Fifty Métis Women delegates from across the Métis homeland came together to the National General Assembly from April 26-27, 2014.
Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand and LFMO Vice-President Anita Campbell welcomed the delegates to their territory and wished a productive assembly.
The Assembly focused on several priority areas including: health, education, housing, and economic development that will be addressed in its work plans. In addition to the above mentioned initiatives, other priorities included violence against Aboriginal women and a report of the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group.
“It is important to ensure the voice of the Métis women is heard in a public national enquiry on ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls,” stated WMN President Melanie Omeniho, adding, “I encourage the board members to request their MNC Governing Member to support the participation of Métis women delegates to the National Aboriginal Women’s Summit (NAWS) IV which will take place in Membertou, Nova Scotia on October 20-22, 2014.”
In his Métis Nation Update, President Chartier spoke about the recent Daniels decision of the Federal Court of Appeal where they affirmed that the Métis fall within s.91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 and the potential positive impact it can have on the many current initiatives taking place between the Métis Nation and Canada under the Métis Nation Protocol.
“The Women of the Métis Nation plays an active role in advocacy, education and communication” stated President Chartier, “WMN has been actively engaged in various meetings and activities that address matters of concern to Métis women and their families. I am pleased that we have a strong Métis women leadership.”
In a demonstration of the Métis women’s website, policy researcher Wei Xie provided an overview of a newly created economic development portal. The portal is designed to assist Métis women in all aspects of business development including: basic business information tools such as check lists and how to guides to assist in developing business ideas; business planning tools including information on how to develop business plans and undertaking market research and statistics; information on human resources supports including federal, provincial and Métis ASET holder programs and services and links to existing economic and business development sites and supports to leverage existing business development supports and services. The link of the Métis Women Economic Development Portal:
“Communication is very important. I think most people want to involve as many women as possible in passing on information and making sure there is involvement … I want to acknowledge our National President Clément Chartier for his support in all of the initiatives undertaken,” concluded President Omeniho.
While many national and international issues were addressed, the Assembly was also presented with regional reports from each of the five delegations present.
Board of Director’s as of March 20, 2014
Melanie Omeniho, President
Anita Campbell, Vice-President
Tammy Mah, Secretary
Clara Dal Col, Treasurer
Sharon McBride, Director & Ontario Board Representative
Irene Collins, Director & Alberta Board Representative