The MNGA – A Key Part of Good Governance for the Métis Nation

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Surrey, BC [March 26, 2018] – Métis Nation British Columbia Leadership gathered on March 22nd - March 25th, for the Nation's 2018 Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA).  Held in Richmond, information sessions on various subjects including governance and funding for the Chartered Communities preceded the MNGA formally getting underway on Friday afternoon.

The Legislative members in attendance consisted of thirty-five Chartered Community leaders and the eleven members of the MNBC Board of Directors.  For the first time in the history of the MNGA, thirty-six of the thirty-eight Chartered Communities also had Community Youth representatives and their Regional Métis Youth Representatives from within the Ministry of Youth BC in attendance. The MNBC Métis Women (MWBC), Métis Veterans (MVBC), a number of Captains from the BC Assembly of Natural Resources, and the MNBC Senate were among the delegates in attendance at this years MNGA as well as the gallery of MNBC community members, Staff, guests and friends of the Nation. 

2018 is the year of our Youth, and in honouring this dedication, the focus was on our youth that were in attendance for this years Annual Youth Meeting as well as the MNGA, throughout the ceremonies of the MNGA, beginning with the opening ceremonies on Friday afternoon with Métis youth Jigger Fergus Dalton, as he led the traditional Grand Entry, followed by fiddlers, Metis youth Carrington Mitchell and Drew Nagao.  The Honour Guard followed, with Metis Veterans Dave Armitt, Barbara Hulme, Tom Adams, Eleanor Creighton and Eldon Clairmont.  Métis youth Madesyn Thompson led the Assembly in the singing of the Canadian National Anthem, followed by the Métis Nation’s Anthem.

Senator and Elder Philip Gladue 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 brought greetings to the Assembly and spoke on a number of national matters relating to the Federal Budget of 2018 and the importance of distinct Métis Identity. 

Dave Peltier, Métis Citizen and the interim President of the Golden Ears Métis Society accepted his nomination as the official Speaker of the 2018 MNGA with MNGA Clerk Dale Drown appointed by the MNBC Board of Directors. 

After the Speaker called the business to order, he recognized the new community of Princeton and the resolution to accept this community by the members of the 2018 Legislative Assembly.  Members accepted and President Clara Morin Dal Col and Regional Director for the Thompson & Okanagan Daniel Pitman proudly welcomed President Trudi Turner and the 38th Métis Chartered Community "Vermillion Forks Métis Association". President Turner was sworn in to office by the Senate administrator, Senator Alan Edkins administering the Oath of Office and Senator Phillip Gladue carrying out the traditional swearing-in ceremony of the newly adopted community. 

On Saturday afternoon President Morin Dal Col and the Ministry of Women-BC representatives, the Minister, Victoria Pruden and MNGA members proudly welcomed Carol Laliberte-Paynter, as interim regional Métis Women’s representative for the Northeast. A by-election to fill the position on a permanent basis will be held on June 23, 2018.

During the two and a half days, the 2018 MNGA members deliberated over a number of resolutions where members of the Assembly carefully reviewed and voted on the First Reading of the various proposed changes to Legislation of the Métis Nation BC. Seven of the ten resolutions proposing changes to MNBC legislation were given a first reading and will now move to the annual general meeting in September for final consideration by MNBC Citizens.

Chartered Community leadership presented supplementary reports on the last day of the MNGA, to their tabled written reports speaking of additional activities, events and successful fundraising efforts and the challenges their respective communities still face in various different ways.

In the closing ceremonies of the day, President Clara Morin Dal Col addressed the Assembly in her remarks by thanking the MNGA Speaker for overseeing and guiding the MNGA and his conduct in carrying out the role and responsibilities of the Speaker.  She further noted her thanks and appreciation to the Métis Veterans who watched over the assembly during the proceeding’s and gave thanks to all members of the Governing Assembly for taking time from their families to be a part of the very important democratic process of the Métis Nation. Noting, “The work we do here is done on behalf of all Métis people in British Columbia - our Citizens, Community members and all Métis people in our province”. 

Before concluding, President Morin Dal Col paid a special tribute to the Métis Youth, noting the overwhelming representation from each of the Chartered Communities and highlighting the mock MNGA that was conducted by the youth the evening prior. The President stated “These young people are the future of our Métis Nation, and when we see the millions of youth who have become so active, especially in the United States and especially yesterday, we as leaders today in our Métis Nation need to listen to the views of the leaders of tomorrow. Our thanks to our Youth Leadership and all Youth delegates here this weekend”. 

Wrapping up her comments, the President expressed her thanks and appreciation to all of the MNBC staff for their hard work and dedication to helping to make this 2018 Métis Nation Governing Assembly and its success.  <View full closing remarks>

Additional highlights:

  • Métis Veterans BC (MW-BC) Annual Meeting
  • Métis Women’s-BC (MVBC) Annual Meeting
  • Dinner reception highlighting some of BC’s incredibly talented Métis musicians, featuring accomplished fiddlers, Keith Hill, Raynie Gervais, and guitarist Arnold Lucier. 
  • Ministry of Youth BC (MYBC) Annual Youth Meeting where the Minister of Youth BC, Minister Cassidy Caron, MYBC staff and thirty-nine Métis youth represented their respective region in the community governance dialogue and cultural knowledge exchange, facilitated by Métis Elder Stella Johnson from Vancouver Island and artisan Lisa Shepherd
  • MNBC Ministry of Health announcement of Elders Health, first ever hot line 1-83FOR-MÉTIS (1-833-676-3846)
  • The MNGA set a by-election date of June 23 to fill the position of the interim representative for the Métis Women BC Northeast Regional Representative
  • Established an MNGA Resources Act Consultation Committee, to consult with MNBC Citizens and Community members in all Communities on the Natural Resources Act and the Consultation Guide Book
  • Approved proposed amendments to the MNBC Constitution and MNGA Act to be brought forward for acceptance at the AGM in 2018
  • To further consult the communities for Community Acceptance, and the process therein
  • Approved the new bylaws for the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia (or MPCBC) to be brought forward to the 2018 AGM
  • Established that more time was needed to take back to Communities for discussion a proposed Métis Nation British Columbia Budget Act and bring it back at the MNGA 2019.

Our Thanks:

A very special thank you to the following people, and our funders:

  • Métis National Council - President Clément Chartier
  • MNBC – Board of Directors,
  • MNBC Chartered Communities
  • MNBC Veterans (MVBC), Elders, Senate, Women (MW-BC), Métis Youth BC (MYBC), BCMANR and Staff
  • Community Youth Representatives
  • MNGA Emcee Jason Simmonds, MNBC Director of Children & Families
  • Raynie Gervais, Keith Hill, Fergus Dalton, Carrington Mitchell, Drew Nagao
  • Province of British Columbia
  • Service Canada
  • Hilton Vancouver Airport Richmond Hotel - staff, chefs, and management team for always going above and beyond to making us feel at home and assisting in the success of our MNGA.

MNGA 2018 PHOTO GALLERY 

AYM 2018 PHOTO GALLERY (coming soon)

Mock Youth MNGA 2018 PHOTO GALLERY

Background:

The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) represents nearly 90,000 self-identified Métis people in British Columbia; of that, nearly 17,000 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.