OTTAWA, Aug. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Starting this Saturday night, Gary Lipinski, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), along with regionally and locally elected Ontario Métis leadership and hundreds of Métis citizens from across the province will gather in Sault Ste. Marie for the MNO's 19th Annual General Assembly (AGA). The MNO Historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis Council is hosting the AGA.
The MNO is the representative government of the Métis Nation in Ontario with the MNO AGA's the largest Métis gathering of its kind held annually in Ontario. It brings together Métis Senators and Elders, Veterans, youth, women and men from across the province to celebrate Métis history and culture while conducting the business of the Métis Nation.
Sault Ste. Marie is a part of a rights-bearing Metis community that has lived around and used the Lake Superior and Lake Huron region for generations. This regional community, like others throughout the province, is a part of the larger Metis Nation. Notably, the settlement of Sault Ste. Marie was home to many Métis traders, voyageurs and fishermen, whose descendants continue to live in the region today. The area figured prominently in the historic R. V Powley case, which went before the Supreme Court of Canada in 2003. This case established that Métis are a rights-bearing people.
Some of the highlights of the three day gathering will include:
- Opening Ceremonies Saturday Night at Bell's Point Beach Campground will feature ceremonial canoes and MNO citizens dressed in traditional Métis clothing recreating the Métis Voyageur past;
- Several aspects of the agenda will commemorate the Métis role in the War of 1812 including a presentation by Fran Robb, a historian with Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site;
- Memorandums of Understanding will be signed between the MNO and the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, and with Union Gas;
- Entertainment from some of Ontario's best Métis performers will be featured on Sunday night at the Kiwanis Community Theatre during the Sharing Our Pride: Métis Storytellers and Cultural Performance celebration;
- Monday afternoon the Métis Voyageur Games will take place. These feature competitions based on traditional voyageur activities. This year's games are being covered to appear in the APTN television series Warrior Games;
- Also on Monday afternoon, workshops will take place on traditional cultural activities such as fiddle making, bannock making, finger weaving, beading and embroidery;
- Business sessions will take place Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the Comfort Suites and Conference Centre and will include updates from Métis lawyers Jean Teillet and Jason Madden about ongoing Métis rights litigation, such as the Manitoba Métis land claim case that was heard by the Supreme Court in December 2011;
- Other business will include updates on MNO's initiatives in economic development, intergovernmental relations, health, education and training, housing and finance.
President Lipinski stated: "Our annual assemblies are opportunities to celebrate and share our distinct history and culture as Metis. Sault Ste. Marie is an ideal location for our people to come together in order to continue the traditions and vision of our ancestors that have been in this region since before Canada was Canada."
More information including a complete schedule of events can be found at:
SOURCE: METIS NATION OF ONTARIO
For further information:
For more information or interviews contact:
Director of Communications
Métis Nation of Ontario
613-798-1488 (August 20-22)
613-314-9402 (cell - August 23-28)