The MNO Credit River Métis Council holds its 2014 Annual General Meeting

Submitted by Richard Cuddy, President, the Métis Nation of Ontario Credit River Métis Council

Cuddy and Morrison
MNO Credit River Métis Council Richard Cuddy presents the MNO 20th
Anniversary commemorative coin to former MNO Credit River Métis Council
Vice-President and Chair, Bill Morrison.

On the afternoon of Sunday, March 30, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Credit River Métis Council held its third Annual General Meeting (AGM).  This is their second AGM held in their Brampton office.

Councillor David Neville acted as Chair and Senator Ray Bergie provided the opening prayer.  In addition to these two Council members, Council President Richard Cuddy also introduced the other members of Council that included: Secretary/Treasurer Joyce Tolles; Women’s Representative Karen Derocher; Youth Representative Talitha Tolles, Councillors Darlene Lent, Jean-Marc Maheu, Murray Berger and Traditional Knowledge Resource Jim Tolles.

President Cuddy then read for the founding document of the MNO, the Statement of Prime Purpose saying: “We, the Métis who live within the Métis Homelands of Ontario, desiring to bind our people together to collectively promote our common cultural, social, political and economic well-being, have founded the Métis Nation of Ontario to be our representative body.”

Cuddy and McBride
MNO Credit River Métis Council President Richard Cuddy presents a
framed certificate of appreciation to MNO Vice-chair Sharon McBride.

In his report, President Cuddy reported that Council members had participated in collaborations, partnerships, consultations and meetings with:

The Peel Children’s Aid Society;
Mississauga Halton LHIN;
Central West LHIN;
Peel Children’s Aid Society;
The Knight’s Table;
St Leonard's Place;
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH);
Peel Diversity and Inclusion;
The Peel Committee Against women Abuse;
Conservation Halton;
Credit Valley Conservation;
COPA;
The Halton District School Board;
Sheridan College;
Aramark Canada;
The Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives;
The City of Brampton;
The Region of Peel;
The Peel District School Board;
The Dufferin Peel District Catholic School Board;
Heritage Mississauga;
The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Other significant achievements the President reported on included:

The Métis Community Garden serving local Métis families and charities;

Recognition from the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) for outstanding contributions to the Ontario museum community;

Participation in community events and festivals such as Carrasauga, Mississauga Waterfront Festival and Credit Valley; Conservation Sweet Taste of Spring;

Traditional knowledge snowshoe walks;

Engaging the Peel and Halton District School Boards;

Engaging the Region of Halton and the Region of Peel.

The Council intends to expand its interactions with these governments and organizations.

“Every year I have provided this report,” explained President Cuddy, “the list has grown and the Council will continue to expand the list. When Council started, Councillors were searching for contacts within these governments and organizations. Now, these organizations are contacting Council, and that is due to the hard work of your representatives. Your voice is important and you are being heard in Credit River.”

Following the reports, President Cuddy made a number of presentations to volunteers on behalf of the MNO Credit River Métis Council.

“Why do we volunteer?” asked President Cuddy,  “there are almost as many different, individual reasons as there are volunteers but I personally admire the following quote,” he stated and then read the following passage by Steve Powley about the famous R. v Powley Supreme Court case:

That’s the reason I done it; for my children and their children. I didn’t see the bigger picture for all Métis at the time. I won’t lie to you; but after the second court case I started to see the bigger picture and this last one, it is just crazy how many people it is actually going to help and I’m glad to do it.”

President Cuddy then added: “Every volunteer and every time we volunteer, no matter what the size or duration of the task, you are not just moving Credit River forward and you move the Nation forward.”

The first presentation was to Mr. Bill Morrison. President Cuddy stated, “The Métis Nation of Ontario Anniversary Commemorative Coin marked the 20th Anniversary of the Métis Nation of Ontario and the 10th Anniversary of the Powley decision. All of the Community Council Presidents received a coin at the AGA 2013. I then received a package of coins from MNO President Gary Lipinski, to distribute to the Councillors in appreciation of all of their hard work and dedication. Council was unanimous, based on his contributions to Council and Community, in deciding that our former Vice President and Chair, Bill Morrison, was deserving of a coin as well. On behalf of Council, I am honoured to present this Métis Nation of Ontario Anniversary Commemorative Coin to Mr. Bill Morrison.”

The second presentation was to Ms. Sharon McBride. President Cuddy stated, “The Council would like to recognize the assistance and contributions to a special Credit River Métis citizen. This person has attended, volunteered, collaborated or donated on every recent event or project. Many of our current successes can be attributed to her ongoing support in some way. Like many of the Councillors, she works full time, has a family and is a volunteer. Her enthusiasm and passion fuels and revitalizes ours.  On behalf of the Council, I am honoured to present a framed Certificate of Appreciation to the Métis Nation of Ontario Vice-chair, Sharon McBride.”

The Certificate states “In recognition of the volunteer time, donations and ongoing support of the Métis Nation of Ontario Credit River Métis Council, community and citizens. Your significant contributions benefit not only the Credit River Area but the Métis Nation of Ontario.”

The meeting was closed with a prayer by Senator Bergie and following adjournment, citizens were invited to remain for informal conversation, drinks and snacks arranged by Councillors Tolles, Lent and Neville.

The MNO Credit River Métis Council was pleased to receive valuable input from the citizens during and after the meeting.  It looks forward to opportunities that offer increased interaction with the residents of Credit River and other MNO citizens

“A citizen is part of a crew of a ship without which the ship would not be able to sail on its own.  The captain and officers steer the ship in the direction that the crew wants to go.  Citizens are the most important part of the Community Council and the Council exists in order to meet the needs of its citizens.  Citizens are responsible for electing their local leadership, attending meetings and providing the general direction as well as volunteering for committees and activities.  Citizens support the Council and other citizens and work towards the spirit of the Métis Nation of Ontario’s Statement of Prime Purpose.”

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