by MNC President Clément Chartier
OTTAWA /CNW/ – Amidst the controversy over the SNC-Lavalin Affair, there has been a recurring suggestion that the resignation of a female Indigenous Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada speaks to a deteriorating relationship between the Trudeau Government and Indigenous peoples.
Let me set the facts straight as far as the Métis Nation’s relationship with Canada is concerned. Prior to coming to office, Justin Trudeau committed a Liberal government to work together with the Métis Nation to build a nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship in order to reach meaningful reconciliation and achieve positive results for Métis people. During the past three years we have worked closely with the Prime Minister and a number of dedicated and passionate federal ministers such as Carolyn Bennett, Jane Philpott, Jean-Yves Duclos and Patty Hadju, amongst others, to make that bold commitment come true.
We have moved quickly on the settlement of the long outstanding land claim of the Manitoba Metis Federation and toward self-government agreements for Métis governments across our homeland. In a true spirit of reconciliation and collaboration, we have co-developed policies to improve social and economic conditions for Métis people, resulting in unprecedented federal investments in priority areas like housing and early learning and child care.
All Canadians including citizens of the Métis Nation will have to make up their own minds on the Trudeau government in this election year. What I will say is that none of the issues surrounding the treatment of an engineering firm alters the fundamental relationship between the Trudeau government and the Métis Nation.
More than any other government in Canada’s history, the Trudeau government has striven to bring the Métis people into the federation and as full participants into the social life and economy of our great country. We stand with the Prime Minister and his government in maintaining and building on this relationship and expanding opportunities for our people to have a better life in Canada.
The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation’s homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into the contiguous parts of British Columbia, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the United States. There are approximately 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
Clément Chartier is President of the Métis National Council