Archive for September, 2017

Loss of a former Senator and Leader of the Métis Community: Thelma Chalifoux

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The Métis Nation of Alberta was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Thelma Chalifoux. Thelma was a champion for Métis rights and a valued member of the Métis community.

Among her many accomplishments, Thelma was a founding member of the Michif Cultural Institute in St. Albert. She was also the first Métis woman to be appointed to the Senate of Canada and was a recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Thelma was very active within the Métis Nation of Alberta; she sat on our Elders Senate and was an elected Zone 4 official.  She leaves behind a legacy of activism and culture.

The MNA would like to extend our deepest condolences to Thelma’s family and friends.

A Traditional Métis Wake will be held Wednesday, September 27, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am at the Connelly-McKinley, St. Albert Funeral Home in St. Albert.

Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 11:00am at the Holy Family Catholic Parish, 75 Poirier Avenue, in St. Albert.

Cancelled: Region 4 Annual General Meeting

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The Region 4 Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Saturday, September 30, has been cancelled.

For more information, please contact the Region 4 offices at (780) 944 9288

Click here to view the PDF notice.

Press Release: Métis Nation of Alberta Response to the Conklin Métis Culture Camp Fish Seizure

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Friday, September 22, 2017 – For immediate Release

On Friday, September 15, 2017, an Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officer entered a Conklin Métis Community Culture Camp and seized a number of fish being prepared as a learning experience for Métis youth. The fish were taken off the smoking rack and thrown into garbage bags. The Métis Nation of Alberta is appalled by these events.

Teaching Métis cultural values and practices to our young people is crucial to the future of the Métis Nation. Métis cultural camps are designed to be a safe environment in which we can do this. We had hoped that the time had come when Alberta’s enforcement officers would encourage and support our efforts to preserve and transmit Métis culture. Unfortunately, as these events show, we are not there yet.

The Métis Nation of Alberta fully supports all Métis people in Alberta who exercise their right to hunt, fish, trap, and gather for food and cultural purposes. We have reached out to Conklin Métis Local #193 and the harvesters involved in this incident. We will work with them to address the issue, including providing legal support as needed.

The Métis Nation of Alberta has always maintained its opposition to the current Government of Alberta Métis Harvesting Policy, unilaterally imposed on rights bearing Métis citizens and this incident is a prime example of why we remain opposed.

Honorable Richard Feehan, Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations, has apologized for the seizure of the fish at the Conklin Métis Culture Camp and we are encouraged by his words. The Métis Nation of Alberta has committed to working collaboratively with Alberta to review the province’s Métis harvesting policy and to facilitate recognition and respect for Métis rights. This incident, however, again highlights the need for serious improvements in the way the province deals with Métis harvesters. Métis people in Alberta must be allowed to exercise our rights and express our culture without fear of harassment or recrimination.

For more information, please contact Amy Quintal – MNA Harvesting Liaison:

aquintal@metis.org or (780) 455 – 2200

Office Closure Notice

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The MNA head office will be closed September 19th & 20th for staff training and development.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

We will re-open for regular hours Thursday, September 21st at 8:30 am.

Thank you.

Region 3 Métis Business Mixer

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Join the MNA Region 3 Office for an evening of networking and snacks at their Métis Business mixer on Thursday, September 21st.

You can RSVP to the Region 3 office at (780) 569 2200 or by emailing mlanz@metis.org


Notice: Powerline Construction in Fort McMurray

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Construction on the ATCO/Alberta Powerline West Fort McMurray 500 kV project is scheduled to begin on September 25 2017, in various locations between Highway 2 and Martin Hills Road (Townships 72 to 75). Vegetation removal will begin first, followed by foundation installations, tower assembly, and stringing. Following completion of construction, reclamation work will begin. Initial construction work is scheduled to be complete by March 2018.

For safety reasons, traditional land use activities including harvesting will be restricted in and around the immediate areas of active construction.

For more information please contact Bruce Gladue.


(780) 455 2200 ext. 206

Click here to view the construction rout map.

Garneau Tree Commemorative Ceremony

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Friday, September 15th
University of Alberta

An important mark of Métis heritage in Edmonton, a 140-year-old Manitoba Maple, has sadly reached the end of its life cycle. On the grounds of the University of Alberta stands this historic tree; planted by prominent Métis figure Laurent Garneau and his wife Eleanor, shortly after their move to Edmonton in 1874. The MNA, in collaboration with the University of Alberta,
Garneau descendants, and community members are planning Commemorative Events to celebrate Laurent Garneau’s legacy and the history of the neighbourhood named in his honour.
A ceremony is to be held at the site of the Garneau Tree on September 15th, 2017. The event will include opening and closing prayers by Métis elders, fiddling, and speeches from MNA
President Audrey Poitras, Garneau descendants Duane Zaraska (Minister of Culture, MNA) and David Garneau, and a community member. A kitchen Party, hosted by David Garneau will follow at the Main Gym in Van Vliet Centre (behind the Butterdome).

Click here for more details on the Kitchen Party.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the ceremony invite.


Prime Minister Trudeau dismantles INAC & Introduces Two New Departments

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September 1, 2017

On Monday, August 28, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the dissolution of INAC with the creation of two new departments; the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and the Department of Indigenous Services.

Carolyn Bennett will now serve as the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and former Health Minister Jane Philpott will become Minister of Indigenous Services.

A statement on Prime Minister Trudeau’s website details the ministerial changes:

“The new Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs will guide the Government’s forward-looking and transformative work to create a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples…The Minister will also be tasked with better whole-of-government coordination on our nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationships. The new Minister of Indigenous Services will continue the important work of improving the quality of services delivered to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.”

In a personal message to INAC employees, Trudeau explains that, “We need to shed the administrative structures and legislation that were conceived in another time for a different kind of relationship.”

The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is optimistic about the changes as they are modelled on recommendations from the 1996 Royal Commission on Indigenous Peoples which included a chapter on the Métis. It is also important to note that while this recent announcement is a positive start, much more work is needed to build a successful nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship between the Métis and the Canadian Government.


Click here to read Prime Minister Trudeau’s full statement.