President's Message - July 05, 2023

July 5, 2023

Recently, we celebrated Canada Day - a valuable time to reflect on the role of the Red River Métis as Canada's partner in Confederation and the only Indigenous People to be the founders of a province. More than 150 years later, the Red River Métis have a vibrant culture and a strong government with a ratified modern-day Treaty with Canada. We have a bright future ahead of us, thanks to the will and guidance of our Citizens. I hope the Canada Day long weekend was a chance for you to enjoy time with your families.

Over the holiday, I reflected on the renewed government-to-government relationship we have with Canada and what this means for reconciliation with Red River Métis. It has been two years since we signed our Manitoba Métis Self-Government and Implementation Agreement which helped start the incredible momentum we are experiencing today. While the road to true reconciliation is not straightforward, I am proud of what we have achieved. More than ever, we are partnering with Canada to deliver essential programs and services to better the lives of Red River Métis Citizens.

For example, on July 4, the MMF was proud to host a joint funding announcement with Canada at 335 Main Street, the future home of the Red River Métis National Culture and Heritage Centre. Together, we announced more than $12.68 million in funding from Prairies Economic Development Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada. The MMF is contributing an additional $2 million to Métis Economic and Community Development, bringing the total investment to more than $14 million. This funding will help support the success of Red River Métis entrepreneurs, farmers, ranchers, and producers. Almost one million dollars of this funding will help create the Red River Métis National Culture and Heritage Centre.

When complete, our Centre will be a place for us to tell our history as the Flower Beadwork People, Otipemisiwak, Michif, and the people of the Red River Cart and the Red River Jig. Visitors will learn that the Red River Métis are the people of the Buffalo Hunt, who wrote the Laws of the Prairie. Taking ownership of our identity, honouring our past, and celebrating our success is an important responsibility all Citizens share. There will be many opportunities to do this across our Homeland all summer.

From July 14-16, the MMF will mark Ste. Madeleine Days on the site of the former village in western Manitoba. This important event celebrates the culture and resilience of the Red River Métis families who were forced from their community when 35 homes, the store, and school were burned to the ground by the government to make way for more pastureland for settler farmers. Attending events like Ste. Madeleine Days and others across our Homeland are important ways to gather with our families and friends to celebrate and be proud of who we are, while commemorating the strength of our Ancestors who endured so much hardship.

Like all Red River Métis celebrations, Ste. Madeleine Days includes music, dancing, food, and many talented Red River Métis artisans selling their work at a variety of different booths. You can visit to view the events calendar and find information on how to get there. I always look forward to seeing the many families and friends gathering to enjoy this time together and I especially look forward to visiting with Citizens. I will also be spending time with our Elders across our Regions. Paying visits to their homes and sharing many important moments in their company is an honour I look forward to.

In addition to these visits, I will be travelling across Manitoba to attend Regional Meetings this summer. The Northwest Regional meeting will be held on Saturday August 12 and the Southwest Regional meeting on August 13th. At Regional Meetings, elected members of each Local provide feedback and vote on resolutions that help to guide the work of the Regions and the work of our government. The meetings are also an opportunity for your Red River Métis government to hear about the hard work and success of each Local. Never forget that our Locals are the heartbeat of our grassroots and the core of our democracy.

The momentum from events like Ste. Madeleine Days and our Regional Meetings will build as we approach our Annual General Assembly (AGA) held at Assiniboia Downs from September 15 - 17. Each year, the AGA reflects our commitment to our democratic traditions that have existed since the Buffalo Hunt when we wrote the Laws of the Prairie. Please watch the MMF website and our social media channels for more information on participating in our AGA this September.

Thank you, as always, for the faith you put in my leadership as your President. Until we meet, I offer my prayers to all our Citizens, friends, and neighbours, and my deepest condolences to those who have been caused to grieve.



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