Media advisory - Métis in Sault Ste. Marie Region Set To Lead Métis Nation's Rights Charge Again



    Community Meeting on Increased Métis Participation in Forestry Sector to
    be held on June 11th in Sault Ste. Marie

    OTTAWA, June 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) will be
holding a regional Métis community meeting in Sault Ste. Marie on June 11th,
2008, in order to develop an approach to increase Métis participation in the
forestry sector, as well as, other resource based industries in the region.
    MNO President, Gary Lipinski stated, "This is an historic meeting that
all Métis citizens living in the region should try to attend. We are taking an
important next step in building on the Supreme Court of Canada's affirmation
that Métis people in Ontario have constitutional rights, in order to increase
Métis access to natural resources in the province."
    "It makes sense that the renowned Métis community in the Sault Ste. Marie
region will once again be taking a lead in advancing the Métis Nation's rights
agenda, since it is the home of the landmark Powley decision," added Lipinski.
    In 2003, in its first decision on Métis rights, the Supreme Court of
Canada confirmed that the Métis community in the Sault St. Marie region
possesses constitutionally protected right to hunt for food and confirmed that
two MNO citizens - Steve and Roddy Powley - did not need a provincial hunting
license because they were members of the rights-bearing Métis community and
exercising the community's right to hunt for food.
    Since 2003, the MNO and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) have
reached a Métis harvesting agreement, which accommodates Métis harvesting
practices and recognizes the MNO's harvesters policy and cards. Now, the MNR
has indicated it willingness to discuss an arrangement with the rights-bearing
Métis community in order to increase Métis access to the forestry sector.
    "Métis rights are collective rights. We need to ensure that the entire
rights-bearing community is engaged and supports this process. The purpose of
this meeting is to bring the Métis community together in order to get the ball
rolling," said Ann Trudel, MNO Regional Councillor.
    In attendance at the meeting with be MNO President Lipinski, France
Picotte, MNO Chair, Ann Trudel, MNO Region 4 Councillor, Brent McHale, MNO
Captain of the Hunt, and, prominent Métis lawyers Jean Teillet and Jason
Madden, who have acted as counsel in several Métis rights victories in Ontario
and western Canada. Ms. Teillet also was lead counsel for the Powley case at
all levels of court.

    The meeting will be open to all Métis citizens and will be held at:

    
                      DATE:     Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
                      TIME:     6:00 - 9:00pm
                  LOCATION:     Great Northern Resort and Conference Centre
                                (Best Western Hotel)
                                Ballroom Centre Meeting Room
                                229 Great Northern Road
                                Sault Ste. Marie, ON
    

    The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture,
language and heritage, with an ancestral Homeland that centres around Ontario,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and extends into the
Northwest Territories and the northwestern United States. The Métis played an
instrumental role in the shaping of Canada, and work tirelessly to share their
culture, traditions and knowledge of the environment with their fellow
Canadians. Today, the Métis live, work, raise their families and pay taxes in
communities from Ontario westward.




For further information:

For further information: or interviews contact: Katelin Peltier, MNO
Communications Branch, (613) 798-1488 ext. 108, C: (613) 859-7130, TF: (800)
263-4889, katelinp@metisnation.org


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