On December 15, 2016, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh was part of a delegation of Indigenous leaders who met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and other key members of cabinet on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. President Froh along with Métis National Council (MNC) Vice-President David Chartrand, Métis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras and Métis Nation British Columbia President Clara Morin Dal Col attended as members of the MNC Board of Governors.
At the meeting, Prime Minister Trudeau made three announcements concerning actions to be taken by the federal government in partnership with Indigenous governments to further advance the 94 Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) final report.
The first announcement concerned the creation of permanent bilateral mechanisms with the MNC and its governing members, which includes the MNO, and similar mechanisms with First Nations and Inuit governments. These mechanisms will provide a Kelowna Accord-like process so that there will be ongoing annual meetings between the Prime Minister and Métis governments to develop policy on shared priorities and monitor progress on reconciliation. Similar meetings will also take place with key federal cabinet ministers at least twice per year. “The MNO is very excited about having this kind of regular access to the Prime Minister and Cabinet,” stated President Froh, “for too long the Métis have had no tables to turn to with the federal government. The Prime Minister’s commitment to establish this new bilateral process should dramatically increase the pace of reconciliation efforts with the Métis Nation.”
The Prime Minister also announced the establishment of an Interim Board of Directors to make recommendations for the creation of a National Council of Reconciliation. “Moving forward with a National Council on Reconciliation is critical to monitor progress on implementing the TRC Calls to Action,” explained President Froh, “this interim board will have Métis representation and will be critical to moving forward the TRC calls to action and the work that is still to be done to address the legacy of residential schools and day schools for Métis people in Canada.”
The Prime Minister also committed $10 million to support the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg. “The creation of this centre was one of the Calls to Action in the Final Report and will ensure the history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system is not forgotten,” said President Froh.
“Prime Minister Trudeau reported that work is underway on 41 of the TRC Calls to Action with the provinces; including the launch of the National Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women — something the MNO has called for. We look forward to working with the federal government and Ontario to ensure the Métis voice are heard in all reconciliation efforts,” concluded President Froh.
Published on: December 15, 2016