PCMNO Meeting Recap Report
February 20, 2024 & March 10, 2024


February 20, 2024

On February 20, 2024 a hybrid meeting of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) was held via Zoom with elected MNO leadership and select staff in attendance. The President’s Update began by acknowledging the upcoming election and praising the great work of the current PCMNO administration over the last four years. In addition to the President’s Update, attending staff provided updates on programs and policies relating to Mental Wellness, Self-Government, and Community Relations. The national update from President Froh also highlighted the many developments that have taken place at a national level, including progress regarding Bill C-53. Following these updates, PCMNO reviewed a resolution appointing an Interim Captain of Hunt for Region 6 and received an update from the Secretary Treasurer. In the afternoon, PCMNO adjourned for an in-camera session with legal.

President’s Update
President Froh

Representing one of the last meetings of the current administration, President Froh commended the great work of her PCMNO colleagues over the past four years. Coming into office in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President highlighted how under their leadership, new and necessary supports were extended to MNO citizens across the province. This work included mobilizing staff for outreach with seniors, developing and enhancing new areas of programming such as Mental Health and Addictions services and introducing the 24 Hr Mental Health Crisis Line. The President also praised the ongoing efforts of MNO staff, who quickly shifted to remote work while continually seeking innovative ways to deliver programs and services throughout the pandemic.

In the update, President Froh gave a high level overview of the self-government work that has occurred over the last year, including the second self-government agreement signed in 2023 and Bill C-53. These agreements support a recognition of MNO jurisdiction in key policy areas such as citizenship, leadership selection, governing processes, and child and family services.

Since the last meeting of the PCMNO, Bill C-53, An Act respecting the recognition of certain Métis governments in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, passed the INAN Committee process following an extensive clause by clause review. The Committee report is available to the public on the INAN website, which includes the amendments made during the review process. While these amendments clarify and address outstanding concerns, these changes do not significantly alter the intention and purpose of the Bill.

The Bill will be tabled before it is introduced for the third reading in House of Commons. Once the Bill passes third reading, it will be sent to the Senate where it repeats the review process. Recognizing this process as a marathon, not a sprint, the President appealed to MNO citizens encouraging them to continue lending their voices in support of the Bill by writing letters to members of Parliament. More information on Bill C-53 and ways to be involved can be found online at: billc53.ca/.

Concluding her opening remarks, President Froh once again expressed her gratitude to the current PCMNO administration for their tireless efforts over last four years and their role in moving the MNO forward during a historic time.


PCMNO Compensation Policy
Secretary Treasurer Young

The Secretary Treasurer delivered a verbal update on the approved PCMNO role profiles and the recommendation to review the PCMNO compensation policy. The MNO will work with consultant Mercer to streamline and simplify the existing version of the compensation framework, with multiple compensation levels depending on roles, as well as developing a formal policy.

An upcoming workshop will be held with PCMNO to review the compensation policy in detail and address outstanding concerns.


Community Wellbeing – Eligibility for Direct Benefit Programs and Services for the Mental Wellness Program
Emily Paterson, Director of Community Wellbeing and Tammy Adams, Manager, Mental Wellness

The Chief Operating Officer introduced the topic by referencing a January PCMNO workshop on the Mental Wellness program. Following this workshop, staff required PCMNO direction related to the application of Policy #2021-001: Eligibility for Direct Benefit Programs and Services for the Mental Wellness Program.

The presentation to the PCMNO highlighted two outstanding issues regarding the MNO Mental Wellness Program and policies; including

1) eligibility for biological children of Métis citizens and

2) citizens residing out of province.

Biological children of Métis citizens

The January workshop recommended that biological children of Métis citizens continue accessing mental health direct benefits at this time. However, as this goes against the current policy, two recommendations were made. Recommendations included:

1) a policy review and environmental scan of other Métis governments’ policy, and that

2) in the interim, the MNO adhere to the current policy, with some flexibility for children and youth.

The presentation also proposed a separate waitlist for clients who are the biological children of verified MNO citizens; as well as a transition plan for a therapeutic discharge for children that do not meet citizenship criteria.

Out of province

Currently, the program has been serving any MNO citizen regardless of where they live, including providing out of province coverage for citizens. Clarity was sought as the current Direct Benefits policy does not address whether it only applies within Ontario or Canada.

The January PCMNO workshop also identified out of province citizens benefiting from MNO programming and sought a review of similar MNO programs to gain a sense of existing practices and policy. Upon review, staff learned of only two areas where out of province citizens are provided supports: Education & Training and Mental Wellness.

It was recommended that the MNO continue to allow out of province coverage on an interim basis; and that coverage extend to students attending school out of province on a temporary basis when services are feasible and within funding requirements.

Following a brief discussion amongst PCMNO, a resolution was passed that:

BE IT RESOLVED that the PCMNO direct the Mental Health and Addictions program to notify the clients or guardians (ensuring consent where the client is capable of giving consent), of non-registered biological children of verified Métis citizens that they will have until June 30th, 2024, to obtain their citizenship to continue in the program and to develop therapeutic discharge plans for any remaining children after June 30th who are not verified citizens.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the PCMNO approves the Mental Health and Addictions program to provide services to verified citizens out of province who are students attending school out of province temporarily where the service is feasible, within the capacity of the program, and within funding requirements. All other existing clients are to be therapeutically discharged.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the PCMNO direct the Chief Operating Officer conduct an environmental scan of other Métis governments for how they determine eligibility of children of verified citizens and whether they provide supports to out of province citizens.



Self-Government Update
Brian Black & Alexandria Winterburn (Aird & Berlis), and Negotiations Committee Co-Chairs: Chair Rowlinson and Regional Councilor Mitch Case

The Director of Self-Government cited the many letters of support for Bill C-53 and requests for meetings that have been disseminated to Canadian MPs and leadership. Recently, joint letters from the three Métis governments have been sent to parties including the New Democratic Party, Conservative Party, Bloc Québécois, and other relevant committee leadership.

The MNO is continuing its efforts to engage citizen and communities on self-gov legislation, and proposed hosting “Self-Government Wednesdays” to provide an introductory and educational presentation for all citizens. This plan will be introduced to the PCMNO following the upcoming election. Additionally, the Self-Government team intends to establish a presence at future community events throughout the summer to continue outreach to citizens and ensure they are engaged and informed on next steps.

The Self-Government team is currently developing an engagement plan for citizens once Bill C-53 is approved and receives royal assent, with plans for community outreach on next steps and the drafting of an MNO constitution.


Community Relations Updates
Loma Rowlinson, Todd Showan

At the request of a prior PCMNO resolution, Community Relations conducted a thorough “house-keeping” review of community council documents, including governing documents, community codes, electoral codes and bylaws. The next phase will be to engage with Community Councils directly, providing edited drafts to Community Councils for review and feedback. Councils will be asked to move a motion to accept the updates to the governing documents and the updated files will be shared with councils and communities, and made available on the MNO website.

Other updates regarding Community Councils were discussed including:

      • Temiskaming Métis Council changing term of office from three to four years
      • North Channel Métis Council splitting the role of Secretary-Treasurer into two separate positions
      • Moon River Métis Council charter being suspended until further notice
      • Work continuing on updating Council Community Codes (By-Laws) to Define “Transact any business”

Community Council election expenses clarification

Historically, MNO Community Councils have been responsible to cover all costs for hosting their elections. During the pandemic, online elections were approved by the PCMNO with short-term funding provided to cover the costs of online elections. Since permitting online elections, a majority of councils have chosen to host their elections online.

On November 28, 2023 PCMNO passed a motion (PC231128-04) confirming that Community Councils can continue to host their elections online and that the MNO “will cover community council election costs related to online voting. However, it is presently unclear to councils whether the MNO will also cover the election related costs for in-person Ballot-Box elections. At this time, Community Relations is working with PCMNO to clarify if election costs will be covered by the Secretariat should Community Councils opt to have in-person Ballot-Box elections.

National Update
President Froh

President Froh began the update announcing that the anticipated Métis National Council (MNC) and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) “Tea and Bannock Cup” is returning for its second year and will take place Sunday, March 17 from 12-3PM at the University of Ottawa rink. This annual hockey game includes a diverse range of Métis players, including three MNO citizens. An open skate session will take place prior to the game.

The update also referenced recent national events, including a Board of Governors (BOG) Distinctions Based Strategic Planning Retreat , as well as a Global Summit focused on international advocacy on Indigenous rights. President Froh acknowledged that increased Métis participation in these critical global conversations has been identified as a priority for the MNO.

Global Summit

The President referenced how, in 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a global action plan: Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This Agenda identified Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with 169 targets, and seeks input and participation from nations around the world. Historically, Métis and other Indigenous peoples have been vocal about a lack of representation in global development initiatives, reflected in documentation such as UNDRIP.

The President stressed the importance of Métis voices being heard in these dialogues as we work to bridge the divide between global objectives and Indigenous realities. By participating in these conversations, including social development goals, we can achieve a deeper and more nuanced understanding of specific challenges experienced by Indigenous peoples and identify potential solutions. Specific policies discussed at the Summit include:

      • Education
      • Child, Youth and Family Services
      • Health
      • Economic Development
      • Youth and social development goals
      • Biodiversity, Environment, and Sustainable Development
      • Emergency Management
      • UNDRIP and social development goals

Additionally, taking place at the national level in March are the Métis Nation National Health Policy Forum and the Métis Nation Economic Reconciliation Forum. MNO Regional Consultation Committees and leadership will also be attending events in Toronto, including PDAC and an update and dinner with leadership on MNO Self-Government advancements. A half-day restorative justice workshop will take place for attendees the following morning, inviting representatives from regional communities to share ongoing restorative justice policy work, particularly in the context of harvesting. Finally, President Froh acknowledged that Métis representatives will be attending an upcoming UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to be held mid-April.

Expert Panel

A previous MNC resolution mandated that an “Expert Panel” be assembled to review the history of the seven historic Ontario communities “through the lens of the National Definition and contemporary Métis governance.” To aid in this work, the MNO has been pulling together resources and submissions to “tell our stories” and attest to a Métis presence in these historic communities. These written submissions will continue to be reviewed by panel members prior to a round table discussion and presentation which will take place in the fall of 2024.


Affirmation of Appointment of R6 Interim Captain of the Hunt
President Froh

The President began with a reminder of the appointment process in place, whereby potential captains submit expressions of interest which are then reviewed with regional leadership to determine suitable candidates. Decisions are brought back to the PCMNO for approval, however it is ultimately the Chief Captain of the Hunt responsible for submitting the motion and affirming the appointment.

While a call for expressions of interest for a Captain of the Hunt in Region 6 had been issued earlier this year, unfortunately no expressions were submitted. During this time, the Deputy Chief as well as Regional Councilor Andy Dufrane volunteered to serve on a temporary basis until such time that a Captain of the Hunt is appointed.

It was also acknowledged that in the last two terms, an issue has arisen regarding Captain of the Hunt appointments in areas without an active harvest. The President reiterated that the role of a Captain requires a significant amount of local education work and relationship building. To this point, Harvesters interested in applying are therefore encouraged to contact the Captain of Hunt in their traditional harvesting territory to strengthen these relationships and open the lines of communication between Captains.

Following a discussion, the President brought forward a formal resolution to appoint Andy Dufrane as the Region 6 Captain of the Hunt on an interim basis:

Be it resolved that The Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario affirms the appointment of Andy Dufrane as Interim Regional Captain of the Hunt for Region 6.



RFP for Audit Services
Secretary-Treasurer Young

In November, the MNO announced it will be issuing its first ever “Request for Proposals” (RFP) for auditing services beginning in January 2024. For most organizations, issuing an RFP every 5 years is considered ‘best practice.’ In over 30 years, the MNO has never before issued an RFP.

The MNO has invited six accounting firms to develop proposals with a deadline set for the end of March. Since then, the MNO has been in communication with these firms, responding to questions and offering clarity.

MNO citizens with experience and expertise are also welcome to be involved in this selection process by being a part of the “selection committee,” which will include members of the MNO Finance and Audit Committee and PCMNO. PCMNO also engaged in a discussion on appropriate policy for appointments, and seeking advice on “best practices” from similarly structured governments.

With the deadline approaching, the Secretary Treasurer advised that the selection committee be in place by mid-March to bring forward a recommendation to the PCMNO.


Management Review of Community Councils
Secretary-Treasurer Young

Prior to COVID-19, the PCMNO initiated plans to engage auditing partners in a review of MNO Community Councils and determine best practices from the perspective of management and governance. While this proposed “management review” was delayed, MNO Financial Liaisons have been working closely with Councils on financial policies and record keeping, as well as identifying gaps in current capacity.

A previous resolution (PC231127-07) passed in November directed BakerTilly LLP carry out a management review of each Community Council and their processes. The review will consider elements such as governance structures, record keeping, council minutes and expenditures, and other processes that will inform recommendations and ensure councils are fully supported by the MNO Secretariat.

In her remarks, the Secretary Treasurer provided a brief update on the work being done with BakerTilly in reviewing five identified Community Councils. These previously identified Community Councils include:

      • Great Lakes Métis Council
      • Georgian Bay Métis Council
      • Grand River Métis Council
      • Kenora Métis Council
      • Toronto and York Region Métis Council.

PCMNO Meeting Recap:
March 10, 2024

On March 10, 2024 a virtual meeting of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) was held via Zoom with elected MNO leadership, staff and counsel attending. The President’s Update highlighted developments taking place at a national level, including several recent Métis National Council (MNC) forums and events. An overview of the PCMNO Governance Compensation Framework and accompanying policy was provided and voted on. Finally, the meeting concluded with a presentation on MNO Land Trusts led by staff; followed by a brief update from MNO Community Relations.


President’s Update
President Margaret Froh

The President began her update acknowledging the approaching spring equinox and March break, including an MNO March camp to celebrate the changing seasons!

At the national level, President Froh referenced the many recent Metis National Council (MNC) events and forums, and celebrated the engagement and participation of MNO staff and citizens in these important conversations. Highlights included recent forums on Health Policy and Economic Reconciliation; as well as the first MNC Global Summit in Ottawa. During these events, MNO’s collaborative efforts with sister governments helped elevate Métis policy and perspectives, garnering national and international recognition.

In the President’s Update, progress on the MNC “Expert Panel” was emphasized, with recognition given to the dedicated efforts of MNO staff and community members in contributing to the review of the seven historic Ontario communities and their history.

Last week, a three-day MNO Leadership Update Meeting was held in Toronto, bringing together MNO Regional Consultation Committee (RCC) members, staff, legal counsel and leadership for a diverse agenda. Topics addressed included:

      • Workshops with RCCs led by Lands, Resources and Consultation (LRC) staff and legal counsel
      • Understanding Metis rights and MNO governance structure
      • Presentations on the duty to consult and accommodate
      • Self-Government and Bill C-53
      • Restorative Justice

President Froh also referenced the meaningful discussions have been ongoing regarding the MNO Métis Rules of Order and Draft Code of Conduct, reflecting the MNO’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

Governance Compensation Framework
Stefano Biscotti and Mona Ahmadi (Mercer)

As MNO progresses towards self-government, a key governance priority is the establishment of realistic PCMNO “role profiles” alongside clear, transparent, and prudent compensation policies for elected leadership.

In 2018, with the guidance of independent consultants (Mercer), the MNO developed a compensation framework for staff, senior executives, and the PCMNO. The aim was to create fair and transparent frameworks in line with compensation practices of similar Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments. After a thorough review of existing systems and analysis of comparable positions, a Governance Compensation Framework was approved in 2020 and came into effect June 1, 2020.

This framework has since been updated based on PCMNO feedback and consultant input, informing the new PCMNO Compensation Framework which will come into effect May 2024. This policy applies to PCMNO positions including:

      • President,
      • Chair,
      • Vice-Chair,
      • Secretary-Treasurer,
      • Executive Senator,
      • PCMNO Senators,
      • Regional Councilors,
      • Youth Representative, and
      • Post-Secondary Representative.

Representatives from Mercer guided PCMNO through a presentation on framework considerations, including a detailed comparative market review; an overview of the compensation framework assessment and recommendations; and next steps.

Following a discussion, a resolution was passed that:

Be it resolved that the PCMNO approves the Updated PCMNO Compensation Framework and adopts it, subject to the MNO finance staff confirming sufficient funding is available to implement it following the MNO election in May 2024.



Draft Policy on Compensation
Ajay Winterburn (Aird & Berlis)

MNO legal counsel walked the PCMNO through the draft Policy that serves as the anchor for the framework. This Policy will formally come into effect following the certification of the 2024 PCMNO election results by the Chief Electoral Officer, and replaces all previous PCMNO compensation frameworks.

Building off of the 2020 Governance Compensation Framework, the new Policy:

      • sets out a simpler model that aligns with the current stage of MNO’s self-government journey;
      • addresses the different roles and responsibilities amongst members of the PCMNO and provides clarity with respect to part-time and full-time roles;
      • updates the comparable compensation data from 2020 to 2024; and
      • includes a framework for the establishment of Provincial Secretary positions (i.e., portfolios or “Ministries”) as contemplated in the MNO Bylaws.

PCMNO Compensation

It is important to note that the Policy provides for two “levels” of classification for PCMNO elected leadership:

(1) a “full-time” commitment (e.g., 30+ hours/week); and

(2) a “part-time” commitment (e.g., less than 30 hours/week)

Consistent with the expectation that the full-time PCMNO roles require 30+ hours per week of commitment, PCMNO members in full-time roles are only able to hold external paid or volunteer work commitments under certain conditions. External commitments must be disclosed and pre-approved based on prescribed standardized criteria. As this Policy does not establish those criteria, the MNO may adopt additional policies and procedures for the effective, fair, transparent, and accountable implementation of this Policy.

Provincial Secretary Compensation

Section 15 of the MNO Bylaws outlines the appointment, responsibilities, and reporting structure for Provincial Secretaries, who support MNO management in their respective portfolio areas. These roles will be established after the May 2024 PCMNO election.

In regions with land-related Métis rights, Regional Councilors may undertake additional responsibilities related to duty to consult and accommodate. Specific PCMNO members may also be assigned roles in MNO-wide negotiations or institution development, and on a portfolio-by-portfolio basis. PCMNO members fulfilling these roles are eligible for compensation in addition to their base full or part-time compensation. Compensation for these roles will align with standard government practices, reflecting the increased responsibilities they entail.

For the purposes of this Policy, Provincial Secretaries includes any “portfolio” or “Ministry” positions that may be established by the MNO pursuant to section 15 of the MNO Bylaws.

Following the presentation, a resolution was passed that

Be it resolved that the PCMNO hereby approves of the Governance Compensation Policy (final draft dated March 10, 2024) and directs that should funds to implement the Policy be required, the MNO can, where needed, draw on funding sources including but not limited to the Interim Fiscal Financing Agreement to cover any shortfalls; and

Be it further resolved that the PCMNO directs that, in the interests in advancing its purpose and providing for a fair, transparent, and accountable compensation framework, directs MNO staff and administration to post the Governance Compensation Policy publicly on the MNO’s website.



Land Trust and Land Grant Update
Jesse Fieldwebster, Lands Resources and Consultation Manager

In follow-up to a workshop held February 26, MNO Lands, Resources and Consultations (LRC) staff returned to update PCMNO on the development of an MNO Land Trust, review recommendations, and identify next steps.

The MNO first explored the idea of creating a Land Trust for conservation during a PCMNO meeting on May 11, 2022. Subsequently, on November 23, 2022, the PCMNO authorized initial steps for its formation, leading to the incorporation of the MNO’s Land Trust and allowing the MNO to investigate opportunities for land donations and grant funding.

The MNO has actively sought funding opportunities to support this initiative, reflecting the strong interest expressed by MNO leadership and citizens in direct land-based conservation through ownership. This aligns with the MNO’s Statement of Prime Purpose, which aims to protect and preserve the land and waters within our homelands for future generations.

The presentation led by LRC reviewed recommendations made at the previous workshop along with next steps, such as drafting Bylaws, applying for charitable status and establishing a formal board. Staff also updated on land acquisition, grants and funding opportunities.

The MNO presently holds two “Contribution Agreements” with Parks Canada for Ecological Corridors Land Acquisition and Indigenous Led Natural Climate Solutions, enabling the capacity to acquire private properties for conservation purposes. These agreements have specific criteria that must be fulfilled for the acquisition of lands. However, the length of time that a piece of private property remains on the market is unpredictable. Therefore, to ensure the MNO can respond quickly and efficiently, a resolution was passed that:

Be it resolved that the PCMNO hereby consents to waive the forty-eight (48) hour written notice period required under the MNO Secretariat Bylaws to convene a PCMNO meeting related to the purchase of land that meets the needs of the Contribution Agreements.



Community Relations Update
Loma Rowlinson, Manager of Community Relations

Chapleau Métis Community Council

On December 19, 2023, the Chapleau Métis Community Council (MNO-CMC) held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and passed a motion to amend their Community Code, increasing the term in office from two (2) to four (4) years.