April 21, 2009 -Midland, ON – Gary Lipinski, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) joined Métis leaders in Midland on Monday to sign a historic Regional Consultation Protocol (Protocol) that covers the Métis traditional territory of Georgian Bay. This territory roughly includes Bruce, Grey and Simcoe counties with over 3,000 Métis citizens living within the region.

The signing represented the culmination of months of community meetings and discussions with Métis citizens and puts in place a consultation model that ensures the regional rights-bearing Métis community that lives in, uses and relies on the Georgian Bay traditional territory is effectively consulted.

“This protocol builds on the Supreme Court of Canada’s affirmation of Métis rights in the landmark Powley case. By working together in a fair, inclusive and transparent manner, the MNO will ensure all Métis in the region will have a say on what is being done on the lands they have relied on for generations to sustain Métis culture, traditions and way of life,” said President Lipinski.

President Lipinski added, “This historic Protocol aims to ensure the Crown fulfills its constitutional duty to consult while creating opportunities for all Métis in the region to engage government and industry in order to ensure Métis increase their participation in the energy, forestry and commercial fishing sectors within their traditional territory.”

President Lipinski was joined for the signing by Alden Barty, President of the Georgian Bay Métis Council, Malcolm Dixon, President of the Grey-Owen Sound Métis Council, Larry Duval, President of the Moon River Métis Council, Louise Goulding, MNO Deputy Captain of the Hunt and MNO Regional Councillor, Pauline Saulnier.

This is the fifth Protocol signed between MNO and its Chartered Métis Community Councils throughout the province. It is a way to ensure governments as well as industry are engaging and consulting Métis in Ontario, consistent with the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate all Aboriginal peoples.