Special Statement by President Chartrand on Anti-Vax Trucker Convoy

February 4, 2022

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), as the National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis, strongly condemns the use of our Nation's symbols by any anti-vax convoy, including the trucker convoy currently occupying Ottawa. The use of our symbols is not only inappropriate, but also unacceptable. We stand in solidarity with the Algonquin people, on whose land the City of Ottawa was built. We support their call for a resolution and end to the protest on their traditional lands.

We are saddened for the 90 per cent of truckers who are fully vaccinated and have worked diligently throughout the pandemic, facing personal risk of exposure to COVID-19, severe weather and all other hazards, to deliver much-needed supplies to Canadians. These individuals have worked hard and assumed risks over the course of this pandemic and are now forced to witness the tarnishing of their industry's reputation. Rest assured that the Red River Métis know that the individuals who are currently using their semi-trucks as weapons to cause havoc and harass Canadians are the minority. We are deeply grateful for your work delivering important foods and supplies to all our families, including those in the north, who are most vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.

The Red River Métis have long cherished the importance of community in our culture, focusing on supporting the greater good for our families, our Nation and those from outside our Nation. We have consistently reinforced the importance of vaccination and following public health measures that support this important value of protecting all in our community, particularly Elders and those vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19. Many families have lost loved ones to this virus, and your Métis government has done everything in our power to help our Citizens do what they must to protect themselves and their loved ones from further loss. We know our Citizens first think about the wellbeing of our neighbours, our Elders and our friends, instead of focusing on perceived concerns about personal freedoms. To see our symbols used in this protest creates a false and misleading impression of who we are as a people and what we value as a culture.

It is my understanding that some of the leaders of this protest have either called themselves Métis or have used Métis symbols, like our sash, to encourage the appearance of Indigenous support for their protest. Canadians and Red River Métis Citizens always have the right to protest, but as your elected representatives, we have the duty to inform all Canadians that these individuals and this convoy in no way represent what we believe in. We are all in this together and staying together is the only way we will be able to walk the path to the other side of this pandemic.

-30- 

Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis. 

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratic government for the Manitoba Métis, also known as the Red River Métis, the origin and core of the Métis Nation. The Manitoba 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
204-801-7710
Kat.Patenaude@mmf.mb.ca

 


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