TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Métis Nation of Ontario and the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding Métis participation in the largest multi-sport Games Canada has ever hosted.
The MOU outlines how the Métis Nation of Ontario and its citizens will participate and be recognized in the Games, including: appropriate dignitary recognition, access to economic development opportunities and involvement in torch relays and the TORONTO 2015 Arts and Culture Festival, presented by CIBC.
"We're delighted to work with the Métis Nation of Ontario and its leadership to ensure our Games are inclusive and respectful of the Métis people," said Ian Troop, TO2015 Chief Executive Officer. "MNO President Gary Lipinski and the Métis Nation have been tremendously supportive of our efforts since we first met at the 2011 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Guadalajara."
MNO President Gary Lipinski added: "The Métis people of Ontario look forward to welcoming athletes and other visitors from the Americas and the Caribbean to the Games and sharing our unique history and culture with them. The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are a once-in-lifetime opportunity for all of us here in Ontario to come together, celebrate and share our diversity, culture and dreams."
In January 2012, TO2015 officially launched its 14 Aboriginal Leadership Partners, drawn from the Games' Host Region, which includes the Métis Nation of Ontario.
The group, which is comprised of key Aboriginal leaders, communities and organizations, will drive planning, engagement and communications efforts between TO2015 and the Aboriginal community to deliver successful Games. The partners will create an engagement strategy for economic development, volunteer recruitment, arts and culture, as well as youth engagement.
TO2015 is also pursuing similar MOUs with the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation.
"We are pleased to see the Métis Nation of Ontario and the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee working together to ensure that the Métis and First Nations peoples are playing key roles in the 'People's Games'," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).
"As Ontario prepares to welcome athletes and spectators from the Americas and Caribbean for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, it is essential that Aboriginal peoples and their culture are celebrated and showcased as Ontario hosts this once-in-a-lifetime event," said Michael Chan, Ontario Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games.
About the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO)
MNO is a results-based provincial delivery organization designed to meet the socio-economic needs of its citizens and communities. Currently, the MNO delivers programs and services to its citizens through the branches of: Healing and Wellness; Education and Training; Infinity Property Services; Lands, Resources and Consultation; and Economic Development. Through these various branches, the MNO maintains over 30 service delivery access points across the province, administers over $20 million annually and employs over 150 people across the province.
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14.
The 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead Partner of the Games.
For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Director, Media Relations and Chief Spokesperson
Métis Nation of Ontario