Powley Day Message
As many of you are aware, Monday, September 19, 2011, marks the eighth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in R. v. Powley. The ground breaking decision ushered in a whole new era of Métis rights in Ontario and across the Métis Homeland. Especially important at this time of the year, are the Métis Harvesting Rights, which are now recognized by the Province of Ontario through our harvesting agreement. Take time to reflect on the pride that each of us feels when we look at what has been accomplished. Take time to enjoy, participate in organized events, and be proud to be Métis!
This fall, as you participate in the Harvest or in MNO Community Council events celebrating the Harvest season, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on how the Powley decision has raised the profile of the Métis, and contributed to the recognition of our rights as a distinct Aboriginal people within Canada. The affirmation of the right to harvest is a component critical to the already rich fabric that defines Métis culture.
It is fair to say that in spite of a tremendous amount of hard work and sacrifice of many Métis, our pursuit for full recognition of Métis rights continues. There is still much work to be done with the province and especially with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in ensuring the acceptance of those rights when they are asserted. We will continue to push forward on the priority issues that you have raised with your Captains of the Hunt, your PCMNO representative or myself. We will continue to report progress and movement as it occurs, however each of us must do all we can to ensure that the collective rights of Métis to harvest is preserved through responsible management of the Métis harvest in Ontario. The work ahead of us is great and the journey will be long and hard fought. But on September 19th, please take a moment to celebrate your Métis culture and heritage and to remember Steve, Rodney and the Powley family for their personal sacrifice and commitment to the ongoing struggle for Métis rights.
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Métis Nation of Ontario