truly my passion for the MVA and its tremendous efforts on conservation, providing access and education to the histories and biodiversity of our lands and our river valley.”
Recently though, funding cuts have been an ongoing challenge for the MVA, but Lafond sees this as a potential to grow.
“The present challenge which I perceive as the potential is funding our critical work: this is really an opportunity to reframe our messaging and conversations to build knowledge and understanding on multiple levels of the successes, purpose, and vision of Meewasin.”
Lafond notes the critical importance of the MVA in creating balance between human use while educating about and conserving the lands and river system for future generations.
Her Métis heritage combined with her Certified Aboriginal Financial Management designation through the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association positions her to undertake this crucial position, continuing to preserve the river valley for present and future generations while educating all levels of government and people on environmental stewardship and a shared history, present, and future together.
“My background ties in both professionally and personally, when I look to leadership opportunities it is about truly respecting the purpose and vision and the history of how and why an organization came to be. Respecting that history and moving forward on opportunities through strategic positioning and messaging,” explains Lafond, adding that the importance of good stewardship cannot be overstated. “Personally, I feel strongly that when it relates to our natural lands and water systems, we have to be making conscious long-term decisions to conserve these areas, these are not resources we can get back once misused.”