News Release - Governing Our Métis Nation

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Surrey, BC [March 28, 2017] – On Friday March 24th Métis Nation British Columbia Leadership from across the province gathered for the 2017 Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) in Richmond, BC.

The Legislative members in attendance consisted of thirty-two Chartered Community leaders and eleven members of the MNBC Board of Directors with nearly 60 people in the gallery, including of 35 community youth, local community members, guests and friends.

Métis youth Jigger Fergus Dalton led the traditional Grand Entry on Friday afternoon followed by accomplished fiddlers Keith Hill and MNBC Minister for Culture, Heritage and Language, Raynie Gervais and guitarist and Region 6 BCMANR Captain Rene Lucier.  The Honour Guard followed, with Metis Veterans Dave Armitt, Barbara Hulme, Frazer MacDonald, Eleanor Creighton, Gordon McGregor, Eldon Clairmont, Earl Henderson and Walter Koenders.  Veteran Service Officer Walter Koenders was honoured and sashed on the following day for his service and contribution of the nearly ¼ of a million dollars raised for the Metis Veterans in BC (MVBC) over the decade of his service to the MVBC.  Métis youth Mikayla Hoffman led the Assembly in the singing of the Canadian National Anthem, followed by the Métis Nation’s Anthem, led by Regional Director for the Kootenays and Minister for Citizenship Registry Marilynn Taylor.

Following the Grand Entry, Youth Representatives Region 1 Danielle Atkinson, Region 2 Monique Auger, Region 6 Brooklyn Oja who were elected earlier this year, were sworn in to office by the Senate administering the Oath of Office and Confidentiality to each of the youth, proudly accepting of their roles and responsibilities for Métis Youth British Columbia (MYBC).

Senators Philip Gladue and Alan Edkins opened the MNGA with a prayer in both English and Cree/Michif.  MNBC President Clara Morin Dal Col and Vice President Lissa Smith provided opening comments.  A special visit from across our homeland, MNC National President Clément Chartier and Manitoba Métis Federation and National (MNC) Vice President David Chartrand brought greetings to the Assembly and spoke on a number of national matters relating to the Federal Budget of 2017 and spoke of the importance of unity and Nation building.  President Chartier then honoured our Metis Veterans with a financial contribution commitment that will go to the Metis Veterans BC to assist them in their attendance to Vimy Ridge ceremony in Ottawa on April 9th

Speaker Dale LeClair presided over the business of the 2017 MNGA along with MNGA Clerk Dale Drown.

During the two and a half days, the 2017 MNGA members deliberated over 13 resolutions where members of the Assembly reviewed and voted on the First Reading of various legislation of the Métis Nation BC. Ten of the resolutions proposing changes to MNBC legislation were given first reading and will now move to the annual general meeting in September for final consideration by MNBC Citizens.

On Sunday morning, the Chartered Community leadership presented their annual reports since the last MNGA, to the Assembly on the many successes, activities and the challenges each of the communities face on various levels

The MNGA members were very pleased to accept and welcome a new MNGA member and Chartered Community for the Vanderhoof / Fort St. James area in the North Central region, “Metis Nation of New Caledonia Society” President Lana Olson proudly accepted and signed the Charter on behalf of the community.

In her closing remarks, President Morin Dal Col addressed the Assembly by sayingI want to thank each member of this Assembly for your participation and your contribution to our democracy within our Métis Nation’’. “The business of the Assembly has been dealt with in such a constructive, positive and respectable way”. ‘’The great thing is that you at the Community level and we at the provincial level are all part of the Métis Nation, and by working together we are making a difference for Métis families in British Columbia”. ‘’No one else in this province is able to do that’’. ‘’Our Métis people in this province – all nearly 70,000 of them, are depending on us to look after their interests’’. ‘’And we will not let them down”.

 

Additional highlights:

On the Thursday evening, the Metis Youth BC hosted a Provincial Engagement Session and dinner for Assembly members, and over 100 people attended including nearly 40 youth from across the province.  For more on this or the other youth events and photo gallery, please check out the Metis Youth BC Facebook site.

Métis Nation BC’s website www.mnbc.ca will have a photo gallery of the press photos taken at the MNGA and welcome anyone at the MNGA who would like to share their memories for the album, to contact MNBC Executive Assistant and Communications Officer Tracey Thornhill.

The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) represents nearly 70,000 self-identified Métis people in British Columbia; of that, more than 16,000 are provincially registered Métis Citizens with MNBC.  The Métis National Council and the Provincial Government of British Columbia as well as the Federal Government of Canada recognizes the MNBC as the official governing organization for Métis in BC.

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For more information:

Please contact Tracey Thornhill, MNBC Executive Assistant and Communications Officer

1-800-940-1150 / 604-557-5851