Métis Nation a long way from reconciliation; Efforts continue for recognition and compensation for Métis residential and day school survivors
Ottawa, ON (February 27, 2012) – The Métis Nation continues to seek recognition and compensation for the thousands of Métis Residential and Day school survivors not included in the Indian Residential School Settlements Agreement. The challenge facing the Métis Nation is the continued exclusion of the Métis Residential/Boarding schools from the Settlement Agreement, the government of Canada's apology and the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission whose Interim Report was released on Friday, February 24, 2012.
"Reconciliation requires more than just one party at the table", said Métis National Council (MNC) President Clément Chartier. "We made it clear that we would not be participating in the work of the TRC in the absence of some party taking responsibility for what happened to our children in the residential or boarding schools set up for Métis children."
President Chartier also expressed concern that the Interim Report's reference to a meeting of TRC Commissioners with the MNC leadership may imply that Métis Residential Schools were included in the Commission's mandate and the Settlement Agreement itself: "We met with the TRC to tell them we would not be participating in its work until such time that responsibility was assumed by the government and/or the church organizations involved and a settlement concluded with respect to Metis residential schools."
The MNC President said he fully supported initiatives to compensate and reconcile with the victims of Indian Residential Schools but wanted the TRC to be more clear in its reporting so that Canada and the international community will understand that there are many Métis people and boarding schools excluded from Canada's acknowledgement of past harms.
"I am at a total loss as to why Canada would turn its back on the Métis children who suffered the same or similar abuses in those institutions as suffered by First Nations children in Indian Residential Schools" concluded Chartier.
For more information contact:
Adrian Mrdeza, Communications Officer (613) 232-3216
The MNC represents the Métis Nation government in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the northern United States. There are approximately 350,000 – 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada.