MMF signs memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Manitoba to train and employ 25 Ukrainian refugees

June 15, 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, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Manitoba (UCC Manitoba).

The memorandum of understanding was signed at the future home of the Red River Métis National Heritage Centre, at 335 Main Street and commits the MMF and UCC Manitoba to work together in support of training and employment for 25 Ukrainian refugees at the MMF's childcare centres.

"The Red River Métis have a long history of welcoming newcomers to the province we helped bring into Canada's confederation," said David Chartrand, President of the MMF. "Like our new Ukrainian neighbours, our people have also stood in defense of democratic values, both in Canada and overseas. There's no doubt our hearts have been moved by the plight of Ukraine and its people in the face of Putin's aggression."

At the outset of the conflict in 2022, the MMF passed a unanimous vote to make a $100,000 donation to Ukraine for humanitarian aid. Drawn from revenues of the MMF's business arms, the donation supported preparedness, immediate and ongoing relief efforts, long-term recovery, resiliency, and other critical humanitarian activities. Since then, Manitoba has welcomed more Ukrainian refugees per capita than any other Canadian province.

The MMF has also been active in support of UCC Manitoba since the hostilities in Ukraine began. From providing office supplies to flying the Ukrainian flag at all MMF buildings, the Red River Métis government continues to support Ukrainians, both those still fighting for democracy and freedom overseas, and those who have been forced to flee the conflict.

"In friendship and partnership, the MMF and the UCC have united to provide training and job opportunities for Ukrainian newcomers within the childcare sector," says Joanne Lewandowski, President of UCC Manitoba. "The support MMF is providing will give hope to our Ukrainian refugees, ensuring that their families future in Manitoba will be both bright and successful."

The MMF childcare centres offer programming that will help celebrate Red River Métis culture, language, and heritage. Along with daily education that includes meaningful activities and land-based learning field trips, the centres will facilitate numerous parenting programs, including Little Métis Literacy Program, Super Dad, Super Kids and Nobody's Perfect Parenting.

"We continue to expand on our vision of culturally relevant childcare centres across the province of Manitoba and beyond," said Frances Chartrand, Minister of Early Learning and Childcare with the Manitoba Métis Federation. "There is significant demand for trained early learning childcare professionals, and we are happy to invest in the education of our new Ukrainian neighbours. This initiative meets our upcoming challenge of finding qualified people to work in our childcare centres - a need that will grow to 200-300 jobs when our centres are completed. This a win for newcomers who are seeking stable, well-paying jobs, and a win for our kids who will be able to exchange knowledge and share experiences with their Ukrainian neighbours and educators."

"Helping Ukrainian refugees as they work to rebuild their lives in a new country is something I know our Citizens appreciate and respect," said President Chartrand. "Sharing what we have with our community is an important part of who we are as a people. The Ukrainian refugees we train and employ will benefit from this program through both a career and a strong education in the history, language and culture of our Nation. We are proud to welcome them to the heart of our Homeland and look forward to helping these refugees thrive, as our children will thrive."



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 origin and core of the historic Métis Nation. The Red River Métis are Canada's Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.


For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation


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