Métis Nation and Members of Federal Cabinet Meet in Ottawa

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News Release (Surrey – February 2, 2017) Métis Nation leaders and four members of the Federal Cabinet met in Ottawa on January 30th and discussed a wide range of subjects related to the Federal Government’s commitment of reconciliation with the Métis Nation. The meeting was originally planned as a Crown-Métis Nation Summit but the Prime Minister was not able to attend because of the terrible tragedy in Quebec City the night before at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec.

Members of the Métis National Council Board of Governors including Métis Nation British Columbia President Clara Morin Dal Col sat at the table with the President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, Health Minister Jane Philpott, and Employment and Workforce Minister Patty Hajdu. BC Provincial Chairperson for Métis Youth Cassidy Caron was also invited to be part of the table discussion on behalf of the Youth of the Métis Nation.

The MNBC contingent also included Vice-President Lissa Smith, Regional Director and Executive Committee member Daniel Pitman who attended the meeting and had the opportunity to dialogue with the individual Ministers.

President Morin Dal Col said, “Even though the Prime Minister was not able to attend this meeting, the very constructive dialogue that took place at the table really helped to raise the awareness of key Cabinet ministers to the concerns of Métis people in all areas of the Métis Nation, including British Columbia. This new government to government relationship with the federal government is developing in a good way that will benefit all Métis people.”

“It was an honour to witness the meeting between the Federal Ministers and the Metis National Council Board of Governors,” said Vice President Lisa Smith. She added, “We had the opportunity to inform the Ministers further about Metis people and our previous ‘invisibleness’ with regards to the negotiations of Sec 35 Metis Rights.”

MNBC Executive Member Daniel Pitman said, “The meeting was a momentous step towards building the foundation for our Métis People in terms of providing the resources and financial support for Métis Rights identified in the Constitution of 1982. It also helps to move forward with the recommendations first outlined in the Kelowna Accord of November 2005.” 

"It was a true honour to be given the space to share my thoughts at the meeting,” said Provincial Métis Youth Chairperson Cassidy Caron. She noted that, “In the development of this government to government relationship it is extremely important to engage Métis youth and seek our input as the decisions that are being made today are ones that that will impact our future.”

The Crown-Métis Nation Summit is expected to be re-scheduled for some time in the next few weeks.

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Tracey Thornhill
Executive Assistant and Communications Officer
1-800-940-1150