MMF Supports Our Métis Elders

March 30, 2020

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is providing updates on the services and supports being provided in response to our MMF Health Action Plan as we all face the health crisis of COVID-19.

Your Manitoba Métis Government is committed to providing services and resources to support our loved and cherished, and in some cases vulnerable, Métis Elders.

The Métis Nation respects our Elders, not only as parents and grandparents, not only as those who raised us from childhood to adulthood, but also because they are the keepers of our family and community histories and our people's traditional knowledge. Many of us have been blessed with opportunities to hear our Elders tell stories of how things were when they were young and how things have changed through the years. We actively consult with Elders to gain knowledge and receive advice when expanding MMF services, implementing change, and undertaking directions from the General Assemblies.

Being our treasured guides that they are, we want to provide our Elders with as much information and supports as we can about staying safe and secure.

Whether from Prime Minister Trudeau, or President Chartrand, the message has been abundantly clear. Go home and stay home! Home is the safest place to be in the time of a pandemic. However, we are aware that while self-isolation is the safest option, it's also very difficult for Metis people as it is with all people. We know firsthand how important it is for us to gather, chat, and to celebrate with our friends, families, and neighbours. You can still do this but not face to face with close contact. Do this from a distance using the phone, email, facetime, facebook and similar means. I ask you now to make the difficult decision to self-isolate as best you can and to keep our Elders safe.

The MMF Metis Community Liaison Department (MCLD) has been and continues to reach out to Métis Citizens including our Elders. MCLD Regional staff are conducting wellness checks with our Elders on a regular basis and will continue to do so to ensure their needs are being met. Staff will remain in contact and assist them in getting through this troubling time. Regional staff will ensure a consistent flow of information to our Manitoba Metis Government to ensure our Elders and most vulnerable are looked after.

During these calls we are also stressing the importance of ensuring our citizens are receiving the correct information. Unfortunately, we know that scammers are trying to take advantage of people and its imperative that people are using trusted sources to obtain information. If you have any concerns about a possible scam, please call your Regional Office or the MMF Home Office.

The MMF can confirm that personal phone calls have been made to over 1,000 Metis Elders and, with the support of the Regions, this ongoing support service will continue. If you are an Elder and have not been contacted or if you know of an Elder that can use supports, please reach out to your Regional Metis Community Liaison Worker located in each Region.

It is widely known that the elderly population is more vulnerable to falling victim to COVID-19. The MMF is offering services that will ensure our Elders remain safe in their home and away from high risk situations. With emergency supports available through the Manitoba Metis Government, the MMF Regions are continuing to reach out to our Elders to provide services where available such as delivering grocery hampers, pharmaceuticals, and rides to essential doctor appointments.

As a continued essential service, the MEDOCare Pharmacy will operate with full hours Monday- Friday from 9am-5pm. Medications are continuing to be delivered. If you are a client that is currently picking up medication, you may do so, however we recommend you take advantage of the delivery system in place to support self-isolation efforts across our Nation. For more information please contact 1-877-635-5931. During this busy time, you may be asked to leave a message but, rest assured, your call will be returned.

These services are designed to help decrease the chance of disease transmission while ensuring Elders do not have to deny themselves healthy meals, cancel essential appointments, or have medication delivery disrupted. The Manitoba Metis Federation across all Regions in Manitoba are being approached to work alongside various governments, agencies and service delivery organizations to help deliver the best possible care. While we are working to protect all, we are taking the leadership to ensure our Metis Elders have the supports they need.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. For self-isolation, we ask that you phone and not come to the office in person. The numbers are as follows:

Home Office: 1-204-586-8474 ext 371 or 1-800-665-8474 ext 371

Winnipeg Region: 1-204-589-4327

Interlake Region: 1-866-317-3347

Northwest Region: 1-877-542-4925

The Pas Region: 1-204-623-5701

Thompson Region: 1-204-677-1430

Southeast Region: 1-204-754-2721

Southwest Region: 1-204-725-7520

While we are building a future for the generations to come, we must also not forget about our Elders who enabled us to get to the position we are in today. It is customary that we recognize our Elders and we are doing our absolute best to ensure their needs are met. If you know of a Métis Elder in your village, town, or city, please reach out to them and make sure they have registered with the MMF. We cannot leave any Elders behind.

Take care and stay healthy.



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