Ottawa, ON – November 3, 2009 — The stage for a new era in research about and for Ontario Métis is set with the appointment of Dr. Brenda Macdougall as Chair of Métis Studies at the University of Ottawa. Gary Lipinski, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) announced the appointment on behalf of the Council of Ontario Universities and uOttawa today.

“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of another exciting phase in the evolution of the Métis Nation in Ontario,” President Lipinski said. “The research resulting from Dr. Macdougall’s appointment will help all Canadians gain a greater understanding of the role played by Ontario Métis in the history of Canada. It will help raise awareness about the traditions and culture that confirm the Métis as a distinct Aboriginal people. As a result, Métis rights issues within the province in areas such as treaty negotiations, harvesting and traditional land use will be better understood.”

For MNO Chair France Picotte, the appointment of the Chair is extremely gratifying. “It is great to see many years of hard work come to fruition. The dream of a Chair of Métis studies was initiated by now Premier Dalton McGuinty while he was still in Opposition and we are encouraged by the support from the province in making the Chair a reality.”

The nomination of Dr. Macdougall as the inaugural holder of the Research Chair in Métis Studies at the University of Ottawa was accepted by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). The recommendation was made by a selection panel chaired by Dr. Bradford Morse with representatives from faculty and senior administrative staff of the University and the Métis Nation of Ontario.

“Dr. Macdougall brings to the position a background with the right combination of academic and administrative experience which, when combined with the strong vision already evident in the successful creation of the Chair at the university, promises a productive partnership,” added President Lipinski.

The Research Chair will be more than a catalyst for innovative Ontario Métis specific research. It will help to ensure that both MNO and uOttawa can fulfill a commitment made earlier this year with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). That MOU is aimed at fostering a positive relationship that promotes enhanced educational outcomes for Métis students and improvements to Métis content in course offerings at the University.

The University of Ottawa was one of several provincial learning institutions which submitted proposals to host the Chair. The University has added 1 million dollars in ongoing support for the position the 3 million dollars already endowed by the McGuinty Government.

Macdougall will begin her work at uOttawa on January 1, 2010.

For further information please contact:

Jennifer St. Germain

Director of Education and Training

Phone: 613-798-1488