Métis Nation Meets with UN Special Rapporteur

Special Rapporteur Anaya is visiting Canada from 7 to 15 October 2013 to examine the situation of Indigenous peoples in the country. This visit follows up a mission to Canada by a former Special Rapporteur in 2004. Following the visit, Special Rapporteur Anaya will prepare and make public a report on the visit’s findings, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014.

“On behalf of the Métis Nation, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Anaya for dedicating time on the examination of the human rights situation of Métis during his official visit to Canada” said President Chartier.

In 2004, UN Special Rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen on his mission to Canada met with Métis Nation representatives and highlighted some critical factors in his report, including the inequities that Métis people face in Canada in terms of economic and social rights, education, housing and health, and in particular regarding Canada’s failure to recognize Métis land and self-government rights.

President Clément Chartier’s presentation to the Special Rapporteur outlined an overview of the rights and freedoms of the Métis people, advocated for the preservation and positive promotion of the Métis to their lands and resources, along with their culture and heritage through collective negotiations between representatives of the Métis Nation and the federal government. President Chartier maintains that the exclusion from the federal government’s Aboriginal health care and post-secondary education benefits, exclusion of Métis Residential Schools from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, Canada’s apology, and the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and exclusion from federal land claims resolution processes must be addressed by the Special Rapporteur.

In his recommendations, President Chartier requested the Special Rapporteur to urge the Government of Canada to:
1. negotiate land claims agreements including self-government powers and fiscal arrangements with the Métis Nation;
2. fulfill its moral, equitable and legal obligations to include Métis residential and day schools in a settlement agreement and the mandate of the TRC; and
3. immediately address the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

“We feel encouraged by the meeting with the Special Rapporteur and believe that his report will address the concerns relayed to him, which we believe will be helpful in our continued dialogue with the federal government, coupled with continuing success in the courts” President Chartier concluded.

Also in attendance were MMF Vice President Denise Thomas, MMF policy advisor Al Benoit, Métis Rights Panel member Claire Riddle, Women of the Métis Nation President, Melanie Omeniho, Elder Norman Fleury, and Consultant Celeste McKay.

In a presentation to UN’s Special Rapporteur, President Omeniho outlined in general numerous issues facing Métis women. “The Women of the Métis Nation continue to work to ensure that the Métis Nation does not remain the Forgotten People and with reports and recommendations from the Rapporteur – outlining the Government’s exclusion of the Métis – it will aid us to change the future for our Nation”, stated President Omeniho.

Click here to view MNC’s Press Release.

Click here to view MNC’s presentation

Click here to view MMF’s presentation

l-r: Denise Thomas (MMF Vice-President), James Anaya (UN Special Rapporteur), Clément Chartier (MNC President)

At welcome gathering on Oct 11th – traditional Métis food

At welcome gathering on Oct 11th

MMF Vice President Denise Thomas presents a Red River cart to Anaya

Women of the Métis Nation President Melanie Omeniho and Special Rapporteur James Anaya

Video – Métis dance at the welcome gathering on Oct 11th

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