(COURTESY KARLIE MARQUIS)
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“I was in shock, but at the same time, I felt completely privileged and grateful to have been selected as the new executive director of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK),” said Karlie Marquis, 32, Tuesday morning.
The new executive director of the MCK had spent all of Tuesday morning giving interviews to local media following this exciting announcement.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I always said that I wanted to give back to my community and bring my educational expertise for the betterment of our collective people,” she said.
The position had been vacant since April 2020 when Alana Goodleaf-Rice retired.
As executive director, Marquis will be responsible for overseeing the administrative and operational processes and services of the entire community.
In 2014, she started out at the organization as a summer student/ financial clerk. Three months later, she was a financial analyst.
By 2017, she was the financial manager at MCK, subsequently becoming the Business Development manager for the Economic Development portfolio – a role she still holds today.
“I actually took some time off from the MCK between October 2019 to October 2020, where I went to TD Commercial Bank to work as an account manager to enhance my professional capacities, but the goal was always to come back to the community,” said Marquis.
The new executive director said that it has been through hard work, dedication and trying to bring people together that she has made it to this point in her life.
Her six years of experience working in the Finance Department of the MCK provided her with a bird’s eye view of the organization. She has also worked closely on various files, including Cannabis and Housing with the Council of chiefs and at the executive level, making her highly qualified for her new position.
Marquis has also been part of many boards within the community, including Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services, the Kahnawake Youth Center, and the Community Initiatives Fund, where she was also the chairperson when it was launched three years ago.
“I am highly involved across the community and the different organizations and built my network and relationships in that way and plan to leverage that going forward,” said Marquis.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce with a major in finance from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.
“My ultimate goal is to create a better quality of life for all of our people in the community,” she said.
“I am going to do everything I can to make that goal become a reality, especially by working and getting support from the Council of chiefs and the executive team and ultimately the entire MCK staff and the community,” Marquis continued.
As for the community’s response to the announcement, Marquis said that there has been a lot of excitement and optimism from colleagues, friends and her family.
“I guess I am the only one in shock, but everybody seems to be very supportive and looking forward to this drastic change in the community,” she said.
The MCK said that Marquis would have a whole team, including MCK chiefs Mike Delisle Jr. and Gina Deer, to help with the transition period.
“I am very proud to welcome Onerahtokha Karlie Marquis as the new executive director at MCK. She is a young hard working individual who has vision for the organization as well as the community,” said Deer.
She will begin her new position in the near future upon the completion of her current duties and projects.