Legislative Assembly of Alberta

Biography for Honourable Pearl Calahasen (PC)
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MLA for Lesser Slave Lake

Pearl Calahasen

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Pearl Calahasen was elected to her fifth term as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Lesser Slave Lake on November 22, 2004. She was subsequently re-appointed Alberta's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

Since she was first elected to the Alberta Legislature in 1989, Ms. Calahasen has also served as Minister without Portfolio responsible for Children's Services and Associate Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

In addition to her role as MLA, Ms. Calahasen has served on the following:

  • member of the Standing Policy Committee on Health and Community Living
  • Northern Alberta Development Council
  • Premier's Council in Support of Alberta Families
  • Standing Policy Committee on Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (Chair)
  • Standing Policy Committee on Finance and Intergovernmental Relations
  • Standing Policy Committee on Health and Community Living

Pearl Calahasen was born and raised in Grouard, Alberta. She has a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Alberta and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Education.

Her professional, private-sector experience includes teaching in a minimum-security prison, serving as a continuing education co-ordinator at Alberta Vocational College in Lesser Slave Lake (now Northern Lakes College), and working as a private consultant developing and evaluating educational materials.

Ms. Calahasen has been a champion of Native education programs. She led the development of 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. She has canvassed 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 one of the founding members of the University of Alberta Native Student Club.

November 25, 2004


Legislative Assembly of Alberta
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