Manitoba's Speech from the Throne: MMF welcomes new era of partnership

November 21, 2023

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, applauds the Government of Manitoba and Premier Wab Kinew on the delivery of a robust Speech from the Throne to open the 43rd session of the Manitoba Legislature.

The event itself acknowledged the presence of Indigenous Nations in what is now called Manitoba, with the procession of the Honourable Anita Neville, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, ushered in by a full circle of drummers and singers. Young Red River Métis musician Morgan Grace and her father Keith played our Red River Métis music to greet the guests and dignitaries as they arrived at the Legislative Building.

Among the diverse group making up Manitoba's new government are five Red River Métis MLAs, who proudly wore their sashes and beadwork, signalling their pride in their identity and their deep ancestral history in this province.

"It was a good day, and an important day in Manitoba," said David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Métis Federation. "We know that when we sit down with Premier Kinew's government, we will be doing so as full and equal partners, recognized as a level of government unto ourselves, which we always have been. Of course, we expect that we will be treated as any other level of government, sometimes agreeing or disagreeing with each other. But we know that these discussions will be underpinned by mutual respect. That's always been the goal of the government of the Red River Métis, and we're starting to see this become a reality."

Along with much-needed healthcare reforms, initiatives to lower the cost of living for Manitobans, and programs to assist families in rural and remote communities and families, the Speech from the Throne also emphasized the importance of economic reconciliation, the appointment of an assistant deputy education minister to support academic excellence for Indigenous children, as well as devolution of the responsibility for our kids in care.

"We welcome the acknowledgement that our children's care and well-being is best undertaken by Indigenous governments," said President Chartrand. "This means we can continue to take a holistic approach, offering wraparound services for not just the children, but also the families involved. We look forward to settling the outstanding issue of getting the Children's Special Allowance that was withheld from our kids back into their pockets so they can plan for the future."

One of the highlights of the Speech from the Throne was the announcement that Louis Riel will be recognized as the first Premier of Manitoba.

"It's a historic and exciting time for our people, but it's also a little bit sad," said President Chartrand. "I've worked with at least five premiers of all different political stripes over my time as President of the MMF, and I have always advocated strongly for this recognition. It's sad that it's taken an Indigenous Premier - Canada's first First Nations Premier of a province - to acknowledge the truth. Louis Riel is, was and always will be the founder of Manitoba, a father of Confederation, and the first Premier of Manitoba. When the legislation passes, there will be Red River Métis people crying tears of joy from wherever they live, and I know that our Citizens here in the heart of the Homeland will have a celebration like no other, because I'll make sure it happens."

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For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation
204-801-7710
Kat.Patenaude@mmf.mb.ca

Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis. The Red River Métis are a distinct Indigenous Nation and People and Canada's Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.

 


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