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Métis Nation Appalled - Founders of Manitoba Completely Left Out of Pallister Mandate Letters

October 26, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

 

Métis Nation Appalled 

Founders of Manitoba Completely Left Out of Pallister Mandate Letters

 

Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba’s provincial cabinet ministers received updated portfolio mandate letters yesterday. While the letters mandate ‘reconciliation’ with Indigenous peoples, Premier Brian Pallister continues to ignore the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and to disregard the rights, claims, and interests of the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community.

“There is no directive anywhere in these letters for Ministers to work with the MMF on reconciliation with the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community,” explained MMF President David Chartrand. “There is no direction for the Ministers to take the lead. This creates a major gap in advancing reconciliation using a respectful, distinctions-based, nation-to-nation, government-to-government approach. The mandate letters receive failing grades in working with the Métis here in our province.”

Manitoba was created from the Métis Nation’s Homeland. The Manitoba Métis founded this province in partnership with Canada by negotiating and ratifying the 1870 Manitoba Act. Today, the MMF is the recognized Métis government and is signatory to the Canada-Metis Nation Accord and the Canada – MMF Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation. These agreements with Canada support true reconciliation.

Manitoba Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations, Eileen Clarke’s new mandate involves “work[ing] with [her] federal counterparts to ensure that they live up to their constitutional obligations to our Indigenous Communities” and “supporting reconciliation efforts across government,” yet the letter provides no direction to the Minister to work with the Manitoba Métis Government. 

“We are appalled that these mandate letters are attempting to divert attention from the Pallister government’s failure to reconcile with the Manitoba Métis and address our claims, rights, and interests,” President Chartrand went on to say. “What is Pallister talking about? Unlike Manitoba, Canada is doing its job and Canada is doing it well. It is now time for Manitoba to live up to its constitutional obligations to the Manitoba Métis.” 

Minister of Sustainable Development Rochelle Squires’ mandate puts Métis people alongside all other hunters and anglers. The Métis are not recognized as rights-holders and have been relegated to the position of stakeholder. This is nothing new and is consistent with the Manitoba government’s practice.  For instance, earlier this month the province failed to include the Métis Nation in its appointments to the province’s Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund Board. 

“The Metis founded this province and continue to build it today. We are taxpayers. We pay over $400 million in taxes each year. We contribute to Manitoba’s success,” said President Chartrand. “We are both an Aboriginal People and Manitoba Citizens. To be effectively ignored and given the message that we don’t matter and have no place in this province is shocking. Pallister is trying to offload provincial responsibilities to Canada.”

The Government of Manitoba has an obligation, under The Path to Reconciliation Act, to work with the MMF on advancing reconciliation with the Manitoba Métis Community. It can ignore this no longer.

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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 were 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

Office: (204) 586-8474 x277

Cell: (204) 391-0717

Email: barney.morin@mmf.mb.ca

www.mmf.mb.ca

 

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