President acknowledges new research and the importance of ongoing partnerships

garyamandaMNO President Gary Lipinski with MNO citizen and
recording artist Amanda Rheaume at the 2015
MNO Health Summit reception.
Despite the chilly Toronto weather it was a lively group of MNO citizens, senators, and research partners that gathered at the InterContinental Hotel to kick off the 2015 MNO Health Summit. Following a rousing performance by award-winning Métis singer-songwriter Amanda Rheaume, MNO President Gary Lipinski took to the podium to welcome everyone and kick off the next two days’ presentations.

Describing Rheaume as a tough act to follow, President Lipinski also acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the MNO Healing and Wellness staff. “On behalf of MNO Citizens, your work is extremely important,” he said. “It’s extremely valuable and the work that takes place in the field [directly affects] those citizens and your clients, and it’s having a very positive effect.”

President Lipinski also emphasized the importance of the research that will be presented on Monday, explaining that it will give scientific backing to issues already well-known anecdotally to many in the Métis community. “We will learn about specific health needs facing Métis communities in Ontario and we will have an opportunity to showcase effective MNO community practices in the area of health,” he said. “Perhaps most importantly, we will refresh our partnerships and find new ways to build upon [their] successes with our Provincial and Federal Government partners in a range of initiatives.” Specifically, President Lipinski acknowledged the priority the MNO has placed on improving the health outcomes of Métis children and youth, calling this commitment “the core of everything the MNO is doing, beating at [its] heart.”

Over the next two days the MNO will participate in a number of events related to health and wellness within the Métis community, including an expert panel on Métis Health and Determinants and the signing of a renewed partnership agreement with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).