President's Message - November 6, 2019

November 6, 2019

Halloween has come and gone, and I hope you were all able to share in the magic that happens when our children put on costumes and express themselves. At the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) Home Office we had a staff Halloween party and it was great to see the creativity of the MMF departments. This creativity, along with hard work, is what makes the MMF so successful in our endeavour to deliver unique programs and services.

It's autumn now and the clock has been turned back. Now, for some, this is the time for moving indoors to enjoy home and hearth. For others, such as myself with family and friends, we continue to take this time for getting outdoors into the bush to go hunting, overnight in tents and small cabins, connect with nature, and reconnect with the ways of our Ancestors.

In the past weeks, there have been some very important events for Metis Citizens to reflect upon. One was the recent federal election, the MMF sent eleven Metis-specific questions to each of the federal political parties. These questions were created by input from the Manitoba Metis, through the MMF survey of our Metis Citizens asking for you to let us know what issues were important to you, your families, and your community. The Liberal party responded swiftly to us, followed later by the NDP, and the Green Party. We didn't hear back from the Conservative party at all.

We put those answers straight onto our website and this information assisted our Metis voters to make informed choices at the polls. When we are united, we have a powerful voice and we were heard. In this election we showed the federal parties - their leaders and candidates - that the Metis vote matters. And, collectively, we cast our votes in favour of better outcomes for Metis Citizens for housing, youth, daycare, education, economic development, and much more. We look forward to working side by side, once again, with the Liberal Government in advancing the interests of the Metis Nation.

This has been a federal governmental relationship that puts true reconciliation in motion through the strong liberal support of our language, culture, and recognition of the incredible contributions the Metis Nation has made to Manitoba and Canada. Our growing recognition will ensure our voice will never again be silenced. Justin Trudeau has demonstrated that nurturing a Distinctions-Based, Nation-to-Nation, Government-to-Government relationship is the future for the Metis and the future path for Canada.

And moving along that future path means never forgetting our past. Two weeks ago, on October 22nd we were able to celebrate Louis Riel's 175th birthday with a partnership with the Royal Canadian Mint. Together we unveiled a silver collector coin which honours our Metis Nation Leader - in English, in French, and in Michif. The week that I write this President's Message, with Canada Post we will also be unveiling a new stamp of the Metis Provisional Government. We anticipate these two events will help Canadians become aware of the Metis People - the Metis will no longer be the Forgotten People.

And indeed, we will not be forgotten. The MMF will continue to take necessary steps to ensure our partnership with Canada remains secure and our reconciliation assured. For those who want to work with us we will work with them. Those who do not treat us with respect, and who think they can openly confront us, they will face our challenge in the courts, in the elections, and in the media. We will protect our rights, claims, and interests. We met with success in our federal election work. Our people took a strong stand to protect our future. We will continue to use our new outreach tools and apply the lessons we have learned.

In closing, I send my thoughts and prayers to those of us who mourn, are sick or shut in. May you enjoy your time with your family and friends. May we always support one another and give thanks to one another, whenever and wherever we meet.



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