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Profession: Business Development Manager, Acden
Age: 35 • Years in Wood Buffalo: 35

Born and raised in Fort Chipewyan, 35-year-old Mitch Mercredi is a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and has called the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo home all his life.

In 2010, Mitch joined the family business at Lakeshore Contracting Ltd. and Lakeshore Helicopters Lt. as General Manager, after studying Industrial Instrumentation Technology at Keyano College, and receiving his diploma in Civil Engineering Technology at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He is currently the Business Development Manager for Acden, a corporation owned by the Athabasca Chipewyan First of the largest Aboriginal corporations in Canada with 18 companies and over 3,000 employees.

A dedicated community volunteer, Mitch mentors in the Aboriginal Entrepreneur Program at Father Patrick Mercredi High School, and performs traditional drumming, singing, and dancing for community events. He is also Past President of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association.

Mitch’s Aboriginal culture is very important to him, learning both Dene and Cree traditional ways of life. He is passionate about promoting the beauty of the Aboriginal culture in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. He has recently begun dancing at Pow Wows to introduce the rich culture and history to his children, as they are now entering into the Pow Wow circle. Together with his son, Mitch is a Traditional Grass Dancer, and his daughter is a Traditional Jingle Dress Dancer. He also recently started teaching boys how to dance Pow Wow with the Fort McKay Northwind Dancers, and would like to see more boys and young men come out and dance.

Mitch and his wife, Crystal, are expecting their third child. In his free time, Mitch enjoys playing volleyball and softball, fishing and hunting. He cites his favourite thing about Wood Buffalo as being the opportunities available for those who are dedicated and hardworking. As well, the people in the region, including his very supportive extended family are amongst the things he loves about Wood Buffalo.

Because of his commitment to celebrating Aboriginal culture, and doing his part to ensure the traditions are passed down to the next generation, Mitch is one of YMM’s Top 50 Under 50.

IN HIS OWN WORDS: “I live by Robert Ingersoll’s words, ‘We rise by lifting others.’”