Special Statement by President David Chartrand upon filing our Statement of Defence

May 5, 2022

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, also known as the Manitoba Métis, is informing its Citizens that the Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. has served and filed its Statement of Defence against allegations contained in a Statement of Claim previously filed by the Métis National Council (MNC) on January 27, 2022.

The allegations contained in the Statement of Claim are scandalous, vexatious, baseless, and meant to attack and discredit the MMF, the MNC's former staff, and me, in order to enhance the standing and influence of the MNC's newly elected administration. The MNC claims that the MMF, myself, and others participated in a "scheme" to intentionally weaken the MNC, as the MMF withdrew from the MNC in September of 2021.

The MNC action is nothing more than a publicity stunt - weaponizing the courts for political theatre and we expect to see this action dismissed.

The MMF was the central pillar of the MNC since its creation, completely aligned with the national body on a set of core principles and objectives: a strong Métis Nation, an enduring distinct national identity, the integrity of citizenship in the Métis Nation, and a national Homeland in Western Canada.

In recent years, the MMF grew increasingly concerned by the failure of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) to comply with our national citizenship criteria as they admitted thousands of non-Métis as registered citizens. We were saddened to see other provincial presidents on the MNC Board of Governors support MNO in its actions. In 2019, our MMF General Assembly of more than 2,000 delegates adopted a resolution authorizing me as President to withdraw from the MNC if MNO did not cease its non-compliant citizenship practices.

The MNC lawsuit against MMF and me does not advance any legitimate legal complaint. Rather, it is the latest offensive from the MNC and its current leadership to advance a political agenda that undermines the MMF's reputation as the national government of the Red River Métis.

On July 6, 2021, the MMF and the Government of Canada executed the Manitoba Métis Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement (the "Self-Government Agreement"), which immediately recognized the MMF as the democratic representative national government of the Manitoba Métis.

Our Self-Government Agreement has not been well received by Métis organizations that make up the MNC. The sad truth is that these provincial presidents have abandoned our historic Métis Nation identity and citizenship in favor of a pan-Indigenous approach to identification. They have also failed to conclude true self-government agreements. Despite their claims to have recognition as governments, they only have process agreements that could lead to recognition in the future.

The MNC started its legal action based on its own internal "audit", which has not been made available to date, in order to distract the MMF and our Citizens from advancing our Nation.

The MMF, will continue to carry out its responsibilities as the national government of the Red River Métis, confident that this vexatious claim will be dismissed by the courts. The full statement of defence can be found here: /mmf-full-statement-of-defence

 

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Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National 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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