Special statement from David Chartrand on September 30th

September 30, 2021

Winnipeg, MB, in the Métis Nation Homeland - Today is an important day, one that marks Canada's first official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day represents a chance for all Canadians to spend time reflecting on the enormity of what has been done to the First Nations, Inuit, and Red River Métis.

For the last 150 or more years, there has been a concerted effort to take the Indigenous spirit out of the child, through the residential and day school system, the Sixties Scoop and the child welfare system, which apprehends Indigenous children - including Métis children - at an alarming and disproportionate rate.

On September 30th, I encourage each Canadian to spend time reflecting on the journey that brought us to this moment, and the many steps required to continue on this pathway to truth and reconciliation.

It is important that Canadians understand and recognize that the process of taking away our spirit took many decades and systems to create the effects we see today. It will take as many, or more, time and effective systems to undo the damage.

The Manitoba Métis government is honouring all those who survived the residential and day school system by flying flags at half-mast on all our buildings. All staff have been encouraged to spend this day with family and friends taking part in community commemorations or in quiet reflection of the history, legacy, and journey of the Red River Métis within Canada.

I know that our Cabinet and staff join me in expressing heartfelt hope that we start making real progress on this pathway, before our Elders leave this world. After all, it is they who have suffered the most and fought the longest for reconciliation with this country we all love. They deserve to see that their resilience, courage, and heart made a difference.

For Manitobans, I encourage you to learn about your province's history and the important role played by the Red River Métis, who brought Manitoba into Canada's confederation and were the dominant force in our province at the time of its creation. Learn about what was done to our Nation and listen to the Indigenous community and leadership in our province. Understand the many Indigenous Nations who are part of the fabric of this province and recognize the sovereignty of each.

For all Métis Citizens who survived, know that you are not alone. Your Métis government and community stand with you. Give us a call, send us an email or reach out to your Local or Regional Executive Team, but please don't suffer in silence. Supporting each other and standing united are important parts of who we are as the Red River Métis. It is how we have survived all the challenges we've faced, and it is what will ensure we thrive in the future.

-30- 

Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis. 

The Manitoba Metis 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 Metis Federation
204-801-7710
Kat.Patenaude@mmf.mb.ca

 


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