Submitted by: Blair Sterling, MNO North Channel Métis Council Senator
With excerpts from: Joseph Paquette, MNO Veterans’ Council President

North Channel Metis Council_AGM 2016
MNO North Channel Métis Council President Yvonne
Jensen (centre) congratulates MNO veterans Cynthia
Forrest (left) and Dorothy Eastman (right) after they
receive Louis Riel awards. Click here to view a larger
version of the picture.

On October 15, 2016, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) North Channel Métis Council (NCMC) held their Annual General Meeting at the Little Rapids Heritage Centre near Thessalon. MNO NCMC President Yvonne Jensen called the group to order and, following an opening prayer, presented the Council, introduced her guests (the MNO Historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis Council Executive), and welcomed roughly 53 citizens to the gathering.

Following lunch, the financial report was presented. President Jensen then reminded MNO citizens that they may contact any member of the Council if they have a question or a problem and the Council will do their best to find an answer.

President Jensen also informed MNO citizens that the MNO is in the process of establishing a new program called the Métis Family Well-Being Program. There will be staff for the program within the area of the Council and as a result, the MNO will be opening a new office in the area soon. She encouraged anyone who is interested in the program to apply for the full and part-time coordinator positions.

Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) Representative Ernie Gatien next took the floor and made a number of significant points. He stated the importance of informing Region 4 Captain of the Hunt Art Bennett, if any MNO citizens have the validity of their harvesting cards called into question or if they take a moose while hunting. He also explained the workings of the Consultation Committee, outlined the purpose of the Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA), and fielded questions about MNO policies and procedures.

The next presenter was MNO Community Wellness Coordinator Toby Pickering, who went over some of the services that the MNO offers, all of which are available free of cost. These include credit counseling; finding a lawyer; help with family violence; healthy babies and parenting skills; and programs for seniors.

The final presentation, made by the MNO Veterans’ Council, was especially gratifying. The council presented MNO veterans Cynthia Forrest and Dorothy Eastman, who are also sisters and MNO citizens, with Louis Riel medals and certificates. Forrest and Eastman’s other sister, June Smart, is currently the MNO NCMC Women’s Representative. Smart extended her thanks to MNO Veterans’ Council President Joseph Paquette for ensuring her sisters could be presented with such an honour. “Thank you Joseph for taking care of all the administrative requirements in order to have the medals presented to my sisters,” she said.

The AGM closed at 2:30 p.m., but not before a few lucky winners picked up their door prizes.

Published on: November 22, 2016