President's Message - October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019

This month we celebrate the birthday of Louis Riel: October 22, 1844. This would be his 175th birthday. Riel was a man of strength, bravery and integrity. It is clear how his spirit is with us all today as we the Metis work together, united by our commitment to the Metis Nation.

We, the Metis, are all united in our pursuit of justice. I have always said, when I as the President of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) defend the rights of our Citizens on an issue, I want thousands standing behind me - and I have seen that come to pass. With our Citizen's support and hard work by all of our MMF Government there has been a new respect for the Metis. Our federal relationship has been reconciliation in action. I have lobbied for our rights for years with you the Metis Nation as my strong foundation -- and we have been heard by Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.

Funding from Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will produce the new Metis National Heritage Centre here, in the Heart of the Metis Nation. A museum of our people designed to show the world who we are and the experiences we have endured -- and risen to. Knowledge is power, my friends. The dark days are over. Our heritage centre will share the truth, the word will spread, and the history of Metis will be known by all. This is an incredibly important month for Metis heritage.

On the very day of his birth, there was an official launch of a new fine silver dollar coin that commemorates Louis Riel that was designed by Metis artist David Garneau. How better to spread awareness of the Metis than to put Riel in the hands of every Canadian? And of course, the federal election could not be more important to us. Now that the voting is over and the people have spoken, it is time for a renewed federal commitment to the Metis Nation.

I would like to congratulate Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government on your win in the 2019 election and I am enthusiastic about meeting again on a Nation-to-Nation, Government-to-Government basis to advance Reconciliation. The Trudeau government has shown the Metis the deepest respect. We have been heard by this government. I applaud their commitment to the Metis and look forward to our continued work with them to further improve the lives of Metis Citizens.

There are challenges ahead and a wide range of Metis-specific issues that must be addressed both provincially and federally. But I continue to be inspired by the spirit of Louis Riel and will continue to live by his words: "We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future." 


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