Monday, 15 November 2010


Comprehensive Metis Policy Will Strengthen Partnership Through Greater

Recognition, Capacity, Accountability: Robinson, Chartrand

One hundred and twenty-five years after the Northwest Resistance and the

death of Louis Riel, Premier Greg Selinger today unveiled a permanent

display of historical documents and photographs that pay tribute to the

central role of the Métis in the political and social history of Manitoba.

Selinger said the ceremony marked an important step toward appropriate

recognition of the contributions of the Métis in the creation of Manitoba.

This recognition is a key principle of a new provincial Métis policy,

announced today by Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson,

intended to address persistent disparities between Métis and non-Métis


"Manitoba, as we know it, would not exist without the fundamental

contributions of the Métis," said Selinger. "Working with Métis people to

close gaps in the historical record will help us move forward in our

commitment to close gaps of opportunity that persist to this day."

Developed jointly by the Government of Manitoba and the Manitoba Metis

Federation in consultation with the Métis people, the Manitoba Métis Policy

Framework consists of four strategic goals:

· enhancing Métis participation in the provincial decision-making


· promoting better understanding of Métis history and culture for all


· applying a distinctions-based approach that respects the unique roles

of Métis people past and present, and

· improving relationships between the province and all organizations

representing Métis interests.

"Given that 2010 is recognized across the homeland as Year of the Métis, it

is very timely that we make this announcement. I am very pleased by the

province's forward-thinking approach in establishing a Métis policy and I

commend Premier Selinger for his leadership throughout this process," said

David Chartrand, president, Manitoba Metis Federation. "This historic

government-to-government relationship will ensure that the Métis of Manitoba

will be a full partner in future socio-economic opportunities and provide

much needed direction for future decision-making. It's a positive first

step that will benefit not only the Métis but all Manitobans as well."

The historical documents and photographs unveiled today include the original

sessional journal of the legislative assembly of Assiniboia and a portrait

of its members. This missing link between the Comité National des Métis and

Convention of Forty, commonly known as Louis Riel's provisional government,

and the legislative assembly of Manitoba, was discovered and interpreted by

a team of researchers in the summer of 2010, the Year of the Métis.

The records show the legislative assembly of Assiniboia was formed during

the Red River Resistance and ratified the Manitoba Act in June of 1870,

allowing Manitoba's entry into Confederation. In making the transition from

martial law to representative democracy in a period of months, and

ultimately negotiating terms acceptable to the Red River settlers it

represented, the assembly is a unique political body in Canadian history.

The display will be permanently located near the member's gallery at the

Manitoba Legislative Building that includes portraits of every member of the

legislative assembly of Manitoba since 1871.

"Today is an important step on the path of truth and reconciliation," said

Robinson. "In the spirit of the commission that bears the name, today's

events remind us all of our responsibility to teach our children the real

history of this land. This recognition is essential as we begin writing a

new chapter under the policy announced today."

Robinson noted the new Métis policy builds on recent progress including a

new $10-million Métis Economic Development Fund designed to stimulate the

economic development activities of the Métis people of Manitoba by providing

better access to equity and capital for Métis-controlled businesses.

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