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Feb 1, 2024
Ottawa, ON – Yesterday, the Métis Nation and the Government of Canada held the first Permanent Bilateral Mechanism (PBM) meeting of 2024. The PBM is a means of collaborative partnership between the Métis Nation and the Government of Canada to advance joint priorities that better the lives of Métis citizens across the Homeland.
Priorities discussed at yesterday’s meeting included health, economic development, emergency management, education, and justice. This was followed by a discussion on best practices moving forward to ensure joint objectives are met.
Key outcomes from this meeting were the endorsements of both the co-development principles and the international work of the Métis Nation. The co-development principles outline how the Métis Nation and Canada can co-develop policy and law together equitably, in a manner that fulfills Canada’s commitments and upholds Métis self-determination.
The Métis National Council and its Governing Members look forward to building on these successes to ensure that Métis governments, communities, and citizens are not left behind the rest of Canada.
“Renewing our relationship with the Government of Canada through the Permanent Bilateral Mechanism is of utmost importance to ensure the Métis governments, communities, and citizens are best supported across the Homeland. I look forward to continuing this work together.”
Cassidy Caron, President, Métis National Council
“For more than 200 years, our people have tried to negotiate with the Government of Canada in good faith, but we have been met with broken promises. Bill C-53 seeks to change this unfortunate legacy. It will affirm our inherent right to make laws regarding our elections, citizenship, and internal operations, ensuring we can support our communities for the generations to come. Most importantly, Bill C-53 will ensure that Métis children who end up in the child welfare system will no longer be lost to our communities. C-53 means our Métis governments can finally protect our babies and children. That is why we will not rest until it is passed. We are also calling upon the federal government to support our efforts in primary and secondary school education, justice and policing, emergency management, and health and mental health. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada, and Minister Anandasangaree, to realize our right to self-government and supporting our communities through these programs.”
Margaret Froh, President, Métis Nation of Ontario
“We are at a pivotal time in our Métis Nation and as such, it has never been more important to focus on a unified, distinctions-based approach to moving self-determination forward for our citizens. Maintaining a positive government to government relationship with Canada is vital to meeting the needs of our citizens and continuing to do the good work of our Métis Nation.”
Glen McCallum, President, Métis Nation – Saskatchewan
“The Otipemisiwak Métis Government has been doing our part to build our self-government. Now, we need Canada to formally recognize this by getting Bill C-53 passed into law. All the noise surrounding this legislation has made the process unlike any other Indigenous self-government legislation. The toxicity we have been experiencing has been hurtful to our youth and our elders, but we are undeterred. Through our positive relationship with Canada, we have done great work in addressing Métis housing, post-secondary education, and early learning and childcare. We want to see more success in the future and can do this with a reinvigorated relationship through the permanent bilateral mechanism.”
Andrea Sandmaier, President, Otipemisiwak Métis Government of the Métis Nation within Alberta
“Métis Nation BC faces significant challenges in the areas like primary and secondary education that receive no substantial government funding, and Emergency Management, which has an outsized impact on Indigenous communities. Our 25,000 Citizens live in every corner of British Columbia, making disaster preparedness and response a pressing priority due to flooding and wildfire threats. MNBC is ready to do the work. We need the same commitment from the Crown to advance reconciliation for our people.”
Lissa Dawn Smith, President, Métis Nation British Columbia
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