MNO Citizen Online Town Hall
October 28

The first ever Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Citizen Online Town Hall took place over Zoom on October 28, 2020.

Similar to previous MNO Council Leadership Telephone Town Halls, the online version provided updates and information on: work to advance Métis Self-Government; recent Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) meetings; COVID-19 programming; and key details about upcoming events. It also allowed participants to test out the voting technology that will used in the upcoming MNO Annual General Assembly (AGA) on November 7, and was followed by a question and answer period. MNO President Margaret Froh welcomed participants to the Citizen Town Hall and celebrated the resiliency of the Métis spirit and community during complex, challenging times.

“While everything we do these days is a bit different – we have continued to find ways for our families and communities to connect and come together as Métis people. Tonight’s [Citizen Town Hall] is another opportunity for us to come together and maintain our connection,” she said.

COVID-19 Updates

The President discussed the MNO’s ever-evolving response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the steps the MNO has taken to ensure the safety of staff and Citizens across the province. MNO staff continues to work remotely and strategies are in place to ensure that critical services and supports remain accessible to MNO families and communities. The MNO’s COVID-19 Emergency Response programs are continuously evolving as gaps are identified and existing services are enhanced.

Covid-19 Quick Facts

  • 50 MNO staff have been mobilized to assist with the MNO Covid-19 response
  • 941 Citizens have received Covid-19 funding
  • 65 Urgent PPE Kits have been sent to Citizens
  • 91 familiesare receiving Covid-19 Child Care Supports
    • 1087 children have been supported
    • 220 childrenhave been added to the Imagination Library
    • 442 Learning at Home Kits have been sent
    • 862 childrenhave or will soon receive Back to School Kits
    • 232 applicantshave signed up for the Surprise Toy Drive
    • 16 families participated in the ELCC Camp (session 1); 15 have enrolled for session 2

MNO Community Councils Update

MNO Community Councils remain active and continue to serve their communities. In partnership with Ontario, Canada, and numerous proponents the MNO has worked to provide Community Councils with new resources to meet the immediate needs of Métis Citizens on a local level. MNO Community Council Annual General Meetings (AGM) will continue to take place with support from MNO Community Relations branch and through technologies such as Zoom. Six AGMs and associated Council elections are being planned to take place this year, though a majority of AGMs are anticipated to take place early 2021. All Citizens are advised and encouraged to contact the MNO Registry to ensure their contact information is up to date.

Communications Update

The MNO recognizes that communications remains one of the most important priorities. A new series of educational videos and posters telling the story of the historic Métis communities in Ontario are in the final stages of development and being prepared for release later in November. As part of this roll out and the importance of telling the story of the communities and citizens in Ontario the MNO released news and video of the historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis community marking the 170th anniversary of broken land promises by the Crown with a bell ringing ceremony on October 21st. The MNO is supporting a similar educational event highlighting the Halfbreed Adhesion to Treaty No. 3 during Treaties Recognition Week. Sharing these collective histories and stories of the Métis people will help amplify the voices of Ontario Métis. Look for more Métis stories in the coming weeks.

PCMNO Update

Since the June 2020 election, the PCMNO has had four full weekends of meetings including several evening sessions to receive information, discuss, debate and make decisions to drive the MNO forward. Regular updates follow each full PCMNO meeting through Town Hall calls with MNO Community Councils, Advisory Councils, and Captains of the Hunt and via meeting recaps available on the MNO website.

MNO Self-Government Update

Last year’s historic signing of the Métis Government Recognition and Self Government Agreement (MGRSA) alongside Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) and the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) launched the MNO down a path that will require engaging with all citizens across the province, in all regions, as we build a shared vision of our future Métis government. The PCMNO has been in regular communication with leadership to strategize on how best to engage Citizens at a regional and local level. As well, the PCMNO has been reviewing a draft Terms of Reference to help guide next steps. This fall, Brian Black was brought on as the Director of Self-Government Strategy. Brian has been arranging meetings within MNO Regions and Communities to continue the discussion on self-government. There remains much more to come to engage on all aspects of self-government including conversations around the development of a Constitution.

Upcoming Events

Virtual Métis Kitchen Party — Nov. 6
Traditionally, the MNO AGA opens with ceremonies and celebrations the night prior to the formal meetings. On November 6 a Virtual Métis Kitchen Party will be held featuring Métis music, performers, and special guests. More here.

MNO Virtual Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Artisan Marketplace — Nov. 7
The first ever virtual AGA will take place November 7, 2020. Don’t forget advance registration is required for participation.

Elections for the MNO Women’s Council — Nov. 8
MNO’s Chief Electoral Officer has opened the voting for Women’s Council members to all of MNO’s women citizens. The MNOWC election will take place on Sunday, November 8, with online and telephone polls open between 9 am and 6 pm Eastern time. Information on how to register to vote is available online. The MNOWC AGM will also take place on Sunday, November 8. Attendees can register for the AGM while registering for the AGA.

PCMNO Senators Election — Nov. 8
A meeting of Senators and the elections of four PCMNO Senators, from which one PCMNO Executive Committee Senator will be selected, will take place on Sunday, November 8 starting at 1 pm Eastern time. All Senators must register for the AGA to participate in the Senators meeting and election.

MNO Code of Conduct
Citizens’ input is sought into the development of a draft MNO Code of Conduct. A backgrounder, survey, and additional information can be found online.

MNO Covid-19 Supports and Feedback Survey
The MNO COVID-19 Emergency Response Team continues to consider the best ways to support Métis Citizens facing hardship due to the pandemic. The team is seeking input about the MNO’s current COVID-19 supports, delivery of programs, and potential gaps.

Louis Riel Day — Nov. 16
This year’s Louis Riel Day ceremony will take place online. Details will be forthcoming on the MNO website and social media. A virtual panel discussion hosted by the Law Society of Ontario will be also be held that day from 5:30-7:30 PM.

MNO Mental Health Speakers Series — Nov. 17
This month’s webinar on Tuesday, November 17 at 7 PM will feature Dr. Michael Cheng and addresses mental wellness for children and youth.

MNO Virtual Mobile Registry — Nov. 23-26
Book an appointment with MNO Registry team by calling 1-855-798-1006 or emailing Appointments are available via phone or videoconference between 11AM – 7PM on November 23 and 24. More information on the MNO website.

IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to pre-register for the upcoming Annual General Assembly on November 7, 2020. Advance registration is required for participation!