Departments, Portfolios and Affiliates


Minister: Jean Desrosiers

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF)'s Agriculture Portfolio, with Board of Director John Desrosiers and Fisheries & Agriculture coordinator Randi Thomas, has had another busy and interesting year. The MMF continues to look for ways to better serve its membership and understand the ever-changing natural resources industry throughout Manitoba. The Agriculture Department is continually trying to meet our goal of respect of the land and nature. The department looks for opportunities to promote and foster interest for our youth and the respect of the Elders as the cornerstone of our agriculture/ranching programming. With that theme in mind, please accept a brief update of some of our current activities.


The bison are a very culturally significant aspect of Metis culture. Hunting bison as well as the fur trade were amongst the most prominent economic staples for the Metis. To honor this significance, the MMF has a herd of 14 bison located in St. Malo, Manitoba. The herd consists of 9 adults and 5 calves. The bison herd has recovered from the anthrax outbreak seen in 2010, and all measures are in place to prevent another such outbreak.

Metis Agricultural Statistics

In cooperation with the Statistics Department, an analysis of the 2006 Federal Census identifies that there are 905 Metis who list agriculture as their primary means of employment. We are currently gathering data so we can lobby the governments for Metis-specific programming, which will help our members during these difficult financial and economic times.

Community Gardens

The Agriculture portfolio, in conjunction with Louis Riel Institute (LRI),and MAFRI received funding to establish 4 community gardens in Duck Bay, Camperville, Roblin, and St. Malo in 2012. These gardens promote a spirit of community and promote Metis youth employment. The Duck Bay, Camperville, and Roblin community gardens are managed by the Northwest Region MMF Office. Produce from these gardens was distributed amongst elders and low income families in the community. The garden in St. Malo was also a great success, employing 2 youth to maintain the garden. In addition, these youth were able to help the community of St. Malo by painting, window cleaning, and performing landscaping duties at the St. Malo Chalet Malouin care home. The gardens will be continued in 2013, promoting healthy eating, employment of Metis youth, and community service.

Aboriginal Participation in the Agri-Foods Industry

The MMF has been participating in a series of workshops aiming to build long-term capacity of Metis youth by giving them the tools to compete in today's Agri-Food industries. The workshops include many employers, as well as representatives from the University of Manitoba, and several Aboriginal groups. The focus of the discussions have been on creating opportunities for Metis students to enter the Agri-Food program, retention strategies, and employment opportunities once training has finished.

If you have any questions about the Manitoba Metis community and agriculture, or you have an idea for a project, please call Branden Thorsteinson at 204-586-8474 ext. 225 or email