45th Annual General Assembly an overwhelming success

September 30, 2013

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) held its 45th

Annual General Assembly (AGA) in the City of Brandon at the Keystone Centre on

September 28th and 29th. Thousands of Metis delegates from across the province came together to celebrate the recent Supreme Court of Canada Metis Land Claim Victory with a very special assembly theme “Our Time has Come“.

Among the visiting dignitaries were Manitoba Deputy Premier, Eric Robinson; Metis National Council President, Clem Chartier; MLA Reg Helwer; NDP MP Pat Martin; Liberal MP Carolyn Ann Bennett, delivering a message on behalf of Justin Trudeau and Her

Worship Brandon, Mayor Shari Decter Hirst.

For the past 5 years the Manitoba Metis Federation has held its Annual General Assembly in Brandon. To mark the occasion, MMF President David Chartrand presented Brandon mayor, Her worship Shari Decter Hirst with an honourary Metis flag that was flown at City Hall over the course of the weekend.

The MMF AGA is the largest Aboriginal General Assembly held in Canada. The assembly brought out record numbers approaching 4,000 individuals which included MMF delegates and associates, Metis Elder delegates, Metis youth attendees, walk in visitors, including over 1,100 households who watched for the two-day event via online live steaming. It is estimated that over $500,000 in revenue is spent during the event at Brandon based businesses. Currently, there are over 10,000 Metis citizens living in Southwestern Manitoba area and over 100,000 in Manitoba.

Of the numerous meetings that were held, the three that brought the most attention for attending delegates were the Metis Harvesters luncheon, “Youth Achieving Excellence” for Metis youth and also the Infinity Womens Secretariat meetings. All three meetings were standing room only with double the expected in attendance.

The Harvester’s meeting was a session focused on gathering information about the potential damage to traditional hunting and gathering lands in Manitoba that are being affected by current and future Hydro projects.

The Infinity Womens Secretariat meeting focused on Metis women’s issues and challenges as they move forward support their families and the Metis Nation.

The “Youth Achieving Excellence” brought together Metis youth from around the province to discuss the future of the Metis nation and listen to successful Metis citizens discuss some of the day-to-day challenges they all face around education and career opportunities.

The tradeshow was an overwhelming success and had over 60 companies participating, the majority of companies being Metis owned and operated.

Some important resolutions passed included; approving the move to appeal the proposed Hydro BiPole III project; the unanimous agreement to collectively pursue the Metis Land Claims Victory, as well as, the move to establish a Metis trust fund for future Metis generations.  

MMF President David Chartrand expressed his approval at having such an outstanding attendance and interest in this years event, “The focus of the 45th MMF AGA was our Metis Land Claims Victory and this brought MMF delegates and interested parties from across the province to discuss issues relating to Metis governance, culture, youth, harvesting and the future claim. There has never been anything like this in Canadian history. This landmark Land Claims decision is opening the door to our future and bringing about a newly charged, strengthened and united Metis Nation.”

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