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The PCMNO and dignitaries arriving at Pete Pettersen
Park in Midland.Métis from across Ontario gathered in Midland today for the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) 22nd Annual General Assembly (AGA). MNO President Gary Lipinski and the Provisional Council fo the Métis Nation (PCMNO) as well as special guests, including the Honourable David Zimmer, Minster of Aboriginal Affairs, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minster of Community and Social Services, MP Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s), and Gord McKay, Mayor of Midland, were in attendance at the Welcome to the AGA held at Pete Pettersen Park in Midland, the evening of Friday, August 21.
The welcome activities included Métis leaders and delegates arriving by ceremonial voyageur canoes while a crowd gathered on the shore, eagerly waiting to greet them. In his remarks, President Lipinski commented on the symbolic importance of the canoe to Métis history and culture. “When we’re in the canoe,” he said, “we travel together, we work together, we paddle together and that’s the Métis way.”
Over 400 Métis leaders and special guests will be attending the official opening ceremonies that start on Saturday morning at 8:15 a.m. which will feature the premiere of a new song by award-winning Métis artist and MNO citizen Amanda Rhéaume. Titled We Aspire, the song was inspired by the MNO’s Statement of Prime Purpose, the declarative document that is the foundation of the MNO’s identity and objectives for the Nation.
Also on Saturday morning, President Lipinski’s annual State of the Nation address will describe the MNO’s achievements over the last year and outline priorities and goals for the future. Delegates will also hear from several other guest speakers and witness the signing of the MNO-Union Gas Relationship Agreement.
Other speakers will include Minister Zimmer and Patrick Brown, Leader of the Progressive Party of Ontario; MPs Bennett and Bruce Stanton (Simcoe North); and Mayor McKay.
Métis National Council President Clément Chartier, Métis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras and Manitoba Metis Federation David Chartrand President will also speak at the opening ceremonies.
The AGA runs Saturday, Sunday and Monday, August 22-24. Click here for a full agenda and more information.
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