Métis of Ontario reports biggest population increase of all Aboriginal Population according to 2006 Census

    OTTAWA, Jan. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is very
pleased with the report by Statistics Canada that pegs the number of Métis in
Ontario at the level consistent with MNO estimates. Statistics Canada
recording of Canada's Aboriginal Population found the highest increase among
the Métis in Ontario. According to the release the number, of individuals who
self-identified as being Métis within the province of Ontario, has risen to
73, 605 which is consistent with the numbers reflected by the MNO Registry of
Métis Citizens, which is the first of its kind within Canada.
    The Métis represent 33% of the overall Aboriginal population in Canada,
however the disparity continues to remain that the Métis do not receive
funding from the Federal or Provincial Governments that are proportionate to
the statistics. As an example, the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy,
which is delivered by the Ontario Provincial Government, has an annual budget
of 48M but allocates only 3.35% of this funding to the Métis Nation of
Ontario. It must also be noted, that the Métis do not receive any funds from
the Federal Indian and Inuit Affairs Branch whose budget is exclusively for
Status Indians and Inuit.
    MNO President Tony Belcourt said, "The Métis Nation of Ontario is not
advocating that the funds set aside for First Nations be diverted to the Métis
people. We are however calling upon both federal and provincial governments to
fulfill Canada's constitutional obligations to all of the Aboriginal peoples
of this country including the Métis. This latest Census Canada data points to
glaring discrepancies in funding and we call on both levels of government to
rectify the situation that there clearly are not enough funds set aside to
address the needs of our people respectively."
    Belcourt further stated, "The recent analysis is consistent with the
trend of the past 10 years, whereby the Census reports of Métis population
within Ontario and Canada continue to rise. We are pleased that the numbers
finally fall in line with what we know to be true in Ontario. This is
obviously an indication that the Métis people in Ontario have shed the yolk of
fear of identity in this province, and are now proud to come forward and
identify as Métis, not only to the MNO Registrar but publicly as well.

    The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture,
language and heritage, and with an ancestral Homeland that centres around
Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, parts of the
Northwest Territories, as well as the northwestern United States. The Métis
played an instrumental role in the shaping of Canada, and work tirelessly to
share their culture, music, traditions and knowledge of the environment with
their fellow Canadians. Today, the Métis live, work, raise their families and
pay taxes in communities all across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: see the MNO website at: www.metisnation.org Or
Contact: Katelin Peltier, Acting Manager of Communications, Work: (613)
798-1488 Ext. 108, Cell: (613) 859-7130, katelinp@metisnation.org

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