Submitted by: Jean Camirand, MNO Thunder Bay Métis Council President

Thunder Bay Metis Council_AGM_Sept 2016
The MNO Thunder Bay Métis Council with guests:
(L-R) Karen Drake (Councilor At Large and Commissioner
on the MNO Commission on Métis Rights and
Self-Government), Frank Pullia (Thunder Bay City
Councilor), Ken Simard (Senator), Jean Camirand
(President), Margaret Froh (MNO President), Gwendalyn
Lloyd-Gomez (Youth Representative), Angela Brotchie
(Secretary), Cam Burgess (PCMNO Region 2 Councilor),
Lori LaForme (Women’s Representative), Robert Graham
(Chair), Paul Pugh (Thunder Bay City Councilor), and Paul
Robitaille (MNO Region 2 Youth Representative
Commissioner on the MNO Commission on Métis Rights
and Self-Government). Click here to view a larger version
of the picture.

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Thunder Bay Métis Council (TBMC) held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday, September 25, 2016. The MNO TBMC was thrilled that the President of the “Great Métis Nation of Ontario” Margaret Froh was able to attend the meeting. The AGM was very well attended and included several dignitaries such as, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women and MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North, and Rebeccah Johnson, Councilor At Large, who brought greetings on behalf of the Mayor of Thunder Bay.

The meeting was emceed by the new MNO TBMC Chair Robert Graham. After Chair Graham has officially opened the meeting, MNO TBMC Senator Ken Simard led citizens in an opening prayer.

MNO TBMC President Jean Camirand then introduced the new Council—Chair Graham, Councilor At Large Karen Drake, Women’s Representative Lori LaForme, Secretary Angela Brotchie, Senator Simard and Youth Representative Gwendalyn Gomez. President Camirand reminded guests that there are three vacant positions on the Council and encouraged any interested MNO citizens to consider joining the Council.

PCMNO Region 2 Councilor Cameron Burgess presented a brief update about the consultation and accommodation issues. Paul Robitaille, MNO Region 2 Youth Representative, also provided an update on what youth in Region 2 have been up to.

President Camirand, with the assistance of President Froh, presented Minister Hajdu with an Honouring Métis Women shawl for her role in the commissioning of the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls and for her ongoing leadership role in championing women’s issues. President Froh spoke to the meaning of the shawl and its various colours. Accompanying the shawl, was a small Métis sash and a Honouring Métis Women pin.

President Froh then brought local citizens up to date on a number of important issues to the MNO including: the Daniels case, Truth and Reconciliation, harvesting concerns and the recently formed MNO Commission on Métis Rights and Self-Government (the Commission).

“With two of our very own chosen to be Commissioners on the Commission—Drake and Robitaille—Thunder Bay and Region 2 are sure to be well represented,” said President Camirand.

During the meeting, a special book of prayers made by Representative LaForme in honour of former Senator Bob “Brad Pitt” McKay was passed around for guests to sign with their well wishes. Unfortunately, past Senator McKay’s health is in decline and he can no longer sit on the MNO TBMC. His humour, guidance, wisdom and mentoring to all Council members, especially the youth, is sorely missed.

Wendy Landry, former MNO TBMC President and recipient of an Honouring Métis Women shawl, also presented MNO citizens with information regarding the Energy Savings program just announced by Union Gas.

The last item on the agenda was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the MNO TBMC and Taranis Contracting Group Ltd. (Taranis). The signatories for the MOU were: Ryan Jones, Taranis President and General Manager; Jerry Hamel, Taranis Business Development and Aboriginal Relations; President Camirand; and, Councilor Burgess.

The AGM was followed by a fantastic traditional Métis feast and was accompanied by some amazing music provided by three very talented local youth. Throughout the celebration, Secretary Brotchie was tasked with ensuring the enthusiasm and energy of the day was well documented on camera. “’Selfies’ were very much a part of the activities going on,” she said.

Although the weather did not cooperate, the Council was pleased with a turnout of over 50 MNO citizens who braved the rain and winds to attend! It is not a stretch to say that the 2016 MNO TBMC AGM was a huge success!

Published on: November 21, 2016