Tony Belcourt not seeking another term as MNO President



    OTTAWA, Feb. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Tony Belcourt, President of the Métis
Nation of Ontario (MNO) has announced that he will not seek another mandate in
the upcoming MNO Elections on May 5, 2008. Belcourt has served as the MNO's
President since its founding conference in 1994.
    "The MNO is in its strongest position ever and I am anxious to devote my
time to our cause in different ways", Mr. Belcourt said. "Serving as MNO
President has been an incredible honour and the support I have enjoyed has
added to the excitement of the position. However, the MNO is at a watershed in
its development with great opportunity on the horizon. It is time that the MNO
had a new leader who would bring a fresh approach to the positive new
circumstances before us and draw in new energies to meet the challenges of the
future."
    "We have had extraordinary growth and success since our committee formed
the MNO nearly 15 years ago on October 2, 1993. We have put in place the
fundamentals for Métis governance including the MNO Registry and our MNO
Harvesting Policy that are the underpinnings of our MNO/MNR Harvesting
Agreement. We have successfully fought for the recognition of our
constitutional rights in the Supreme Court of Canada. Our people now, more
than ever before, are coming forward to outwardly declare their pride in being
Métis. Our MNO citizens are enthusiastic about their communities and about
being actively involved as volunteers to assist in so many ways - from
governance to long-term care of those in need."
    "We are entering a new era. We have finally crossed over from only
dealing with governments in the courts to now dealing with them through
framework agreements and new tables of negotiations. The MNO has been well
served by its leaders on the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of
Ontario (PCMNO) and at the community level. We have a strong and dedicated
staff who give tirelessly to their positions and to the service of the Métis
Nation. We are fortunate that there are many among us with the experience,
knowledge, vision and commitment to take us forward at the political level. I
commend and thank the PCMNO, and in particular my colleagues on the Executive,
for their fortitude and support because without it, we could not have achieved
the measure of success that we now enjoy. I am indebted to them and to all MNO
citizens for the confidence they have given to me. I have enjoyed a rare
privilege to have served as the President of the MNO and will continue my
support of the Nation and our leadership in every way possible in the future."




For further information:

For further information: see the MNO Website at www.metisnation.org;
Katelin Peltier, MNO Manager of Communications, Cell: (613) 859-7130,
katelinp@metisnation.org, www.metisnation.org


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