Ottawa, ON – President Cassidy Caron of the Métis National Council issued the following statement:
“I am honoured to announce the members of the Métis National Council’s (MNC) official delegation that will travel to the Vatican for meetings with Pope Francis later this month. This delegation of survivors, Elders, youth and community members, will deliver a united message to the Pope on behalf of the Métis Nation. They will be accompanied by a secondary delegation of Elder helpers and family members, community leaders, and community-based wellness supports.”
The Métis National Council was disappointed by – but advocated for – the postponement of the original delegation travelling to the Vatican late last year due to concerns about high case counts of COVID-19. Since that time, the Métis National Council and the delegates have been working to collect the stories of survivors, families, and communities that have all been affected by the Church’s role in the colonial residential school system.
Grounded in the stories of our Métis survivors, families and communities, delegates will convey the deep, lasting intergenerational trauma that residential schools inflicted upon the Métis Nation, as well as the need for the Church to provide reparations to the Métis Nation, including financial support for community-led healing and community rebuilding initiatives.
The delegation will also share the Métis Nation’s expectations for the Pope’s upcoming visit to Canada, which must include an apology to survivors and their families as called for in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. “The significance of a papal apology on the very soil that residential school atrocities occurred cannot be stressed enough. It must be done here, in Canada, and in the spirit of reconciliation,” stated President Caron.
The MNC’s official delegation to the Vatican will include:
Cassidy Caron: President, Métis National Council
Elder Angie Crerar: Survivor and President, Local 1990 Grande Prairie, Métis Nation of Alberta
Elder Emilien Janvier: Survivors of the Île-á-la-Crosse Boarding School Steering Committee, Board Member Métis Nation–Saskatchewan Local 39, Elder to the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan
Elder Antoinette Lafleur: Survivors of the Île-á-la-Crosse Boarding School Steering Committee
Pixie Wells: President, Fraser Valley Métis Association, Métis Nation British Columbia and Advisor, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak
Gary Gagnon: Cultural Facilitator, Braided Journeys Program, Edmonton Catholic School District and Region 4 Vice President, Métis Nation of Alberta
Mitchell Case: Community-based historian and educator and Region 4 Councillor, Métis Nation of Ontario
Louise Simard: CAO, Métis National Council
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Since 1983, the Métis National Council has been the national and international voice of the Métis Nation within Canada. Through the Canada-Métis Nation Accord, the MNC advocates on behalf of its Governing Members—the democratically elected Métis Governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia—to advance Métis rights and interests within their respective jurisdictions, including the implementation of the Métis Nation’s inherent right to self-determination and self-government. The MNC is committed to accountability and transparency within its operations, and to its relationships with MNC Governing Members. Cassidy Caron is the President of the Métis National Council.