Montreal’s first Indigenous city councillor is now also on its executive committee.  

On Monday, Mayor Valerie Plante announced Marie Josee Parent would take the portfolio of reconciliation with the city’s Native community.

Last year, Parent was elected to council by Verdun voters after having run as part of the Equipe Denis Coderre party.

Plante praised Parent, saying she was chosen due to her experience and not as a political decision.

“When we started to talk, it was really about the expertise she brings to the table because reconciliation and culture is a very important dossier,” she said. “I’ve shown in the past how it’s important to me to reach out to people who can make us stronger and more reliable on some subjects.”

“Madame Parent before becoming a councillor was involved in reconciliation for so long. Some of the work our commissioner is doing right now is closely connected with some of the work Marie Josee Parent has done in the past.”

In February, Montreal became the first Canadian city to name a Commissioner of Indigenous Affairs, a position tasked with advising the mayor on measures that can help the city’s Native community.

Parent said she was eager to dive into her new role.

“For me, it’s the best way to serve our citizens,” she said.” I can bring my expertise, my knowledge, my experience to the executive committee… We’re working in a very positive manner to build bridges between nations. That will be my priority, to create a table where everybody has a seat and everybody is equal in their ability to be heard.”