Minister: David Beaudin

The Manitoba Métis Federation's (MMF) Agriculture Portfolio is housed within the MMF's Energy, Infrastructure and Resource Management (EIRM) department. The Agriculture Portfolio was recently revitalized in 2020, with the appointment of the Minister of Agriculture David Beaudin.

The 2021-2022 fiscal year achieved positive progress towards revitalization of the portfolio and prioritized development of the portfolio centered on:

  • Support for Métis agricultural producers
  • Support for all Citizens towards achieving Métis food sovereignty
  • Addressing the driving economic and social barriers causing food insecurity
  • Supporting the sustainable management of lands and waters being threatened by a changing climate.
  • In October 2021, hiring a full-time Agriculture Coordinator
  • Continuing to expand database of Red River Métis agricultural producers.

Bison

Since May 2020, the MMF's Energy, Infrastructure, and Resource Management department have partnered with Iron Head Bison Ranch to care for the MMF-owned bison herd. Iron Head Bison Ranch is a 100 per cent Métis-owned business located in Richer, MB.

The MMF bison herd consists of 15 bison, including 11 cows (female), and four calves.

The 2021-2022 year has seen progress towards strengthening this vital partnership including the updating of a partnership agreement, submission of a funding application, pursuing additional funding streams, and the purchase of their bison products.

We will continue to maintain the bison herd, so that we may continue to harvest the animals for food as well as cultural and educational purposes, while helping to sustain a resource heavily relied on by our Ancestors.

Bison Meat

In February 2022, The MMF's EIRM department received funding through the 2021 Second Harvest Emergency Food Security Fund. Funds were utilized to purchase bison meat exclusively from Métis bison ranchers and resulted in each MMF Region being provided with 425 lbs of bison ground meat for distribution by the region to Elders and Citizens in need. A total of 3000 lbs of bison meat was made available.

In December 2021, the MMF butchered two of our bison bulls, producing approximately 1,000 lbs of meat. This meat was inspected, certifi ed, and distributed to our Métis Elders throughout the MMF Regions.

Agricultural Crown Lands

Red River Métis farmers and ranchers have a long history of utilizing Crown lands to support their families and local communities. Farming and ranching represent both a modern livelihood and a traditional economic foundation of the Red River Métis, and it is currently under signifi cant stress. Recent amendments to the Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation, and the Crown Lands Dispositions Act, have resulted in severe hardship for numerous Métis Crown Lands Leaseholders. As a result,

  • The MMF have been connecting with our Métis farmers and ranchers to better understand the impacts associated with the amendments to the Crown land leasing program.
  • In June 2021, EIRM held a community meeting to hear directly from Métis farmers and ranchers impacted.
  • The MMF offered interim fi nancial support through the MMF COVID-19 Business Support Program.
  • The MMF has committed legal support to defend our Métis farmers and ranchers adversely affected.

Riel House Garden

Beginning in 2021, EIRM took on the responsibility of managing the Riel House vegetable garden in partnership with Parks Canada. The EIRM department employed Métis Youth to care for the garden including a focus on planting heirloom varieties, maintaining, and harvesting the produce to distribute among Citizens in need. In 2022, the goal is to distribute 500 lbs of produce to Elders and Citizens in-need.

Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, on Bill C-235

For questions concerning the Agriculture Portfolio, please contact Dustin Hoft- Agriculture Coordinator by phone at (431) 373-4398, or by email at dustin.hoft@mmf.mb.ca

B300-150 Henry Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 0J7

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