Government to Government Relations
Canada is strengthened when we respectfully reconcile our diversity. Whether it is the recognition of the rights of the Métis people and our ability to assert those rights or the implementation of modern day Métis land claims agreements.
The objective for Métis people is clear: self-governing communities using their traditional knowledge, human capacity and resources to sustain and enhance our culture, governments and economies within a prosperous Ontario.
This goal can only be achieved through partnerships with Métis people; partnerships where there is mutual respect and understanding; where there is real engagement, consultation and ownership by the Métis people themselves; where there is an ongoing commitment to achieving set targets and goals and most importantly, where there is trust.
The Liberal Government through Federal Budgets and Métis Framework Agreements has returned to the true spirit of the Kelowna Accord. It will meet Kelowna’s commitments – both political and financial. The Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement signed on June 27, 2019 was a great starting point but not a final destination.
For over two decades I have walked the halls of Parliament and Queens Park advocating for Métis Rights and educating government officials on the needs and aspirations of the Métis people in Ontario. As Chair I will work with the MNO elected leadership to call upon the government relationships I have fostered over the years to:
Ensure relationships are built upon the Constitutional rights of the Métis people including the rights articulated in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has been adopted by Canada.
The development of a system-wide federal/provincial policy approach to consultation with Métis communities that is consistent with the Crown’s legal obligations and the duty to consult and accommodate;
Enhance economic opportunities in Métis communities through increased supports for Métis participation in medium to large scale economic development projects.
Approach the Federal Government for a bi-lateral agreement for the MNO’s Education and Employment Training funding and have allocation based on the up to date Ontario Métis population from Canada Census data;
Build on the MNO’s programs and services ensuring we are not simply delivery agents for government programs but we are delivering programs and services that meets the needs of our people;
Work in partnership with provinces and municipalities to strengthen the Urban Aboriginal Strategy and increase supports for Métis women, youth and the elders in urban centers;
Advocate for ongoing funding through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative to support Michif language and culture;
Seek adequate funding to enhance our programs and services to fully meet the needs of our elderly, they are deserving of our respect, attention, and compassion. We need to seriously look to assist and improve the quality of life of our seniors and their families when they need it the most.
Renew our previous Nation to Nation relationship with First Nations based on mutual respect, recognition of rights, and cooperation. Begin discussions to reestablish our past commitments articulated in the MNO / Chiefs of Ontario protocol that was signed in 2004.
We need to continue pressing the Federal Government at the table to provide equitable funding for the Metis Nation of Ontario so we are no longer treated as second class Indigenous Peoples. Funding areas include post-secondary university education, health benefits, governance, historical research, arts and culture, healing and wellness, economic development, seniors and housing.
As we renew our sense of purpose over the coming months, we should be bold, unafraid to identify the problems we must tackle, and courageous in the solutions we propose.
As Chair of the MNO, I want to encourage a journey that effectively and appropriately challenges governments to support the aspirations of our communities in overcoming the social and economic challenges that face our citizens.