Current Affairs

Alberta Métis Applaud Federal Budget for the Métis Nation

Posted on:

Alberta Métis Applaud Another Transformational Federal Budget for the Métis Nation

“Our Trust in Prime Minister Trudeau Was Well Placed”

Edmonton, AB. (March 20, 2019) On behalf of the Métis Nation within Alberta, MNA President Audrey Poitras applauds Federal Budget 2019, which includes significant Métis Nation specific investments in the areas of health, education, and economic development, as well as important commitments to Métis self-government, land claims, truth and reconciliation, preservation of the Michif language, and to Métis veterans.

“Federal Budget 2019 demonstrates that the trust we placed in Prime Minister Trudeau and his new government four years ago was well placed. Over the last four years, we have worked in partnership with the federal government and have seen transformational budgets that have set a new course for our people in Alberta. Federal Budget 2019 did not disappoint,” said MNA President Poitras.

President Poitras added, “The MNA has always believed that education is key to our people’s success both individually and collectively. This Federal Budget includes a precedent-setting dedicated and ongoing investment in Métis Nation education. These investments will allow our young people to have opportunities their parents and grandparents never had; benefitting the Métis Nation for generations to come.”

In addition, Federal Budget 2019 includes a commitment of $50 million to enhance the Métis Nation’s existing capital corporations to increase Métis entrepreneurship in Alberta. “Our capital corporation—Apeetogosan—is a leader in funding assistance for Métis businesses that create jobs in this province. We are so pleased. This investment will allow our capital corporation to increase funding during this challenging economic time in Alberta.”

Federal Budget 2019 also included the following commitments benefitting Métis children, families, and communities in Alberta:

  • $516 million over ten years to support Métis Nation priorities.
  • $248.6 million over three years to continue to support access to mental health and emotional support services for Indian residential school survivors and their families.
  • $362 million over ten years committed to education funding for Métis citizens.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Federal Budget 2019 also allocates funds to support some of the Calls to Action brought forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission including:

  • $126.5 million in 2020-21 for the establishment and operation of a National Council for Reconciliation.
  • $33.8 million to develop and maintain the National Residential School Student Death Register.
  • $10 million over two years to support communities to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools on the proposed National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“Personally, I am also very gratified to see the long overdue commitment of $30 million in Federal Budget 2019 to finally address the need to recognize our Métis veterans in a respectful manner.  This is a testament to the hard work of many who have always wanted our Métis veterans who have served this country with distinction, to be honoured,” concluded Poitras.

-30-

For more information about the Metis Nation of Alberta, please visit:

albertametis.com

Media contact:

Rolando Inzunza
Director of Communications & Citizen Engagement
780-455-2200 ext. 395
rinzunza@metis.org

Métis Nation of Alberta and Government of Alberta sign historic Métis Harvesting Agreement

Posted on:

Edmonton, AB. (March 13, 2019) Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), Dan Cardinal, Vice President of the MNA, Shannon Phillips, Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks, and Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations today signed an agreement on implementing a new Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy.

The new Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy replaces the 2010 policy and recognizes the rights of eligible MNA citizens to hunt, fish, and trap for food in five large regional Métis Harvesting Areas in central and northern Alberta (as opposed to the much smaller 25 local Métis harvesting areas provided for in the 2010 policy).

This agreement is a great step in advancing reconciliation and a result of extensive MNA consultation with our Métis citizens over eight engagement sessions across Alberta in 2018.
The agreement recognizes the MNA’s authority to issue Métis Harvesting Identification Stickers. The Stickers are to be affixed to the MNA citizenship cards of eligible individuals, indicating the Métis Harvesting Area(s) in which they may harvest. The agreement also establishes an Implementation Committee to review any issues related to the policy or Métis harvesting. Further, the agreement commits Alberta to ongoing discussion with the MNA about important outstanding issues, including the recognition of Métis harvesting rights in southern Alberta.

The Métis Nation of Alberta is very excited, through this agreement, to reaffirm its connection to the Métis Nation homeland and to continue its productive relationship with the Government of Alberta.

Quick Facts:

  • Eligible MNA citizens wishing to be identified as Métis Harvesters will be able to acquire a Métis Harvesting Identification Sticker from the MNA.
  • Métis Harvesting Identification Stickers will be issued by the MNA.
  • Each Métis Harvesting Identification Sticker will indicate the valid Métis Harvesting Area(s) for each Métis Harvester.
  • Each eligible Métis Harvester will need to show a pre-1900 ancestral connection to one or more Métis Harvesting Areas.

Quotes:
“The MNA’s new Métis Harvesting Agreement with Alberta is significant. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Métis people as distinct Indigenous people with connections to traditionally used lands and waters and inherent rights to hunt, fish, and trap. We are excited to announce this new agreement, but significant work remains to have Métis harvesting rights in southern Alberta recognized too.”
– Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta

“This is a historic day for the Métis Nation of Alberta. We should all be proud, as citizens, to showcase our traditional values and our rights to harvest as a Métis people. We need to continue these collaborative discussions, with respect to our Métis harvesting rights.”
– Dan Cardinal, Vice President of the Métis Nation of Alberta

-30-

For more information, please visit:
albertametis.com/harvesting

Media contact:

Rolando Inzunza
Director of Communications & Citizen Engagement
780-455-2200 ext. 395
rinzunza@metis.org

Elevate Aviation Learning Centre

Posted on:

The Elevate Aviation Learning Centre is holding an Indigenous Adults Week, April 29 – 3, 2019 and May 13 – 17, 2019.

Exploring and designing aviation careers, the Elevate Aviation Learning Centre provides unique opportunities for participants to explore diverse careers in the aviation industry. Go behind the scenes, meet inspiring people, and learn about careers in aviation through mentor presentations, conversations, hands-on activities, and tours!

To register and find out more information, click here.

Métis Nation of Alberta Engages Métis Sixties Scoop Survivors

Posted on:

April 2,2019 (Edmonton, Alberta) – This past weekend some 50 Métis survivors of the Sixties Scoop, along with their supports, gathered to share their experiences with the Métis Nation of Alberta’s (MNA) Provincial Council and MNA Elders Council.

The engagement session was part of a national initiative led by the Métis National Council and its governing members. The session was a follow-up to a National Symposium on Métis 60s Scoop Survivors held in Winnipeg in October 2018, to hear from Métis 60s Scoop survivors in Alberta. This engagement session was also part of a series of six workshops occurring across the Métis Homeland. 

Manitoba Métis Federation

  1. March 15-17, 2019 – Swan River, Manitoba
  2. March 22-24, 2019 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Métis Nation of Alberta

  1. March 29-31, 2019 – Edmonton, Alberta

Métis Nation – Saskatchewan

  1. April 5-7, 2019 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Métis Nation of Ontario

  1. April 12-14, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario

Métis Nation British Columbia

  1. April 26-28, 2019 – Richmond, British Columbia

The sessions will inform a plan for reconciliation with the federal government, which will address the legacy and harmful effects of the 60s Scoop on the Métis people. Some of the strategies discussed addressed the lost potential resulting from the trauma. Options for reconciliation included options such as apologies from the federal and provincial governments, child and welfare agencies, and the RCMP. Other options included support for survivors’ healing processes, compensation, post education support for families, public awareness and education, and services for supporting the repatriation and reconnection of survivors with their birth families.

Métis 60s Scoop survivors and their families are encouraged to participate and can find information on all the sessions at sixties.scoop.metisportals.ca or by calling toll free: 1-800-928-6330 Ext. 532. 

The Métis Nation of Alberta is exploring options for further action and support of our Métis citizens who survived the Sixties Scoop. If you want to find out more, please visit our website or contact Cristina Rathjen at crathjen@metis.org or 780-455-2200 Ext. 403.

Quotes:

The forced removal of Métis children from their birth homes and placement in non-indigenous homes is a difficult part of our history; the impacts of which are still being felt today. To build a positive, prosperous future for the Métis people of Alberta and throughout the homeland, we must address and reconcile those events that continue to negatively impact our people, families, and communities.

– Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta

For every child that was lost, there is a mother who had a hole in her heart. Trees cannot grow if they don’t have roots. Our children need to be proud of who they are and be taught about their families, culture, and history. We need to stand-up for our children today.

– Métis Sixties Scoop Survivor

I feel like I’ve been waiting fifty years for this day.

– Métis Sixties Scoop Survivor

Our focus as a nation is not on monetary compensation, but rather on accountability.

– Métis Sixties Scoop Survivor

-30-

For more information about the Metis Nation of Alberta, please visit albertametis.com.

Media contact:

Rolando Inzunza
Director of Communications & Citizen Engagement
Métis Nation of Alberta
780-455-2200 ext. 395
rinzunza@metis.org

Background on the Sixties Scoop:

The “Sixties Scoop” is a term used to describe a child welfare policy developed and implemented throughout the 1960s that involved apprehending Indigenous children from their communities and placing them into middle-class Euro-Canadian families that were hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles away from their families. The representation of Métis children within the child welfare system accelerated throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and even into the 1980s.

The practice of removing Métis children from their homes and into state care existed long before the 1960s through the residential and day school system. However, throughout the late 1950s these institutions became highly discredited and the child welfare system became the new agent of assimilation and colonization. While the federal government may have been the prime catalyst for the Sixties Scoop, it was the provincial governments that apprehended Métis children. 

The separation of children from their families and their placement into foster homes led to the destitution of families. Children were often physically, psychologically, and sexually abused while they were in the care. Much like the residential schools, children grew up in an environment that did not foster the growth of parenting or life skills. The forced removal of these children, and the intergenerational trauma, is directly linked to the socio-economic difficulties that face the Métis Nation today.

Alberta Residential Treatment Standards Survey

Posted on:

The Métis Nation of Alberta is co-leading a project with Thunderbird Partnership Foundation in collaboration with Alberta Health to develop minimum standards of care for residential addictions treatment services province-wide.

If you have experience with residential addictions treatment centres (care provided in a live-in treatment centre, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, involving intensive, structured treatment activities), we welcome and invite your input through this short, 10-15-minute survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/albertatx

Responses are anonymous and will inform the development of care standards. We invite those with lived experiences, family members of those with lived experience, residential addictions treatment care providers, community supports, academics and researchers, and government representatives to participate in this important initiative.

Request for Website Redevelopment Proposal

Posted on:

The Métis Nation of Alberta is redeveloping our current website (albertametis.com). If you are interested in learning more and potentially responding to our Request for Proposals (RFP), please see the attached PDF document.

All communications regarding this RFP should be directed to the RFP contact (see below) via email. Email is the preferred method of communication. Please include “MNA Website RFP” in the subject line of all RFP-related correspondence.

All questions should be submitted in advance of the deadline. The deadline for submitting questions for clarifications to the RFP contact is Monday, November 19, 2018 at 4:30 pm MST. A list of questions and responses will be sent to all interested parties, who submit questions or request to be added to that list, after Friday, November 30, 2018.

Final proposals must be submitted electronically (PDF) to mna@metis.org by Friday, December 14 at 4:30 pm MST. 

Final proposals should be marked ‘Métis Nation of Alberta Website Proposal 2018’

Date Advertised: Friday, November 2, 2018

Proposal Deadline: Friday, December 14, 2018

RFP contact: Rolando Inzunza
Director of Communications & Citizen Engagement
#100-11738 Kingsway NW
Edmonton, Alberta
T5G 0X5
rinzunza@metis.org

To review the RFP click here.

 

Help Make a Christmas Wish Come True!

Posted on:

Thank you to everyone who supported the Nighi Métis Seniors Lodge by ordering your holiday plants and wreaths.

Your purchase helps bring a little magic to those needing it most.

Your order will be available for pick up Friday, December 7 from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at the Métis Nation of Alberta head office: 11738 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB.

Call 780-455-2200 for more information, or if you need to arrange another pick-up time.

 

 

John McDonald celebrates his retirement with the Métis Nation of Alberta

Posted on:

After dedicating nearly 70 years to his country and community, John Kenneth McDonald celebrated his retirement with the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Aboriginal Veterans Society of Alberta on Oct. 19, 2018 at the River Cree Casino.

John has been an outstanding role model for Indigenous youth and a bright example of what tireless dedication can achieve. He and his wife Myrtle leave behind a decade-long legacy at the Canadian Native Friendship Centre’s Bold Eagle program, a summer military/employment program for Indigenous youth. John also served as President of the Korea Veterans Association Unit 21.

Born in 1933 in Neepawa, Manitoba, John began his illustrious career with the Canadian Army in 1950. For almost 40 years, he travelled the world to serve his country, taking on many roles including Gunner, Corporal, Sergeant Major, and Chief Warrant Officer.

In the 1980s he settled in Edmonton, and for the next 17 years worked for the City of Edmonton as a Maintenance Engineering Analyst. In 1989, he retired from the Canadian Armed Forces Militia and nine years later retired from the City of Edmonton.

It wasn’t until age 57 that he discovered his family connection to a long line of Hudson’s Bay Company explorers and traders, and their Swampy Cree wives.

From that time onwards, John has dedicated himself to his community. The community in turn has honored the well-decorated veteran with the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta for Indigenous Youth award, The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, The Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, The Canadian Special Service Medal, and The Korea “Ambassador Peace” Medal, to name just a few.

The MNA was honoured to be among friends, family, and colleagues to toast John’s retirement from the Aboriginal Veterans Society of Alberta. Many in attendance stood to speak of John’s strong character, passion, and dedication.

The MNA thanks John for his service and contribution to our community and wishes him the best in his retirement.

 

 

 

Métis Nation of Alberta’s new Provincial Council sworn-in at packed ceremony

Posted on:

The newly elected Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Provincial Council (PC) were officially sworn-in Saturday night, October 20, 2018, among family, friends, and community at the River Cree Casino.

One by one, each council member was called to the stage to read and sign their solemn oath to the Nation and its citizens. Some were joined by family members and mentors who shared histories of dedication, pride, and continued determination to make a difference.

The packed ceremony came just a day after their first PC sitting on Friday, October 19th at the MNA Provincial Head Office.

The 14 Provincial Council members will hit the ground running with many initiatives in each region and Métis Week (November 12-17) on the horizon.

The newly elected members are as follows:

Provincial President – Audrey Poitras

 

Provincial Vice President – Daniel Cardinal

 

Region One President – James Cardinal

 

Region One Vice President – Jason Ekeberg

 

Region Two President – Duane Zaraska

 

Region Two Vice President – Andrea Sandmaier

 

Region Three President – Lawrence Gervais

 

Region Three Vice President – Judy Gentes

 

Region Four President – Tracy Friedel

 

Region Four Vice President – Gary Gagnon

 

Region Five President – Elmer Gullion

 

Region Five Vice President – Hilda Lambert

 

Region Six President – Carol Ridsdale

 

Region Six Vice President – Conrad DeLeeuw