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Pallister Government Ignores Facts That the Metis Were Never Considered or Invited to Participate in Mining Protocol

June 18, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

Pallister Government Ignores Facts That the Metis Were Never Considered or Invited To Participate in Mining Protocol

Winnipeg, MB – Setting the agenda for the Co-chairs’ Report on the Manitoba–First Nations Mineral Development Protocol, back on July 31, 2017, Premier Pallister announced "the Manitoba government will be developing a new provincial mineral development protocol with First Nation communities." There was no room or mention of the Metis Nation at the announcement.

At that agenda-setting announcement, the Premier continued that "working in partnership with First Nation communities to develop this protocol will enable us to establish a clear pathway forward [...]. And that "this process [...] will engage First Nations communities [...].

A report co-chair at the time also made clear "First Nations leaders and communities need to be directly involved in the process of mineral exploration and development."

Nowhere are the names "Metis Nation, Metis People, Manitoba Metis, or Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), or the like, referenced in the Pallister Government’s agenda-setting July 2017 Announcement. Nor did the government or co-chairs invited the MMF to participate in the report-generating process as the Metis self-government representative.

At the recent June 15, 2018 announcement of the Protocol’s release, it was stated that "Evans and Downey engaged First Nations leadership, industry representatives and stakeholders to develop the protocol." The Metis are Rights holders and not mere stakeholders - and, nevertheless, were never engaged for the development of the protocol.

The report released is entitled "Manitoba – First Nations Mineral Development Protocol" and is itself evidence of the fact of Metis exclusion. The second paragraph of the Message from the Co-Chairs provides further clarity by stating  "our mandate as co-chairs has been to lead an engagement process with First Nations [...].

This is followed by the second paragraph of the report introduction that reads "an engagement process with First Nations communities [...]. This is consistent with the rest of the report’s text. Clearly it was a process and a report not intended for the Metis Nation.

For a government spokesperson, apparently on behalf of either Premier Pallister or Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen, to push back and say: "all impacted stakeholders and rights holders had the opportunity to participate in the process to develop the protocol" ignores the facts, is beyond spin, and moves into a category of responses commonly referred to as lies.

The protocol’s process of Metis exclusion as rights-holders will have implications across the province for the mining industry including increased future mining projects risk, delays, and abandonment. This will not create a clear pathway to facilitate mining development or indigenous reconciliation but just the opposite.

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Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis are Canada’s Negotiating Partner in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.

For media information, please contact:

Barney Morin
Communications Coordinator
Manitoba Metis Federation
Phone: (204) 586-8474 ext. 277
Cell: (204) 391-0717
E-mail: barney.morin@mmf.mb.ca


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