Throne Speech Ignores Important Issues Faced by Metis Nation
Friday, November 17 2006
Despite being Partners in Confederation and the Founders of Manitoba, the Metis continue to be an afterthought in the writing of provincial Throne Speeches. The mention of the Metis in today’s speech is superficial and a veneer on the Manitoba Government’s agenda of denial – the denial of our rights of self-definition, self-government, harvesting for food, and access to land and resources.
The Government continues to leave the Metis out of consultations and partnership discussions in forestry, hydroelectric, and other major economic opportunities. Access to our traditional lands is being restricted while our harvesters are being harassed. Government support of Metis education and health programs is minimal, and our Elders, women, and children are being deprived of much-needed social services.
The Throne Speech speaks of the Government’s intent to “accelerate” the development of a Metis Policy. Moving forward properly would necessitate recognition of the Metis Nation and the Manitoba Metis Community, acknowledgment of the MMF’s representative role as a Metis Government, and policy development on a government-to-government basis to ensure our people are not forgotten.
On the eve of Louis Riel Day – the day when the Metis Nation commemorates the life and celebrates the achievements of our historic Metis Leader – we unfortunately find ourselves continuing his struggle to protect our culture, our identity, and our rights. This Throne Speech does not show us that this Government is prepared to deal with the substantive issues or make any substantial change in its treatment of the Metis People.
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