Métis Nation of Ontario community consultations on Métis Rights & Self-Government kick off in Georgian Bay Region

FOLEY, ON, March 3, 2017 /CNW/ - The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) province-wide consultations on Métis rights and self-government began this week in the Traditional Georgian Bay Territory with three sessions with the citizens of the Great Lakes Métis Council (Owen Sound), the Georgian Bay Métis Council (Midland) and the Moon River Métis Council (Parry Sound).

The MNO Commission is made up of seven well respected citizens of the MNO, supported by a team of three additional citizens, with representation from the north and south, youth and senators, men and women, harvesters and veterans, including French and Michif speakers. The Commissioners are joined by MNO President, Margaret Froh, and MNO Chair, France Picotte in leading conversations with all MNO citizens across the province on key issues such as MNO governance, how we can continue to build Métis identity, culture community, harvesting (including co-management, enforcement of MNO laws and mobility of rights), and what the MNO should be focusing on as it advances Métis rights, including self-government, in Ontario.

The Commission is travelling throughout the province and engaging with citizens in all 29 Chartered Community Council areas across Ontario, and will join the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) Regional Councilor and Regional Captain of the Hunt (COTH) in listening to citizens' concerns, suggestions, hopes and aspirations for the nation on these critical and timely topics.

"We were delighted to kick off the MNO Commission on Métis Rights & Self-Government in the Georgian Bay Traditional Territory, with PCMNO Regional Councillor Pauline Richardson and COTH Greg Garratt," stated President Froh. She added, "The turnout of our MNO citizens was outstanding for all three sessions this week. Our citizens are so engaged and truly care about the future of our communities and the broader MNO. A fundamental component of good governance is ensuring that all of our citizens feel they have a voice and an opportunity to be heard. And that is exactly what we are doing through this Commission, our regional telephone town halls which we recently launched, and the first ever MNO Household Survey which we will soon be launching."

"This past week through the Commission process we had citizens come out and be a part of the discussion, ranging in age from 9 years old, to the 104 year old WWII Métis Veteran, Corporal Alex Boucher attending the session with Moon River Métis Council! This Commission, along with other initiatives we are leading to increase communication across the nation, is Métis good governance in action."

"The stars truly are aligning for the Métis Nation. Only one month ago, the MNO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada on Advancing Reconciliation. The timing of the launch of the MNO Commission could not have worked out more perfectly.  Through the Commission process we are hearing directly from our citizens on the key issues that are important to them as we continue our way forward on the road of self-determination and it will help inform everything that we're doing, including in the exploratory discussions process with government and the negotiations that will follow."

The MNO's MOU with Canada builds on several recent advancements for the Métis Nation, including the Supreme Court decision in Daniels v. Canada (April 2016) and the report from Tom Isaac, A Matter of National and Constitutional Import: Report of the Minister's Special Ministerial Representative on Reconciliation with the Métis-Section 35 Métis Rights and the Manitoba Métis Federation Decision (July 2016).

"This is an important and extraordinary time for the Métis Nation. Working together, with all of our citizens and communities, we will build on these opportunities to create an even stronger, healthier future for our Métis families, communities and our entire nation," stated President Froh.

At the conclusion of the province-wide consultations, the findings of the Commission will be presented to MNO citizens in a What We Heard Report that will contribute substantially to the MNO's ongoing efforts to extend and build upon the remarkable achievements of the past 20 years in advancing Métis rights and self-government.

 

SOURCE Métis Nation of Ontario

For further information: Todd Ross, MNO Special Advisor on Tripartite, 416-505-4740 (cell), toddr@metisnation.org

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