SASKATOON, March 11, 2020 /CNW/ - Citizens from across the Métis Nation homeland joined together in an unprecedented two-day session to share their views, concerns and give direction on where the Métis Nation needs to go. Over 400 grassroots Métis Nation citizens and leadership from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario were in attendance. "Our people have spoken; we have been provided clear direction that we must protect the territorial integrity of the Métis Nation and the historic identity of the Métis Nation" said Métis National Council National Spokesperson David Chartrand. "While there were different points of views expressed there was a clear consensus on what constitutes the Métis Nation homeland and who we are as a people."
The Saskatoon conference was an opportunity for leadership and grassroots citizens to come together to discuss and learn more about the Métis, the homeland and the protection of the inherent rights that come with that distinction. We have received clear direction to convene a special assembly composed of Governing Members from the four western provinces as soon as possible to address the threat posed by the non-Métis voyageurs and French-Canadians in the east appropriating our culture and identity."
"We are putting out a call to all Métis Nation leaders to come together to have an open dialogue on these critical issues," added Spokesperson David Chartrand. "This is an urgent matter and I call upon our Métis Nation governing leaders from BC to Manitoba to set aside our differences and join in a healthy debate on one of the most important issues facing our nation."
"It was heartening to hear the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan Vice President Gerald Morin and other leaders in Saskatchewan reinforce his position on the need to address these important issues. Mr. Morin clearly stated that MN-S does not and will not recognize these new MNO voyageur communities and they are not a part of the Métis Nation," continued Chartrand. "It is important to acknowledge that leadership across the western provinces agree with the findings of Dr. Darren O'Toole and Professor Darryl Leroux that showcased the clear evidence that the Métis Nation of Ontario's research for the new so-called historical Métis communities in that province, shows the connection is with the Algonquin and Ojibway peoples and not the Métis Nation."
"Make no mistake the grassroots have spoken and we will act and we will act decisively, preparations will be made and we will return to Saskatchewan to debate this openly and conclusively, we will not let our people down," concluded Chartrand. "I will be asking President Chartier to write a letter inviting the four provinces to bring their elected provincial leadership to a Métis Nation Special Assembly to discuss this most important issue facing our Nation today."
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 the contiguous parts of British Columbia, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the United States. There are approximately 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
SOURCE Métis National Council
For further information: Ke Ning, Métis National Council, [email protected], c: 613-297-5193