atikokanParticipants in the Charter Signing in Atikokan on Feb. 26: (L-R)
Members of the Atikokan Métis Council, Kristy Cameron, Lorraine
Gauthier Stromberg, Todd Desaulniers, Blaine Davidson, Don Foy,
MNO Chair France Picotte, Council member Brian Gouliquer,
Atikokan Métis Council President Marlene Davidson, MNO
President Gary Lipinski, Council members Bruce Foy, Shawn
Veran and John Rafferty, Federal Member of Parliament for
Thunder Bay. Missing Council member Tiffany Burbeck
On Feb. 26, 2011, a Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Community Charter signing ceremony took place in Atikokan. The signing ceremony officially established the Atikokan and Surrounding Area Métis Council. “Métis citizens are the heart and soul of the MNO,” explained MNO President Gary Lipinski, “and are represented at the local level through MNO Charter Community Councils. The Councils are the cornerstone of a strong foundation for the MNO in its push toward its inherent right to self-government. The local Councils are also an important communication hub for MNO and play a significant role in fostering community empowerment and development for Métis citizens living within the geographic territory of that council.”

The Charter agreement was signed by Marlene Davidson, President of the Atikokan Council, and by MNO President Gary Lipinski and MNO Chair France Picotte. Around 50 people witnessed the ceremony. “We have worked hard,” stated President Davidson, “to put this Charter in place and we are looking forward to using it to build an even stronger Métis Nation Community Council here in Atikokan.”

“I congratulate the Atikokan Métis Council for all their efforts and hard work in getting their Community Charter Agreement signed,” commented President Lipinski, “the dedication that brought us here today is a demonstration of what can be achieved by working together to advance Métis Rights and improve the social well being of our Métis citizens, families and communities, The Métis citizens in the Atikokan area will be well served by those who have stepped forward to advance issues important to the community.”

Community Councils operate in accordance with MNO Charter Agreements, like the one signed in Atikokan. These provide councils with the mandate to govern, while ensuring accountability, transparency, and consistency. The Charter Agreements along with the Community Code and Community Electoral Code are the governance and policy documents Community Councils refer to when conducting council business, and for ensuring accountability through good fiscal management and governance.