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Canadian Notable Persons Collection 1999-2000

Calahasen, Pearl - MLA, Lesser Slave Lake

Posted By:
Date: Wednesday, 14 September 2016, at 8:08 p.m.

Calahasen, Pearl
MLA, Lesser Slave Lake

Ms. Calahasen is minister without portfolio in the Alberta Government and minister responsible for children's services, within the portfolio of Family and Social Services.

Pearl Calahasen was born and raised in Grouard, Alberta. She has a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Alberta and a Master's Degree from the University of Oregon. She has also taught in a minimum-security prison, served as a Continuing Education Coordinator at Alberta Vocational College and worked as a private consultant developing and evaluating education materials.

Ms. Calahasen has been a champion of Native education programs. She developed the first Native Language Program introduced in Alberta schools and was responsible for developing the Cree Language Program for adult students. As a consultant with Alberta Education, Ms. Calahasen was the principal advisor for the development of the Native Education Policy, Native curriculum materials and Native language programming.

Actively involved in community affairs, Ms. Calahasen has served as a member of the Native Economic Development Program, as an Alberta Human Rights Commissioner and as a volunteer tutor for illiterate adults. Among her other activities, she has been a canvasser for the Heart Fund and Cancer Society and has been actively involved in community sports as a player, coach and administrator.

Ms. Calahasen is a long standing member of the Metis Nation of Alberta, the World Congress on Education, the High Prairie Native Friendship Centre, the Alberta Teachers' Association and the Metis Economic Development Board. She is a founder of the University of Alberta Native Student Club.

Ms. Calahasen was elected to the Alberta Legislature in 1989 as the MLA for Lesser Slave Lake. She has served on various legislative committees and been a member of the Northern Alberta Development Council and the former Premier's Council in Support of Alberta Families.

Ms. Calahasen was re-elected on June 15, 1993, and appointed Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. She was appointed Minister without Portfolio responsible for Children's Services, within the portfolio of Family and Social Services on May 31, 1996 and re-appointed on March 26, 1997 following the provincial election.

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