Weekly Telephone Town Halls have been postponed during the 2020 Election period, the MNO will continue to provide regular updates to Citizens on recent and relevant developments. If you have any questions to be addressed, please email: ElizabethH@metisnation.org. Questions will be incorporated into a frequently asked questions document which will be made available on the MNO website.
The MNO strongly encourages citizens with any needs or concerns related to COVID-19 to utilize the MNO’s helpline by calling toll-free 1-800-263-4889 or via email at COVIDhelp@metisnation.org.
Citizens seeking to apply for emergency financial support can do so online at: covid.metisnation.org.
COVID-19 related Fact Sheets are being updated on a weekly basis and are available on the MNO website: www.metisnation.org/covid-19. The MNO is also providing updates and news on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Message to MNO Citizens
While reports on COVID-19 continue to evolve, the advice from health authorities remains the same: practice physical distancing, proper hygiene and self-isolation. Heightened hygiene measures include thorough washing of hands and any frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, phones, mailboxes, etc.). Additionally, individuals are now encouraged to wear face masks when out in public. Wearing a mask protects those around you from any accidental sneezes/coughs, while also minimizing face-touching — another recommended tactic in keeping healthy and safe.
Métis crafters across the province are making fabric masks for our citizens: those who would like to request a mask or to volunteer to make masks can contact their local Community Council Women’s Rep, MNO Women’s Council Regional Rep or email COVIDhelp@metisnation.org.
MNO COVID-19 Supports
The MNO continues to process incoming applications for COVID-19 Emergency supports, including: income relief, rental relief, food security, emergency family funds, technology funds, and supports for Métis owned businesses. Over 1,677 applications have been received so far. More than 520 clients have been approved and have already or soon will receive emergency relief funds. MNO’s COVID-19 Emergency Supports for Métis families have provided help for 607 Métis children across the province during these challenging times.
In addition to these resources, a new Support Program will also be launched this month for children with special needs.
The MNO COVID-19 Emergency Operation Team includes a total of 54 support staff to assist in its operations, consisting of 44 intake staff, 4 operations staff and 5 part-time team leaders. Thanks to the hard work of the MNO’s Emergency Operations Response Team, as of May 21, all new applicants seeking assistance have received call-backs.
The MNO Community Councils continue to serve the needs of Métis citizens on a local level, with each Council being eligible for a renewable fund of $5,000. Programming from Healing and Wellness and Mental Health and Addictions is also available to all Citizens, and those that find themselves struggling during these times are encouraged to take advantage of the many available programs and resources.
Update on Federal and Provincial Supports
- The Federal government recently announced new supports for students, including the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), which will target post-secondary students struggling to find employment this summer. Information on CESB funding and applications are available at the CRA website.
- The Federal government has also announced additional payments will be made to seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
- The Temporary Wage Subsidy Eligibility has been extended and expanded to include tax-exempt Indigenous-owned corporations or partnerships, amateur athletic associations registered journalism organizations, and private colleges and training schools.
More information on these and additional Federal and Provincial supports are available in the MNO Fact Sheets.
MNO Election 2020
The 2020 MNO Election is currently underway and Citizens are encouraged to visit the 2020 MNO Election page on MNO’s website for information about the candidates and the election process, including how to cast a vote by telephone or online.
COVID-19 has added unique challenges to MNO Election 2020, particularly related to the ability for voters to learn about candidates and their platforms. As such, the Chief Electoral Officer has made the recommendation to waive the Article 7 prohibition of using the MNO webpage to post candidate information in order to allow candidates to share information about themselves and their platforms in a way that is fair and equitable. Each candidate was offered the opportunity to post a photo and 500 words about themselves and their campaign on MNO’s website. Visit the MNO 2020 Election webpage to learn more about those running to represent you.
A List of Acclamations in the 2020 MNO Election was recently published is now available online.
Harvesting during COVID-19
Information is available for MNO Harvesters to help them stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Citizens are reminded to keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approx. 2 meters) from anyone outside their household, and to limit groups to five persons or less. Currently, a fire ban continues in the province and many public facilities remain closed in the interest of public safety. MNO Harvesters that have valid Harvester cards can camp on Crown Land in their traditional territory in order to exercise their Métis right to harvest.
Any questions about harvesting should to directed to your Regional MNO Captain of the Hunt.
MNO Summer Youth Program
The MNO Summer Youth Program (SYP) commences this week, thanks to the dedication of MNO Education and Training staff and new opportunities afforded by video-conferencing technologies. Engaging platforms like Zoom has allowed for more students than ever before to be accepted into the 2020 summer employment program. This week, 30 Métis post-secondary students met virtually to begin their orientation to the program. Students will be working remotely to deliver popular Métis-based culture and history programming. Follow their journey by regularly checking the MNO Facebook and social media channels for updates!
In an effort to maintain social connections during this time of social distancing, MNO continues its popular social media campaign designed to showcase the creative pursuits of MNO citizens and staff. Join in by tagging us on social media and using the hashtag #QuarantineCreative or by sending us a direct message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Share your art with us and help us spread some positivity because we’re all in this together!
A Special Edition of the Métis Voyageur containing information on the MNO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and information on the 2020 MNO Election is in the mail and on the way to MNO households. The issue is available online right now: Métis Voyageur issue #103.
Posted on May 22, 2020