Indigenous Leaders_DEC 2016
Métis Nation delegates at the meeting between Indigenous
leaders and Canadian First Ministers (left to right) Métis
elder Oliver Boulette, MNO President Margaret Froh, MNA
President Audrey Poitras, MNC President Clément Chartier,
MNBC President Clara Morin Dal Col, MMF President
David Chartrand and MN-S Vice-President Gerald Morin.
Click here to view a larger version of the picture.

On December 9, 2016 in Ottawa, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh participated in a meeting of Canada’s First Ministers and Indigenous leaders on clean growth and climate change. President Froh was a member of the Métis Nation delegation along with other members of the Métis National Council (MNC) Board of Governors. In addition to the First Ministers, American Vice-President Joseph Biden participated in the meeting. “For Ontario Métis, the lands and waters of our Homelands are the heart, soul and lifeblood of our communities, identity and culture. Climate change puts at risk the living systems that nurture and sustain the health and well-being of all peoples, and it transcends political, geographic, societal, and biological divides,” stated President Froh.

The focus of the meeting was to discuss a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change which is the Canadian government’s proposed plan to address climate change and grow the economy. This plan was developed by federal, provincial, and territorial governments following a First Ministers meeting of March 3, 2016. The plan’s purpose is to guide the country’s transition to a more resilient, low-carbon economy that creates good paying, long-term jobs. The meeting, which also included First Nations and Inuit leaders, was an opportunity to provide Indigenous perspectives on the framework in advance of the First Ministers meeting.

“The Métis Nation of Ontario welcomes this historic framework agreement, and it looks forward to working on a nation-to-nation basis with all those with which we share these lands in order to address the challenges before us. We will work with a view of forging collaborations and partnerships, consistent with our traditional alliances and the aspirations set out in the MNO Statement of Prime Purpose.”

The Pan-Canadian Framework is predicated on partnerships between all levels of government including Indigenous governments. “By working together with Ontario and Canada, as well as other Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians,” explained President Froh, “we can make a real difference while supporting both the economy and the environment. Ontario’s green energy and feed-in-tariff programs, which have helped the MNO become a significant player in the generation of green energy in Ontario, are good examples of government programs that work and have a positive impact on climate change and the economy. I want to acknowledge the leadership of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in backing these types of programs that promote green energy and move the economy away from its dependence on non-renewable energy.”

The MNO will take a leadership role in the efforts to reduce climate change by hosting our first Métis Climate Change conference in 2017-18. “Ontario Métis have a vital role to play in tackling the issues surrounding climate change,” said President Froh. “Our people often are the first to feel the effects of climate change. We are a people of the land and have always been closely connected to the land. Taking a lead in the effort to reduce climate change therefore is very much part of our Métis heritage and culture.”

“We will also work within our nation with our Métis youth, women, veterans, Elders, Captains of the Hunt, knowledge holders, elected leadership, and all interested MNO citizens toward areas of common concern on land and water protection issues, including climate change. We all have hard work ahead of us in order to create the positive change needed to save the planet we all share,” concluded President Froh.

Click here for a copy of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. [PDF]

Click here to read a joint statement by Clément Chartier, Métis National Council President, and the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

Published on: December 12, 2016