Peggy Flett has been appointed Head Elder for the Bonnyville Friendship Centre’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

Flett has been active in the community, in schools, as a board member at the Bonnyville Indian-Metis Rehabilitation Centre and the Bonnyville Friendship Centre’s programming.

She says she’s not sure that the appointment as Head Elder will change her roles at the Friendship Centre, but it does give her work official definition. It also formalizes her voting privileges on the Indigenous Advisory Council. 

Elders provide important continuity by linking young people with their roots, she said. “It’s good teaching. And also to be an example to your community and to your people and to the kids, to help
them to better understand through the way we’ve lived life—the things we were taught by our own elders, by grandparents, parents.”

Flett has served the Bonnyville Friendship Centre in many capacities including the Human Trafficking and Restorative Justice boards contributing to their Honouring Life Program, working with youth, and supporting their new Intergenerational Gender-Based Violence Project.

She brings traditional Métis knowledge to her various roles, admitting that she needs to get help and advice on First Nations cultural practices.  

“I was born and raised in the settlement, so I was raised differently from First Nations,” she said.  But she is able
to share the traditional ways of living from what the land provides.

“More like in the traditional way where you learn to hunt, learn to cut the meat and cut the moose, learning how to fish and cut up and smoke their meat,” she said. She also teaches moccasin-making and beadwork.

In their announcement, the Bonnyville Friendship Centre said “Peggy’s continuous direction and wisdom given to management of the Bonnyville Friendship Centre has been invaluable, respected, and never taken for granted. Every achievement is a testament to her strength and resiliency which will have a large impact upon our future generations within this role. 

“We look forward to a prosperous future with Peggy, as our Head Elder for the Indigenous Advisory Council as we continue to bridge the gap between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples within our community.”

Peggy Flett