Cabinet -inside
President Froh (centre) speaking during the meeting
between federal cabinet ministers and Métis Nation
leaders on January 30. Listening intently are
Treasury Board President Scott Brison (left) and
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn
Bennett (right). Click here for larger picture.

On January 30, 2017, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh attended a meeting between Federal Ministers of the Crown and Métis Nation leaders to have a general discussion regarding the relationship between the Métis Nation and Canada.

The first ever Crown-Métis Nation Summit meeting was planned to be held that day between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Métis Nation Council leaders, further to the commitments made by the Prime Minister on December 15, 2016 to establish a permanent bilateral mechanism to advance a nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation. However, the Summit was postponed in light of the act of terrorism that took place the evening before with the shooting in a Quebec City mosque.

“On behalf of all citizens of the Métis Nation of Ontario, our thoughts and prayers are with the families that have been impacted by the cowardly act of terrorism that took place in Quebec City. There is no room for hatred and intolerance in our country,” stated President Froh.

“I was honoured, on behalf of the Métis Nation of Ontario, to participate in today’s discussions with key members of Prime Minister Trudeau’s Cabinet,” stated President Froh. “These discussions mark an important step in the relationship we are building between the Crown and the Métis Nation based on recognition, rights and respect and the opportunity to begin to move forward in the spirit of cooperation and partnership to realize our shared vision of a renewed relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation.”

President Froh was accompanied by MNO Chair France Picotte; Secretary-Treasurer Tim Pile; Region 1 PCMNO Councilor Theresa Stenlund; and MNO senior staff. Canada was represented by:

  • Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
  • Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board
  • Honourable Jane Philpot, Minister of Health
  • Honourable Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

The Ministers were selected by the Prime Minister to attend based on the roles of their respective Ministries in advancing some key priority areas of reconciliation including health, education and training, housing and new fiscal relations with the federal government.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development were unable to attend the meeting due to the tragedy in Quebec.

“The Métis Nation of Ontario continues to strengthen our role in improving the lives of Métis people in Ontario through supporting Métis community health and well-being; creating opportunity for our Métis children and youth to be the best they can be; protecting and promoting the Métis Way of Life and the environment; advancing the self-sufficiency and sustainability of our nation; and stimulating economic development for our citizens. At the heart of everything that we do are our MNO citizens, families and communities,” said President Froh.

Reflecting on the significance of the day, President Froh added, “On this day, 36 years ago on Parliament Hill, Métis Nation leaders negotiated the recognition and inclusion of the Métis as one of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples in section 35 of the soon to be patriated Canadian Constitution with the Government of then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. We will build on that legacy with this new generation of leaders and work together for a better and brighter future for our Métis Nation citizens in Ontario and for all Canadians.”

Posted: February 15, 2017