After a short hiatus brought on by the 2020 Election, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Telephone Town Halls resumed on July 8, 2020. These call-in sessions are meant to provide regular updates to MNO leadership and community on priority issues, including recent PCMNO meetings and relevant developments in the MNO’s response to Covid-19.
Recently re-elected MNO President Margaret Froh welcomed Town Hall attendees by providing opening remarks, acknowledging the new PCMNO administration, and offering grateful appreciations to those who stepped up to participate in this year’s election and for the invaluable contributions of all outgoing PCMNO councilors.
PCMNO Meeting Recap
The call began with an overview of the inaugural meeting of the newly elected and reelected Provisional Council of the MNO (PCMNO) that took place on June 27-28, 2020, a significant date, as it represents the one-year anniversary of the historic signing of the Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement on June 27, 2019.
MNO Registry Review:
Representatives from Know History updated on the results of the Registry Self Government Readiness Process. Information was also shared about the Registry’s “SASH” database that is capable of making immediate linkages between Métis family members, the turnaround times that citizens and harvesters should expect, and new communication videos and materials that are being developed to help navigate the Citizenship and Harvester Certificate application processes.
Ongoing challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic make staying connected with the community a priority. The PCMNO is exploring ways to engage technologies for hosting virtual assemblies and meetings, hold Council elections and fill council vacancies. Zoom accounts are available for Community Council use.
A report from the new Secretary-Treasurer provided an outline of what the PCMNO should expect for financial reports going forward. A discussion was held in-camera about the work being done to establish a fair, accountable and transparent governance compensation process. Further information will be brought back to the next meeting of PCMNO.
MNO Covid-19 Response
Since the introduction of the MNO’s Covid-19-19 Emergency Support Programs early April, nearly 1500 applications have been successfully processed and 900 children under 12 have benefited from the emergency supports. Data gathered by MNO’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Team shows that Citizens between 31-40 made up the majority of applicants, with 60% being women. Among those receiving support, 70% expressed emergent needs; primary concerns being loss of income, communication barriers, and food security. Data collection has been essential in addressing Citizen needs and expanding available support programs.
All individuals with questions or concerns related to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the MNO’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team by phone 1-800-263-4889 or email: COVIDhelp@Métisnation.org.
New MNO Services – 24hr Crisis Line
The MNO is now offering a 24-hour Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line. For Métis culturally-specific mental health and addiction supports for adults, youth, and families in Ontario in both English and French please call: 1-888-767-7572. Once connected services can be delivered in person, over the phone, or by video conference.
For non-urgent matters or for help navigating mental health and addictions supports in your community contact our confidential support services line at 613-549-1674 xt.307 or tollfree at 1-800-263-4889. You can also access support services by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MNO Requests for Feedback:
As the MNO begins the transition from remote home back to the office, it is seeking feedback from staff and Community Councils to inform development on return to work plans.
The MNO Lands, Resources and Consultations branch is seeking feedback from Citizens on their use of Crown lands and forests. A survey has been circulated that will be used to better understand Métis forest use, protect Métis values and improve Métis participation in the forest management planning process.
Citizens are also invited to provide feedback on the recent MNO 2020 Election and electoral process.
Upcoming Métis Youth Opportunities
Students in grades 10-12 are invited to take part in a virtual Été, a summer youth cultural camp. This year’s summer camp will run from August 17-20, 2020. More information will be made available online in the coming days.
The fourth annual Métis Youth Leadership Conference is open to youth 16-29 will also be taking place this August in a virtual setting. The Conference will be held virtually through Zoom on August 22nd and 23rd from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and registration ends July 17.
To register for the event see: https://bit.ly/2ZbCkOQ
At a recent meeting of the Captains of the Hunt –in late June there was discussion , among other things, a draft policy around incidental cabins which we will be coming forward to PCMNO as soon as its ready. Harvesters have been eager to to have this matter clarified and advanced and this is a priority.
Expanding our Verified Métis Family Lines
And finally, information was shared about 5 new Verified Métis Family Lines that will be uploaded to the MNO website:
- FL5030 Leclerc
- FL7031 Desjardins-Lavallee
- FL7032 Giroux- St Onge
- FL7033 Beausoleil-Giroux
- FL7034 Jones-Blette dit Sorrelle
The MNO continues to work on posting these Verified Métis Family Line Reports to the website. The reports include historical research and documentation that shows how family members were linked to each other, and to their Historic Métis Communities. There is a rigorous process in place for advancing and approving these lines prior to posting. The MNO Registry has already begun to process harvest applications submitted for citizens tracing to these new family lines.
Posted July 14, 2020