Canada and Saskatchewan renew commitment to a fair Métis Nation - Saskatchewan election



    REGINA, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Today the Government of Canada and the
Province of Saskatchewan announced that they have renewed their support for
the Independent Oversight Committee's proposal to hold a fair and democratic
election for the Métis Nation - Saskatchewan (MNS).
    The Independent Oversight Committee was appointed by both the federal and
provincial governments in June of 2006 to oversee a new MNS election after it
was determined that due to various irregularities the results of the 2004 MNS
election could not be relied upon. The Committee released a comprehensive
election strategy earlier this year. The strategy included a proposal for a
Métis Nation Legislative Assembly/Annual General Meeting in April to consider
holding an election a few months later. The required support for the proposal,
from the acting Provincial Métis Council was lacking thus resulting in the
termination of the joint federal/provincial support in February 2007.
    Based on recent discussions with the Independent Oversight Committee, the
two governments have recognized that circumstances have changed and the
conditions are now in place for the Committee to facilitate a fair and
democratic election.
    "I wish to reaffirm the support of the Government of Canada for the work
of the Independent Oversight Committee. It will be important for
Saskatchewan's Métis community to show support for the Independent Oversight
Committee by approving the election proposal which will be presented at an
April 2007 Métis Nation Legislative Assembly/Annual General Meeting," said the
Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians.
    "I am really pleased that work towards a new MNS election is back on
track", Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis Relations Minister Maynard
Sonntag said. "Métis people of Saskatchewan have indicated they want an open,
fair and democratic election, and I urge all Métis people and organizations to
support the work of the Independent Oversight Committee."

    This release is also available on the Internet at
    http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of
the Honourable Jim Prentice, (819) 997-0002; INAC Media Relations, (819)
953-1160; Alethea Foster, Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis Relations,
(307) 787 5701

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