Hybrid PCMNO Meeting Held in Ottawa
September 18, 2023
On September 18, 2023 a hybrid meeting of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) was held in downtown Ottawa with elected MNO leadership, staff and citizens attending the session both virtually and in-person. PCMNO were provided updates from staff on key files including the distribution of funds relating to the Community Council Governance Reserve; developments on the proposed “Land Trust” initiative; an update on the Economic Sustainability Framework community engagement; and an in-camera discussion with legal counsel.
The President began her update by remarking on the significance of the week, in which Parliamentarians return to work and conversations regarding Bill C- 53, the federal recognition legislation that will inform the MNO’s self-government agreement, can resume. Introduced on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, Bill C – 53 is an umbrella legislation that supports Métis self-government in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Bill will be referred to the INAN committee for review in the near future. In the meantime, the MNO will continue to:
- Seek dialogue with key partners and educational institutions
- Outreach to Indigenous governments; First Nations, Chiefs and Councils to rebuild and rekindle respectful relationships
- Call on Parliamentarians and members of Senate for their support
- Call on MNO citizens and leadership to voice support of legislation
President Froh acknowledged the success of the letter campaign, which generated more than 6000 letters from Métis and allies. Now that the legislation has been tabled, we strongly encourage communities to renew their advocacy efforts and have their voices heard regarding Bill C –53.
September 19 is recognized as Powley Day, marking the historic anniversary of landmark, Métis rights-affirming Supreme Court Case R. v Powley. This year is especially significant as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Powley Decision.
- In honour of this milestone, the MNO held screenings of a new Powley documentary, The Métis Hunt for Justice: The Powley Story, by MNO citizen and filmmaker Matt LeMay.
- A premiere was held in Sault Ste Marie community and Parliamentarians were invited to attend a screening in Ottawa on September 18. A virtual screening of the documentary took place on September 19 and can be accessed online.
- Following direction from citizens at the MNO AGA, the MNO will continue to seek creative ways to tell Métis stories and promote greater awareness of Métis history and rights.
- One strategy includes new social media accounts “Ontario Métis Facts” to combat misinformation, build knowledge and share stories. We encourage citizens and “like” and “follow” this account!
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
President Froh also acknowledged the upcoming National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30; and recognized the good work being done within our communities to tell and share our stories, lift one another’s spirits and celebrate Métis pride.
President Froh also voiced support and solidarity with the families of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit (MMIWG2S+). The MNO is calling on governments and all Canadians to support this cause and search the Manitoba landfills.
Review/Approval of PCMNO Meetings
That the revised Agenda for the September 18, 2023, Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario Hybrid Meeting be approved as presented.
That the Minutes of the November 24-25, 2022, Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario Videoconference Meeting, be adopted as presented.
That the Minutes of the March 8, 2023, Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario Hybrid Meeting, be adopted as presented.
That the Minutes of the August 8-9, 2023, Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario Videoconference Meeting, be adopted as presented
That the Minutes of the August 15, 2023, Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario Videoconference Meeting, be adopted as presented
Distribution from Community Council Governance Reserve
Secretary-Treasurer Young and Ursula D’Angelo, CFO
Secretary-Treasurer Young provided context to citizen observers and PCMNO on a process regarding a financial surplus, in which the PCMNO and Secretariat have the ability to allocate funds from that surplus to internal reserves. The presentation referenced the several reserves that were established, including reserves intended to support the MNO’s Community and Advisory Councils.
- Last year (year ended March 31, 2022) a surplus allowed for several reserves to be established, including a governance reserve for funds to be distributed to Community Councils for use throughout the year
- The Secretary-Treasurer acknowledged a need for increased financial resources for MNO Community Councils, and the current Advisory Councils, to support the ongoing growth and increased demands which are put onto Community Councils and Advisory Councils as a result of the growth and expansion of the MNO over the past number of years;
- To meet the unique needs of each community, the PCMNO intends to expand the supports provided to Community Councils; including but not limited to, administration and governance costs, honouraria, cultural development, research, scholarships, and other costs as identified by the Community Councils
A resolution was passed that:
PCMNO approve disbursement of $13,000 from MNO Community Council Governance internally restricted reserve for each Community Council with an active Charter, and current Advisory Councils (the MNO Youth Council, MNO Women’s Council, MNO Veterans Council and MNO Interim Two-Spirit Council+); and
that the PCMNO directs the MNO Secretariat Finance Branch to develop a process for Community Councils and Advisory Councils to report on the use of funds each year for the purpose of maintaining good financial records for the MNO Secretariat.
Land Trust – Appointment of Interim Board
Linda Norheim, Director and Jesse Fieldwebster, Manager, Lands, Resources and Consultations
President Froh introduced the next agenda item by praising citizens and community engagement on advancing climate change policies and activism; referencing climate change forums, regional engagement and grass-roots initiatives. One strategy considered by the PCMNO involves “land trusts” as a tool for conservation.
As both MNO leadership and citizens have communicated a strong interest in supporting direct land based conservation, LRC staff attended the PCMNO meeting to deliver a presentation on land trusts and land trust developments.
Economic Sustainability Framework Community Engagement
Ursula D’Angelo, CFO and Graham Mailhot, Economic Development Officer
- On September 27, 2021 PCMNO adopted a resolution ((PC210927-03) related to developing Economic Sustainability Frameworks for participating regions and a provincial framework. The funding was from proceeds distributed in 2021 from investments in the Prosperity Trust.
- PCMNO were informed about upcoming community engagement activities related to developing the Economic Sustainability Frameworks, including surveys for citizens and Métis- owned businesses.
- Secondly, after delivery of Prosperity and Self-Sufficiency Law Workshop, consulting firm Suslop will meet with participating regions to develop regional frameworks and collect feedback about Prosperity and Self-Sufficiency Law and challenges with federal procurement opportunities.
During the afternoon session, the PCMNO adjourned for an in-camera update from legal counsel.