Métis National Council representatives from the five Governing Members met March 18 & 19, 2011 to discuss issues related to the environment. During the past year, in partnership with Environment Canada, Métis have been participating in activities on Species at Risk, discussions around Climate Change, use and hazards of Mercury in Canada and global processes, and the issues related to Access and Benefit-Sharing in regard to Métis traditional knowledge. The March 18-19 meeting provided an opportunity for MNC National Environment Committee members to exchange information on their respective current areas of development, best practices, common experiences and potential areas of focus for the future.
President Clément Chartier is the MNC Minister of Environment and chaired the meeting in Ottawa. President Chartier, Cameron Burgess, MNO; Ken Laforte, MMF; Robert LaFontaine, MNS; William Loutitt, MNA; and Robert Trumbley, MNBC, comprising the National Environment Committee, listened to presentations and updates on a number of national topics of concern including, Métis traditional environmental knowledge; species at risk; the pending Parliamentary review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; the work of the National Energy Board, nuclear fuel waste and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. International topics of discussion included Métis Nation involvement in the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity; the World Intellectual Property Organization; Climate Change; Global Mercury; and relationships between the Métis Nation and international processes including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The National Environment Committee is looking forward to reconvening for additional strategic planning and establishing a greater Métis presence and voice regarding environmental issues across the Homeland, within Canada and around the world.