budgetMNO President Margaret Froh

Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh welcomed the announcements in the March 22 federal budget that will provide greater support for Métis families, communities and government within the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO). The 2017 budget commits significant funding to build the governance capacity of the Métis National Council (MNC), the MNO, and the other four Métis governments that constitute the MNC from Manitoba to British Columbia. The funding will include $84.9 million over the next five years as well as ongoing annual funding of $28.3 million.

“We are extremely encouraged,” said President Froh, “to see a significant commitment of funding towards strengthening our governance and the foundation for a new relationship between Métis Nation governments and Canada. We look forward to working with the federal government as we move forward on our path of Métis self-governance and self-determination.”

Other highlights for Métis and other Indigenous peoples in the budget included an overall 27% increase in spending for Indigenous peoples with investments in Indigenous languages, youth, sports, restorative justice practices, Indigenous fisheries and environmental stewardship programs.

“Métis have played a pivotal role in establishing this country yet time and again over the last 150 years Canada has failed to acknowledge Métis peoples for our contributions. These investments in Métis youth, justice programs, ending violence against women, housing and the environment, and in Métis Nation governance, mark a new beginning in that relationship and will provide a better and brighter future for Métis people and for all our fellow Canadians,” stated President Froh.

In addition to investments that specifically target Métis and Indigenous peoples, there are several other elements in the budget related to education, skills development, tourism, housing and child care that include programs and services that will benefit Métis in Ontario.

“There is much work that remains to be done to correct the historic wrongs in this country and to build that respectful relationship that the Trudeau Government has committed to with the Métis Nation, and this budget helps move us in that direction. The Métis Nation of Ontario is committed to doing its part to move this relationship forward, and we welcome the commitments made in this budget to support strong Métis families and communities, and stronger Métis governments to support our citizens. Building from this solid foundation, we look forward to the next 150 years, and to a brighter future for the Métis Nation and for all Canadians,” concluded President Froh.