MNO kicks off 21st AGA in Thunder Bay

Lipinski and MInistersPresentation of a framed copy of the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement to the
MNO from the Government of Ontario, presented by Minister Mauro, Minister
Zimmer and Minister Gravelle to President Lipinski.

Métis from across Ontario gathered in Thunder Bay today for the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) 21st Annual General Assembly (AGA). MNO President Gary Lipinski was one of over 400 Métis citizens and special guests, including the Honourable David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, the Honourable Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and the Honourable Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry who were in attendance at the AGA Opening Ceremonies held at Valhalla Inn on Saturday, August 23.

The opening ceremonies commenced with a procession led by Métis veterans. This was followed by greetings from Ministers Zimmer, Gravelle and Mauro as well as from Mayor Keith Hobbs of Thunder Bay; David Bell, President of the MNO Thunder Bay Métis Council; Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament; John Rafferty, Member of Parliament; Alexander Bezzina, Deputy Minister of Children and Youth Services; Grand Chief Harvey Yesno of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation; Leon Jourdain of the Lac La Croix First Nation; Richard Ouellet, Wabnode of the Centre for Aboriginal Services of Cambrian Collage, President Jim Madder of Confederation College; and President Clement Chartier of the Métis National Council.

President Lipinski provided his annual State of the Nation address where he described the MNO’s achievements over the last year and outlined priorities and goals for the coming year and beyond. Among the issues that President Lipinski highlighted are the tragedies caused by violence against Aboriginal women. Pointing out that the RCMP has indicated that there have been 1,181 murdered or missing Aboriginal women in Canada, President Lipinski argued powerfully that it is time for the Federal Government to launch a national inquiry into violence against Aboriginal women. Another highlight was the presentation of a framed copy of the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement to the MNO from the Government of Ontario, presented by all three Ministers.

The AGA continues on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, August 23-25. Click here for a full agenda and more information.

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