Minister: Jean Desrosiers
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF)’s Agriculture Department, with Board of Director John Desrosiers and coordinator Les Carriere, has had another busy and interesting year. Many changes are anticipated to be occurring in the future with the possible amalgamation of the Fisheries Portfolio and perhaps with the newly revived Energy, Resources and Industry Department (ERI). The MMF continues to look for ways to better serve its membership and understand the ever-changing natural resources industry throughout the Province of Manitoba. The Agriculture Department is continually trying to meet our goal of RESPECT of the land and nature. The department looks for opportunities to promote and foster interest for our youth and the respect of the Elders as the cornerstone of our agriculture/ranching programming. With that theme in mind, please accept a brief update of some of our current activities.
Since the last Annual General Assembly, the herd was moved to St. Malo due to a shortage of feed in Elphinstone. The new location is closer to the minister’s home in St. Malo. While moving, some of the yearlings were sold to offset the cost of the ongoing care and maintenance of the herd. The herd was doing very well until it experienced an anthrax outbreak this June. Unfortunately, the herd lost three mature females and four of 2009’s calves. The MMF will receive an indemnity for the perished animals, and the remaining 16 animals have been vaccinated. Usually, an anthrax outbreak occurs when there is excess heat, excess moisture and high water tables. The herd will receive another booster vaccine to help build up resistance to the anthrax spores, which lie dormant in the soil until the proper conditions present themselves. All the bodies must be disposed of – in this case, burnt – to limit the amount of spores returning to the soil. The herd is currently under quarantine until the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is sure the anthrax has been contained. Since the outbreak occurred, we have had two newborn calves. Our caregiver has been instrumental in keeping us informed and offering the MMF his expert guidance and overwhelming support in these trying times.
Metis Agricultural Statistics
In cooperation with the Statistics Department, an analysis of the 2006 Federal Census identifies that there are 905 Metis who list agriculture as their primary means of employment. We are currently gathering data so we can lobby the governments for Metis-specific programming, which will help our members during these difficult financial and economic times.
Southeast Regional Groundwater Management Planning Group
This stakeholder group of over 50 members has just concluded the formal/scientific briefing and fact-finding portion of its task. In the fall, the group will reconvene to work on a draft management plan for the ground water for the southeast portion of the province.
Fort Whyte & 4H
In early June, a tour was arranged at Fort Whyte Alive/Farms for many of the MMF Board of Directors to visit the site, tour the facilities and discuss future partner-shipping opportunities. A wealth of potential opportunities exists, such as training, life skills, job skills, teaching environmental awareness and promoting cultural activities and traditional practices.
This fall, the 4H will reconvene to continue working with youth. We have been working towards Metis-specific programming, and there has been some recently announced funding, which will help to create this new programming for youth.
The Agriculture Coordinator has been asked to help with the Fisheries Department while the position is vacant. John Parenteau is currently the Board of Director responsible for the Fisheries Department. Some of the issues which he and Jean Desrosiers want to start working on will be the Leaf Rapids cooperative fishery, which has recently experienced hardship. A meeting in Leaf Rapids will be arranged shortly with key personnel from Freshwater, Manitoba Agriculture and various government officials from the federal and provincial governments attending.
Others areas of concentration will be:
- To build additional rearing ponds for the sustainability of this industry;
- To resume activities of the St. Laurent rearing ponds;/li>
- To organize and lobby Freshwater and federal and provincial governments to change current rules for Export Permit Licenses and to allow fishermen the option of dual marketing with rough fish.
- Southeast MMF Newsletter - March 2013
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- MMF President David Chartrand to Receive Honorary Law Degree
- Current State of Metis Law in Canada
- Metis Are Open for Business
- UWinnipeg first to offer Youth In Care Tuition Waivers
- Métis Nation a long way from reconciliation; Efforts continue for recognition and compensation for Métis residential and day school survivors