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July 12, 2023
Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Earlier this week, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, was pleased to attend the Council of the Federation Premiers Meeting, held in the heart of our Homeland, in what is now called Winnipeg.
The Red River Métis of the historic Northwest, represented through our government of the MMF, was proud to represent Citizens at this national table, as the only Indigenous government present, while we extended our government-to-government relationship with all Premiers within our Homeland, and other parts of Canada that our Citizens call home.
Specifically, the MMF addressed issues of national concern like federal Bill C-92, concerning child welfare and a Canada-wide affordable housing strategy, and how these important matters affect our Citizens and our Nation, along with the economic challenges we face throughout our Homeland. This national table provided the opportunity to have great exchanges with the attending Premiers, with many seeking further dialogue to learn more about our successes as models that can be applied within their provinces.
We were pleased to receive a warm welcome from each member of the Council, as they listened and asked a range of thoughtful questions, indicating their willingness to work with the MMF – the National Government of the Red River Métis. In particular, we thank Premier Stefanson for her warm hospitality and engagement, and further appreciate the commitment to dialogue from Premiers Eby, Ford, and Moe, as well as Quebec Premier Legault.
However, the comments and actions of Cassidy Caron, spokesperson of the pan-Indigenous lobby group called the Métis National Council (MNC), were both disturbing and disrespectful toward the process of engagement with Indigenous government, as well as the Premiers. Ms. Caron took the time to scold and lecture the Premiers regarding how essential it was for MNC to have time to participate in discussion and dialogue, and discuss the contents of the agenda, only then to indicate that they must catch a flight and leave the meeting, though there was time on the agenda for further dialogue with Indigenous representatives. Even after MNC’s departure, we continued productive dialogue and discussion.
After Ms. Caron’s departure following her unsubstantial and unproductive lecture to the Premiers, she addressed the media, solely to surface complaints about the amount of time given to the “local representatives of Indigenous peoples” and that MNC’s time as a “national Indigenous leader” was wasted. This is a blatant and gross mischaracterization of the nature of the meeting.
Any spokesperson or organization wishing to be heard must understand that respect is a two-way street. If representatives choose not to remain present, they do not have the right to scold. Statements asserting that dialogue is needed should be supported by the presence of the individual making the assertion.
Clearly, the MMF was fully engaged in representing the National voice of our Citizens, and participated in meaningful exchanges with many Premiers on matters of interest to them and to our Citizens who reside in their provincial jurisdictions. The conversation was very beneficial and fruitful for those who stayed.
President Chartrand attended the closing gala at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. At the gala, he again had a chance to dialogue with the Premiers about Red River Métis Citizens in their jurisdictions, including Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith, who was only able to join the meeting following the conclusion of the Premier’s Stampede Breakfast at the Calgary Stampede.
The result of the MMF’s steadfast engagement in this government-to-government process is that we have commitments from Premiers to engage in ongoing dialogue for the betterment of our Citizens across Canada.
The MMF will continue to represent our Citizens regionally, nationally and internationally, taking a positive and forward-thinking approach to our engagement with other governments and nations.
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis, the origin and core of the historic Métis Nation. The Red River Métis are a distinct Indigenous People and Canada’s Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.
For more information, media may contact:
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation