Current Affairs

Métis Week 2017

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November 13th – 18th 2017

The Métis Nation of Alberta is pleased to announce the schedule of events for Métis Week 2017! We have planned six days of celebrations to commemorate the outstanding contributions of Métis people to Canada. Beginning with the Louis Riel Commemorative Walk on Monday, November 13th, there is something for everyone, including; City Hall flag raising, Louis Riel Commemorative Ceremony at the Alberta Legislature, MNA open house, Métis Urban Housing 35th Anniversary Gala, senior’s and veterans tea, and much more.

Download the digital Métis Week 2017 calendar

Download the detailed list of events

 

 

Métis Nation of Alberta Responds to ’60’s Scoop Announcement

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For Immediate Release

 

Métis Nation of Alberta responds to ‘60s Scoop Settlement Announcement

by Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett

 

Edmonton, AB October 17, 2017 – Citizens of the Métis Nation of Alberta, The Métis Nation of Alberta is very disappointed in the Federal government’s omission of Métis people from the recently announced compensation program for survivors of the “60’s Scoop.”

Working with the Métis National Council, who have already responded to Minister Bennett, the Federal Minister of Indigenous Relations, MNA is calling for the fair and equitable treatment of Métis Nation citizens who were victimized by this horrendous Government program.

Minister, I truly believed Canada was on the path of doing what is right for Métis people. Don’t let us down.

Throughout everything we do, we will always have one foot firmly rooted in the past, acknowledging the work and the struggles of those who have come before us. Our other foot will always be moving forward, pushing for a better future of Métis pride, Métis rights, and a strong Métis Nation.

In solidarity,

Audrey Poitras
President
Métis Nation of Alberta

 

For more information, contact:

Rolando Inzunza

Director of Communications and Citizen Engagement

Metis Nation of Alberta

780-455-2200 ext. 395

rinzunza@metis.org

Family and Community Gather to Honour Children of Red Deer Industrial School

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Richard Lightning and his daughter Kaia Lamothe pay their respects at Red Deer Cemetery. September 28th, 2017.

On Wednesday September 29th, Indigenous leaders and community members gathered in Red Deer for the unveiling of a memorial stone acknowledging the previously unmarked graves of four Aboriginal students who died at the Red Deer Industrial School. The names of the children buried at the Red Deer Cemetery are: David Lightning, Georgina House, Sarah Soosay, and Jane Baptiste.  They are believed to be from Samson Cree Nation and perhaps from Paul Nation.

The day’s schedule included community stories, a remembering the children prayer led by Shannon McCarthy (Executive Secretary, Alberta and Northwest Conference, The United Church of Canada), and an address from MNA Committee Member and Vice President of the Remembering the Children Society, Muriel Stanley Venne. The day culminated at Red Deer Cemetery where emotional family and community members gathered around the stone to pay their respects.

Creation of the monument was led by the Remembering the Children Society. Its President, Richard Lightning, is the only known relative of any of the children who perished in 1918. He is David Lightning’s nephew.

 

Remembering the Children Society Contact:

Vice President, Muriel Stanley-Venne, 780-479-3634, murielv@shaw.ca

Secretary, Rev. Cecile Fausak. 780-675-7753, cecilefausak@telus.net

 

 

Developing a Métis Consultation Policy: Key highlights from meeting with Métis Nation of Alberta and Minister of Indigenous Relations

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October 5, 2017 Leaders of the Métis Nation of Alberta meet with Minister Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations, and his staff for an initial discussion on a Métis Consultation Policy and a Harvesting Policy for Alberta.

 

Edmonton, AB October 6, 2017 – Leaders from the Government of Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) met to begin discussions for an Alberta Métis Consultation Policy. “The meeting is a significant milestone forging a strengthened Nation to Nation relationship” stated the President of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Audrey Poitras.

She continued, “It has been a long time coming. We are excited to get the discussions officially started and begin developing a consultation policy for the Métis Nation and the Province. Crown consultation is about respecting and protecting rights and for far too long the Métis in Alberta have not been consulted. Jointly developing this policy will mark a new era of Crown-Métis relations in the province.”

The MNA has advocated for policy requiring consultation with Métis people for decades. The development of this policy was identified in the Métis Nation of Alberta – Government of Alberta Framework Agreement signed on February 1, 2017. The Framework Agreement outlines how the MNA and Government of Alberta will work together to facilitate the recognition and respect of Métis rights in Alberta, uphold the honour of the Crown, and advance reconciliation.

In his presentation, the Minister of Indigenous Relations, Honourable Richard Feehan, focused on Alberta’s priority initiatives related to Métis consultation. Specifically, launching a dialogue on potential legislation on Indigenous Consultation and a policy on Métis Harvesting. The Minister further outlined his intent to conduct consultation, understand barriers experienced by Métis citizens, and understand Métis peoples’ connection to the land and their role protecting it. Minister Feehan also highlighted the importance of creating a mechanism to provide legislative feedback.

A Métis consultation policy that works for both the Government of Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta is crucial for the province’s future. The policy will allow Alberta’s lands and resources to be developed ensuring the Métis Nation, as a distinct Indigenous people, can flourish creating prosperity for the Métis Nation and all Albertans for generations to come.

About the Métis Nation of Alberta
The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is governed by a Provincial Council, comprised of a Provincial President and Vice-President, and six (6) regional Presidents and Vice-Presidents, all democratically elected. The mandate of the MNA is to be a representative voice on behalf of Métis people in Alberta, provide Métis people an opportunity to participate in government’s policy and decision-making process and, most importantly, promote and facilitate the advancement of Métis people through the pursuit of self-reliance, self-determination and self-management. The MNA has been in operations since 1928.

The Métis have an intimate relationship with Alberta’s lands and resources. Métis culture has been shaped by the opportunities Alberta’s forest, rivers, lakes, and prairies provide. Many Métis people still rely on the land and its resources for food and cultural survival.
The MNA looks forward to working with Alberta to develop an Alberta Métis Consultation Policy allowing the Métis to have a say in how land is used and developed, ensuring Métis rights are respected and accommodated.

For more information, contact:
Rolando Inzunza
Director of Communications and Citizen Engagement
Metis Nation of Alberta
780-880-8545
rinzunza@metis.org

Métis Week Events: Region 5

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Métis Week, 2017 celebrations in Region 5 will take place on November 17th with food, games, dancing, and entertainment. The events promise to be fun for the whole family and are a great opportunity to gather with community.

Schedule

12-1:30pm: Stew & Bannock at the Region 5 Office

1:30-4pm: Crib Tournament

9pm-2am: Dance at Faust Métis Centre (previously Northern Lakes College, Faust Campus) with entertainment by Nathan Cunningham

Region 5 Office

353 Main Street North
Slave Lake, AB
T0G 2A3

For more information or to volunteer please contact Emma at (780) 849 4654

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

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.

bgladue@metis.org

(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.

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.