OTTAWA, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - In what has become an annual event, Prime
Minister Stephen Harper has opened his door to National Aboriginal
Leaders to discuss economic development and other pressing matters.
Métis National Council President Clément Chartier represented the Métis
Nation at yesterday's meeting held on Parliament Hill.
He told the Prime Minister, "the Métis Nation Protocol signed in 2008
set the foundation for a solid relationship between the Government of
Canada and the Métis Nation." President Chartier added, "We are looking
forward to working with your Ministers and we are open for business."
President Chartier indicated that the Métis Nation has been fully
engaged in the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development
which fits into the Métis Nation business model. The model is based on
solid, professional management through economic development
institutions such as Métis capital corporations offering small business
loans, venture capital corporations and education and training centres
including the Gabriel Dumont Institution.
Federal Interlocutor for Métis, the Honourable John Duncan and the
Minister responsible for Human Resource Development, the Honourable
Diane Finley also attended the meeting, which lasted about an hour in
the Prime Minister's office.
Last month, Minister Duncan hosted a very successful Métis Economic
Development Symposium to which he invited his provincial counterparts
from the five Western provinces, Métis Nation leaders and industry.
President Chartier explained, "the Métis Nation wants to bring the
Symposium to the regional level to directly engage industry partners
through round tables and trade shows. I believe the Métis Nation
Protocol is an effective instrument which, for Canada and the Métis
Nation, is yielding good dividends."
The first regional round table is being organized for next month in
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
In addition to Métis Nation Economic Development projects, President
Chartier also touched on certain employment and training matters, the
outstanding Métis Residential School issue, struggles with Health
Canada and support for Métis Veterans.
Prime Minister Harper listened closely to President Chartier's words
offering welcome comments that the Métis should not fall through the
cracks. After President Chartier's discussion with the Prime Minister,
he came away confident the infrastructure projects raised during the
last meeting with the Prime Minister will soon be announced.
The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and
international levels. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the 3
Prairie Provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, the
Northwest Territories and the northern United States. There are
approximately 350,000 - 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada,
roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
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SOURCE METIS NATIONAL COUNCIL
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