A member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, Marlene has spent most of her career working with Indigenous communities, organizations, and individuals in several capacities, across Canada and internationally. Marlene has worked at the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) in Ottawa in various roles. She has also worked with governments and Alberta’s Treaty organizations on issues and projects such as resource development, Treaty Research for Mikisew Cree First Nation, Tsuu T’ina Nation and Onion Lake Cree Nations; and coordination of the Building Economic Prosperity for Aboriginal Women Project for Creating Hope Society.
A lifelong advocate of lifting the voices of women, youth and elders, Poitras founded the Iskwewak women’s mentorship program and was core to the work establishing a Veterans council at the Assembly of First Nations. In 2018, Regional Chief Poitras made history as the first woman to hold the position of Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief for Alberta.
A recipient of the 2015 Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Humanitarian Award, In 2018 she was recognized for her ‘Outstanding Contributions to the Aboriginal Community’ by Native Counselling Services of Alberta. She was also recently honoured as the recipient of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women Circle of Honour – Dorothy McDonald Leadership Esquao Award.