Ovide Mercredi is a Cree born in the northern community of Grand Rapids. He served his community as Chief of Misipawistik Cree Nation from 2005 to 2011. He was a councillor for three years after his terms as Chief.
A graduate of the University of Manitoba with a law degree, he practiced criminal law and later specialized in constitutional law as an advisor to Manitoba Chiefs. In 1989, he was elected Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Manitoba. He became a key strategist for the Assembly during the time of the Meech Lake Accord constitutional reform discussions. He also had a strong leadership role in helping to resolve the Oka Crisis in 1990.
Mercredi was elected as National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations in 1991. During his first term, he led the negotiations for the First Nations in the Charlottetown Accord. He was the national spokesperson for Treaties 1 to 11 from 2006 to 2014.
In addition to serving as a lawyer and politician, he co-authored “In the Rapids: Navigating the Future of First Nations” with Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in 1993 and published a collection of poetry in 2015 called “My Silent Drum.” Mercredi has received honorary degrees from Bishops University, St Mary’s University, the University of Lethbridge and Athabaska University. He received the Order of Manitoba in 2005.