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PRESS RELEASE: Prime Minister Assures Métis Nation of Federal Support in COVID-19 fight

March 13, 2020, Ottawa, ON

MNC National Spokesperson and Vice-President David Chartrand emerged from a teleconference with Prime Minister Trudeau, satisfied that the federal government is committed to supporting the Métis Nation and its communities in coping with the coronavirus emergency.

“I went into the call very concerned that the $100 million for Indigenous peoples was to be channelled through the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch which, as its name suggests, provides services to First Nations and Inuit communities only,” said Chartrand.

“ I am pleased to announce that the Prime Minister clearly assured me that there will be distinctions-based funding for the Métis Nation and that Minister Miller will partner with the Métis National Council to ensure the Métis Nation is resourced. He also said the $100 million is not finite and that additional resources will be made available if needed.”

The Prime Minister and the National Spokesperson agreed on the need for an action plan with an emphasis on a comprehensive communication strategy emphasizing prevention measures.

The National Spokesperson, who is also President of the Manitoba Metis Federation, informed the Prime Minster that the MMF has already deployed some of its resources including secure mobile health units and two 48-bed secure health facilities to support Métis Nation citizens who require self-isolation in rural and remote communities. It has adopted a province-wide policy and measures to protect its staff and citizens and is launching telehealth initiatives.

“I encourage other members of the Métis National Council to develop their action plans so they can participate in this national pandemic plan of the Métis Nation,” said Chartrand. “I am in sync with the Prime Minister’s message that we must all work in unity.”

Download Prime Minister’s readout (PDF)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with National Indigenous Leaders on efforts to address the impact of COVID-19 (PDF)

Prime Minister’s official website: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/13/prime-minister-speaks-national-indigenous-leaders-efforts-address=

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For more information contact:

Ke Ning

Métis National Council

ken@metisnation.ca

c: 613-297-5193

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