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Biography & Autobiography Native Americans

The Life and Legacy of Muriel Stanley Venne

A Métis Matriarch

by (author) Christine Mowat

with Muriel Stanley Venne

Heritage House Publishing
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Native Americans, Social Activists, Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

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The inspiring biography of Muriel Stanley Venne, a lifelong activist, community leader, and tireless advocate for Indigenous and women’s rights, set within the context of landmark legislative and national movements towards truth and reconciliation over the past three decades.

Written over the course of four years of interviews and research, The Life and Legacy of Muriel Stanley Venne is the first authorized biography of this remarkable Métis matriarch and community leader. Born in Lamont, Alberta, as the oldest of ten children, Venne has dedicated her life to promoting the rights of Indigenous women.


While her life has been filled with both hardships and triumphs, Venne’s crowning achievement has been the founding of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW), the Edmonton-based nonprofit organization that she ran for a quarter of a century. One of the first organizations of its kind to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada, IAAW recognizes the societal obstacles and dangers that Indigenous women disproportionately face. Venne’s advocacy work has contributed greatly to the national conversation surrounding Indigenous Peoples, particularly issues of systemic racism, the intergenerational effects of residential school abuse, and the Sixties Scoop. This book places Venne’s life in the context of these issues, and highlights recent groundbreaking legislation that her work has contributed to.

About the authors

Christine Mowat is an educator, writer, curriculum developer, plain language specialist, and co-founder of Wordsmith Associates Communications Consultants. She has designed and taught plain language courses for every level of government in Canada, for educational institutions in Alberta, and for organizations and corporations across Canada. In 2009, Christine received a lifetime achievement award from the Plain Language Association InterNational. In 2011, PLAIN recognized Christine’s outstanding contribution by renaming this award the Christine Mowat Plain Language Achievement Award. She is a member of Muriel Stanley Venne’s Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women.

Christine Mowat's profile page

Born in Lamont, Alberta, to a Métis family of ten children, Muriel Stanley Venne is a champion of human rights, whose career has spanned nearly fifty years. Her work has advanced the fair treatment of Indigenous Peoples within all levels of society, focusing primarily on the promotion of women’s rights. Her activist path began when former Premier Peter Lougheed appointed her as commissioner to the Alberta Human Rights Commission in 1973. In 1994, she founded the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW). She has been recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and has received numerous awards for her tireless advocacy, including the Alberta Human Rights Award, the Order of Canada, the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal for the Person’s Case, and Queen Elizabeth II’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals.

Muriel Stanley Venne's profile page