Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Dr. Carolyn
Bennett accepting a gift from MNO President Gary Lipinski
at the 2015 MNO Annual General Assembly in Midland.
On November 4, 2015, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski offered his congratulations to Dr. Carolyn Bennett on her appointment as the federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

“The MNO was very pleased to hear of the appointment of Dr. Carolyn Bennett as Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. We have had a long association with Minister Bennett,” explained President Lipinski. “In her previous capacity as Aboriginal Affairs critic for the Liberal Party, she was a regular guest at MNO’s Annual General Assemblies and our Louis Riel Day ceremonies.”

“During the election campaign Prime Minister Trudeau made several important commitments to the Métis Nation,” added President Lipinski. “We are hopeful that with this new government, advancing and achieving reconciliation between Canada and the Métis Nation can finally become a reality,” explained President Lipinski.

In its Métis-specific policy platform, the Liberal Party committed to a renewed “nation-to-nation relationship” with the Métis Nation, and to establishing a federal claims process that sets out a framework to address Métis rights protected by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, that recognizes Métis self-government and resolves outstanding Métis claims against the Crown. It also committed to “undertak[ing] a collaborative review, in partnership with Métis communities, of existing federal programs and services available to the Métis Nation, to identify gaps and areas where strategic investments are needed in order to improve Métis quality of life” and creating a five-year Métis Economic Development Strategy with an immediate investment of $25 million over five years.

“The MNO looks forward to meeting with Minister Bennett and to working together with the new Liberal Government in implementing these Métis-specific commitments, as well as its other commitments to Indigenous people, for a stronger Métis Nation and Canada. In particular, its commitment to finally engage in a meaningful process to address Métis rights and claims is a significant breakthrough for our rights-bearing communities here in Ontario,” said President Lipinski.

Published on: November 5, 2015