The Métis National Council and its Governing Members met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Cabinet Ministers last week to discuss shared priorities through the established Permanent Bilateral Mechanism.
The meeting began with opening remarks by President Caron and Prime Minister Trudeau, with both speaking to the importance of holding these meetings and expressing a shared interest in working together on priorities for both the Métis Nation and Canada. Topics of self-government, elementary and secondary education, health, co-development, emergency management, and other policy areas of importance to Métis governments across the Homeland were all discussed at the meeting.
Both sides agreed to continuing conversations and working together to find co-developed solutions to many issues facing Métis citizens across the Homeland and to ensure that Métis priorities are included in decision-making processes moving forward. There was agreement to meet again to provide further updates on the files that were discussed. The MNC and its Governing Members look forward to continuing its work with Canada to best support Métis citizens today and into the future.
“Today was another opportunity to work with the Government of Canada and deliver on priorities for Métis citizens across the Homeland. This meeting demonstrated how far we have come in building this relationship and helped to shape how we continue to work together in the future. Hearing the commitment of the federal government in recognizing there is more work to be done, we look forward to working together in a good way to ensure a bright future for all Métis.”
— Cassidy Caron, President of the Métis National Council
“It was good to see all the Governing Members of the MNC united and at the table with the Prime Minister of Canada working towards addressing the needs of our people across the Homeland. Although this Permanent Bilateral Mechanism meeting was positive, there remain many priorities that need to be addressed. Together, as the Métis Nation, we will continue the work that needs to be done with the Government of Canada to build a stronger and more vibrant future for all Métis people.”
- Lissa Dawn Smith, President of Métis Nation British Columbia
“There is nothing more important to the Métis Nation than the swift introduction and passage of Métis self-government legislation. We have co-developed this legislation with the government and support it fully. Once introduced, we urge parliamentarians to pass this legislation unanimously and quickly, just as they did for many other very similar pieces of Indigenous self-government legislation.”
– Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta
“While we have continued to meet with our senior leadership counterparts in Ottawa, this is the first time we’re reconvening around a table with our full government-to-government capacity. As our Métis Self-Government Recognition Agreement with Canada is realized, we focused on the need for financial resources to support the MN–S governance structure. With a unified front, we agreed to move the Permanent Bilateral agenda forward for the benefit of Métis citizens across the Homeland. That includes policy areas such as education, health, economic development, and emergency preparedness.”
- Glen McCallum, President of Métis Nation – Saskatchewan
“2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the MNC, the 30thanniversary of the MNO, and the 20th anniversary of the landmark Powley ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada. Powley was a win for our Métis families and communities in Ontario, a win for all Métis governments in Canada, and a win for Canada. Together, we can make history once again by swiftly introducing and passing our Métis self-government legislation.”
– Margaret Froh, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario
"As they are the heart of the Métis Nation, it is essential that the voices of our women and gender diverse people are central throughout the Permanent Bilateral Mechanism processes. We look forward to continuing to work on the priorities identified today at the Crown-Métis Nation Summit as we advance the Canada-LFMO Relationship Declaration signed in 2021."
- Melanie Omeniho, President of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak/Women of the Métis Nation