MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement Takes Another Step Forward

SUDBURY, ON - August 23, 2009 --- Another significant step toward achieving the overall objectives of the 2008 MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement was realized by the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between MNO and the Ministry of Education. The signing was one of several highlights of the first day of the MNO’s Annual General Assembly taking place in Sudbury.

"The Memorandum with the Ministry of Education (MEDU) strengthens further the existing bilateral processes between the MNO and the province,” said MNO President Gary Lipinski. “It will help enhance the capacity of the MNO and all Métis in the province because it recognizes the distinct identity and culture of the Métis people.  The relationship between MNO and the province will be strengthened by this commitment as gaps in student achievement across the province are reduced."

The Ministry of Education promotes a strong, vibrant, publicly funded education system by focusing on three core priorities: improving student achievement; reducing gaps in student achievement; and increasing public confidence in our publicly funded schools.

Over the last few years, the Ministry of Education and MNO have worked together to find ways of improving Métis educational outcomes consistent with the Ontario First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework. The work by MNO in this area has been done in consultation with students, parents and community groups across the province.

"We are strengthening our relationship with the Métis Nation of Ontario through this historic agreement, and look forward to working with them to improve outcomes for Métis students in Ontario," said Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education

"This signing enhances the Ontario government’s collaborative relationship with the Métis Nation of Ontario by further promoting the distinct identity and culture of Métis citizens and the importance of these for education, learning and success,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

The implementation of the MOU will be guided by a mutually agreeable work plan which identifies opportunities and partnerships to address the unique educational needs of Métis people in Ontario, reduces the gaps in Métis student achievement and student success, and, increases the confidence of Métis parents in the education system. That work plan will include regular meetings between the Minister of Education and MNO President Gary Lipinski

"The signing of this MOU is the latest in a series of longstanding partnerships in education that have been formalized by the MNO is recent months. It is also further evidence of the commitment by the Government of Ontario to live up to the promise it made with the signing of the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement in November 2008," added President Lipinski.

The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture, language and heritage who played an instrumental role in shaping Canada, and who work tirelessly to share their culture, traditions and knowledge of the environment with fellow Canadians.

For further information please contact:

Jennifer St. Germain

Director of Education and Training

Métis Nation of Ontario

Ph: 613-798-1488

Métis Nation of Ontario, 500 Old St. Patrick St, Unit D, Ottawa, ON K1N 9G4

Tel: 613-798-1488 Toll free: 1-800-263-4889 Fax: 613-722-4225 mnoweb@metisnation.org

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