MNO Council celebrates Powley Day in Ottawa

Submitted by: Reta Gordon, MNO Honourary Senator and Benny Michaud, MNO Ottawa Region Métis Council President

Powley Day_Ottawa Council_2016
The MNO Ottawa Region Métis Council: (L-R) Iain Best
(Youth Representative), Marie-Louise Perron (Councillor),
Benny Michaud (President), Parm Burgie (Senator),
Amanda Kisch (Women’s Representative) and Tony
Belcourt (Councillor and founding MNO President). (Photo
provided by Jennifer Lord, MNO Manager of Strategic
Initiatives.) Click here to view a larger version of the picture.

On September 19, 2016, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Ottawa Region Métis Council (ORMC) held a Powley Day celebration at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre. The event was well attended with around 30 people and included featured guest speaker Tony Belcourt, founding MNO President and current MNO ORMC Councillor, former MNO Senator Lois McCallum and Honourary MNO Senator Reta Gordon. Belcourt, McCallum and Senator Gordon were all present at the MNO founding meeting held in Toronto in May 1994.

The event began with opening remarks from MNO ORMC President Benny Michaud. Belcourt was then invited to discuss the significance of the Powley Decision and the legacy of Steve Powley. Entertainment was provided by Métis youth Jacob Koebel who performed a Métis jig. Other activities included a viewing of the MNO 20th anniversary video, various arts and crafts for children, and a sharing of food and great discussion where individuals were able to come together as a Métis community. President Michaud also took this opportunity to lay out the Council’s vision for the following year.

"Powley Day is an important day for Métis people because it gives us an opportunity to celebrate the recognition of our right to hunt and fish in our traditional territories, “said President Michaud. “Sometimes people forget that what the Powley Decision represents is how fundamental Métis people's connection to the land is. We were not just fighting for hunting and fishing rights, but also to have our traditional relationship to the land acknowledged and respected." 

Every year on September 19th, the MNO and Métis communities across the province mark Powley Day to remember the decade long fight led by the MNO with Steve and Roddy Powley for recognition of Métis harvesting rights in the
R. v. Powley case. Click here to learn more about the Powley case.

Published on: October 31, 2016

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