Letter submitted to the Editor of the Winnipeg Free Press
Tuesday, December 5 2006
Re: Aboriginals see Quebec nation as snub (Friday December 1, 2006)
With no disrespect intended towards Mr. Martin Cash, his reporting of an interview with me might lead people to wrongly believe I suggested the Quebecois being recognized as a nation was a snub of the Metis by Prime Minister Harper and his government. This is not the case.
The Metis Nation has already been recognized by the Canadian Government. We are the Founders of Manitoba and Partners in Confederation. As one of Canada’s founding peoples, we believe the principles of self-determination and self-governance are an integral part of a united Canada.
Our history shows the Metis are committed to diversity within confederation. Louis Riel’s vision, and that of the Metis, is a Canada flourishing as a free and open society in which aboriginal and minority rights are respected and all citizens equally share in its prosperity.
The question that needs to be asked is “what is a nation within a united Canada?” The nation concept must be further discussed and better understood as it may mean different things to different leaders, parties, and governments including aboriginal governments.
I encourage Mr. Harper and other parliamentarians to continue the dialogue. I support Mr. Harper on the recent resolution regarding a united Canada. We are willing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Prime Minister and any leader if necessary who would champion the cause of one Canada.
We support the Quebecois in protecting their values, language, culture and identity within Canada. We are convinced that all Canadians must work together as partners. We must do this for the benefit of our children and future generations of Canadians.
President David Chartrand
Manitoba Metis Federation
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