May 5, 2009 – Historic Sault Ste. Marie, ON –The signing of the sixth Regional Consultation Protocol between the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Historic Sault Ste. Marie and North Channel Métis Councils will help to ensure Métis in the region have an opportunity to be consulted by industry and government about proposed development on traditional lands.
Gary Lipinski, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) joined Kim Powley, President of the Historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis Council and Larry Folz, President of the North Channel Métis Council at the signing ceremony in Sault Ste. Marie Tuesday evening. The event formalizes the traditional working relationship that exists among the Métis in the region.
“The signing of this Protocol agreement in a region of the province that has such cultural significance for the Métis is another huge step forward in the assertion of Métis rights in the province,” President Lipinski said. “It demonstrates the commitment of Métis across the province to work together to ensure all citizens have input when projects related to land use planning, energy, mining and forestry on Métis traditional lands are proposed,” he added.
Prior to the Protocol Signing, the official Community Charter for the North Channel Métis Council was signed. From now on the North Channel Council will represent the Métis formerly represented at the MNO by the Bruce Mines/St. Joseph and Thessalon Councils.
“Once again, MNO has built on the Supreme Court of Canada’s affirmation of Métis rights in the landmark Powley case. By working together, we will ensure Métis citizens 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 while realizing their potential as full economic partners in the province of Ontario,” President Lipinski concluded.
The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture, language and heritage who played an instrumental role in shaping Canada, and who work tirelessly to share their culture, traditions and knowledge of the environment with fellow Canadians.
For further information or interviews contact: