MMF President Chartrand Returns Home From First Minister Meeting With Historic Federal and Metis
Winnipeg, Manitoba – President David Chartrand, Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) President and Metis National Council Minister for Social Development, returned home from the First Ministers Meeting (FMM) in Kelowna with a number of historic federal announcements and agreements for the Metis Nation.
“At the First Ministers Meeting, the Prime Minister made the historic announcement that the federal government has the primary fiduciary responsibility for the Metis Nation,” explained President Chartrand. “For generations the Metis People have been victims of the jurisdictional denial by federal and provincial governments. Neither would accept any responsibility for the Metis. This has now changed.”
“Our People have waited over a hundred years for a Prime Minister with the courage and strength of character to make that announcement,” President Chartrand went on to say. “This acknowledgement of federal responsibility provides the foundation for a renewal of our Nation-to-Nation partnership and the recognition of our Government-to-Government relationship.”
“We were pleased to hear Prime Minister Paul Martin acknowledge the Metis Nation throughout the meeting,” said President Chartrand. “A unique bond exists between Canada and the Metis Nation. The Metis were the Founders of Manitoba and the Defenders of Western Canada, while today we remain Partners of Confederation.”
“This past week has been one of unprecedented recognition and respect for the Metis Nation,” said President Chartrand. “After a year of consultation, planning, and negotiation we have reached agreement in many areas of social development including health, education, and housing.”
The FMM committed to the creation of the Metis Nation Centre of Excellence in Education and Innovation to undertake Metis-specific research and to develop educational materials and resources. There is also a related commitment to enhance programs and services within the MMF’s existing Louis Riel Institute.
In addition there is the commitment to create the Metis Nation Housing Institute as well as to make strategic and immediate investments in new Metis social and subsidized housing and in the ongoing maintenance of existing Metis-delivered housing. This will also build housing administration and financial management capacity.
There was also a commitment to the “Blueprint on Aboriginal Health: A 10-Year Transformative Plan.” The Blueprint, which contains a Metis Framework, will guide the federal government as a national framework for investment and collaboration action with its partners.
Prior to this pledge, the Metis had been virtually excluded from health policies and programming. Existing infrastructure did not meet the special needs of Metis Elders, children, women, and youth. As part of the Blueprint, the Metis Framework specifically states that the implementation of federal commitments in the Blueprint will be undertaken in a manner consistent with the May 2005 Metis Nation Framework Agreement.
In addition, there was agreement to establish a Metis Nation Multilateral Forum to facilitate further discussions between the Metis and federal and provincial governments. A related commitment, from the federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, is to enter discussions regarding a Government-to-Government relationship.
In the FMM communiqué, the Metis received recognition from all First Ministers that Metis self-government is important in achieving political, social, economic, and cultural development, and improved quality of life.
“We would like praise Prime Minister Paul Martin for his commitment to partner with First Ministers and the Metis Leadership,” said President Chartrand. “We look forward to working with his government to achieve the targets and to close the gap in the quality of life between Metis people and other Canadians.”
For More Information Contact:
MMF Communications Coordinator
- Southeast MMF Newsletter - March 2013
- Canada's Metis Partner Given Cold Shoulder in Federal Budget of Inaction
- Manitoba Métis Urge Clean Environment Commission to Withhold Recommendation on Bipole III Transmission Project
- Louis Riel Day
- MEDO nominated for Spirit Award
- Manitoba Métis Put Manitoba Hydro On Notice About Bipole III - MMF President Testifies at Clean Environment Commission
- 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