President's Corner:

HON. PAUL MARTIN

Taken from the MNC Magazine March 2006 Issue

On May 31, 2005, in Ottawa, then Prime Minister Paul Martin received the prestigious “Order of the Métis Nation”, following the historic Policy Retreat of Aboriginal Leaders with the federal Cabinet Committee on Aboriginal Affairs. Mr. Martin joined a small but distinguished group of individuals to receive the award, which is presented to thosewho have played a major role in moving the Métis agenda forward.
At the Policy Retreat, the Métis Nation and the Government of Canada signed the Canada-Métis Nation Framework Agreement, which captured the federal government’s recognition of the Métis Nation and the commitment to build a new government-to-government relationship.

For many years, based on numerous mandates from the Métis National Council’s General Assembly, the Métis Nation had pressed the Government of Canada to sign a Framework Agreement. In April 2004, at Canada’-Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable, then Prime Minister Paul Martin took the bold step of publicly recognizing the Métis Nation. This acknowledgement of the Métis Nation’s existence, from a sitting Canadian Prime Minister, was unprecedented. At the same time, the former Prime minister committed to entering into a Framework agreement with the Métis Nation.

President Clément Chartier said, “No other political leader in Canadian history has done more to advance the Métis Nation’s recognition than Prime Minister Martin, and with today’s signing of the historic Métis Nation Framework Agreement, this award is merely a small token of our appreciation.”

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