The agenda for the Board meeting included the review of the audited financial statement for 2013-14 in which the MNC posted a surplus that is being applied to debt reduction. The Board also discussed the impact of reduced federal funding for Aboriginal organizations on the MNC and its Governing Members.
“This is a tough fiscal environment we are working in”, said MNC President Chartier, “but I am pleased that the Board is working collectively and constructively on measures to deal with it and at the same time capitalize on significant opportunities opening to the Métis Nation as a result of judicial decisions and agreements with the federal government”.
Among these opportunities discussed were the ruling of the Federal Court of Appeal in Daniels affirming federal jurisdiction for the historic Métis community and the recent Tsilhqot’in Nation decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on Aboriginal title. The Board discussed the impact of these cases on the Métis rights agenda and how they can move that agenda forward.
The Board also reviewed the Canada-MNC relationship and agenda and how to move forward with the federal government under the Métis Nation Protocol 2013 and its schedule, the Governance and Financial Accountability Accord 2013. A meeting with the federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister is being planned for the early fall at which time progress under these agreements will be reviewed and further action considered.
The Accord provides for completion of the development of common standards for Métis citizenship registries, the development of a Métis Nation Constitution, a new reliable and flexible federal funding system, and strengthened financial accountability measures. President Chartier’s meeting with the Minister is expected to also focus on a number of key economic development initiatives building on earlier work under the Protocol and the new Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development. These include the signing of a Canada-MNC Métis Economic Development Accord and the planning of the third Métis Economic Development Symposium where the federal Minister, his counterparts from the five westernmost provinces, and the Métis Nation leadership will forge a Métis Economic Development Strategy.