Gitane De Silva was sworn in as the Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER) CEO at a small ceremony at Calgary’s Central Memorial Park this week.
De Silva, who was named as the new CEO in early July, recited and signed the documents swearing the Affirmation of Allegiance and Affirmation of Office.
De Silva brings significant experience as a public servant with both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta. Her previous experience includes roles as Consul General of Canada in Chicago, counsellor (Environment and Fisheries) at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Deputy Head of Agency at Status of Women Canada, Alberta’s Deputy Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations and most recently as the Alberta government’s Senior Representative to the United States.
Elder Eldon Weasel Child, ceremonialist and former leader from the Siksika Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy, welcomed Gitane to Treaty 7 land and provided a blessing via song. Elder Weasel Child also invited Gitane to visit Blackfoot territory and provided her with the gift of a blanket, which he passed to her four times, explaining that it is a representation of the four seasons or phases of life and a sign of respect. He also explained the song he chose was, “From the heart of Blackfoot Confederacy territory. It is normally reserved for Blackfoot people, but as the CER and Gitane are showing respect to the Blackfoot people by inviting me here to provide a blessing, I sang that song as a sign of reciprocal respect and honour.”
“It was deeply meaningful to me to have Elder Weasel Child provide a blessing on my first day,” said De Silva. “I’m excited to join the CER and get to work overseeing a strong, safe and sustainable Canadian energy sector as Canada transitions to a low-carbon economy.”