OTTAWA – August 10, 2009 — Gary Lipinski, President Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and Allan Rock , President of the University of Ottawa (U of O) have signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding that will pave the way to enhanced educational outcomes for Métis students and improve Métis content in course offerings at the U of O.

“Historically Métis in Ontario learned through experience, by being on the land and through interaction with our elders,” said President Lipinski. “When the university was founded in 1866 by the Catholic Church it was not an inviting place for Métis. This agreement is part of the healing journey Aboriginal people and learning institutions have travelled in recent years and is one more step toward greater cooperation between Métis in Ontario and the university community.”

The two Presidents were joined at the signing ceremony by Métis Senator Reta Gordon and Ottawa Métis Council President Robert Pellerin, and from the U of O, Vice-President Academic and Provost Diane Davidson and Rachel Prud’homme, Project Coordinator, Aboriginal Program, Faculty of Medicine, as well as others from the Métis and academic community.

MNO is also working in partnership with the Ontario Association of Universities and Colleges to establish the Research Chair in Métis Studies to the University of Ottawa. An announcement about the successful candidate is expected any day.

According to President Lipinski, both the MOU and the establishment of the Chair are significant in the evolution of MNO as a nation, adding “ultimately, strengthening research of interest to Métis and increasing the presence of Métis in Aboriginal programming and services available at the U of O will lead to an increase in the recruitment, retention and graduation of Métis students in all faculties.”

For further information please contact:

Chris Paci, Manager

Education and Training

Métis Nation of Ontario

613-798-1488 Ext 118