VIA Manitoba Metis Federation: https://www.manitobametis.com/news/mmf-withdraws-from-mnc-focus-on-being-the-national-voice-for-the-red-river-metis/
Winnipeg, MB, in the Métis Nation Homeland – The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) announced that this morning, effective immediately, it is officially withdrawing from the Métis National Council (MNC).
“This decision to leave was not an easy one,” said MMF President, David Chartrand. “However, we asked our 2019 Annual General Assembly to give us the direction to pull out of MNC should MNO continue to be allowed a seat at the governance table while they – by their own admission – have nearly 80% non-Métis Nation Citizens in their registry. Our Assembly of 3,000 delegates unanimously supported the resolution.”
Even with this clear mandate from Citizens, the MMF spent significant time and energy trying to work with the other Governing Members, to help them realize what they put at risk by creating a pan-Indigenous organization that includes non-Métis Nation Citizens.
“We know that Métis Nation Citizens throughout the Homeland do not agree with the positions being taken by their Presidents,” said President Chartrand. “We hear stories about Red River Métis experiencing exclusion in other provinces, and we feel compelled to protect and support those who derive their section 35 rights from the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis – which is the origin, heart, and core of the Métis Nation.”
In 2021, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) – with the support of Métis Nation Alberta (MNA), Métis Nation – Saskatchewan (MN-S), and Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) – took the extraordinary step of bringing MNC to a corporate court in eastern Canada, to rule on Métis governance issues. In their arguments, MNO stated that MNC is merely a corporation, with no ability to operate as a true Métis government.
“Presidents Glen McCallum, Audrey Poitras, and Margaret Froh – as well as Vice-President Lissa Smith – have argued in the courts that the General Assembly, which is the most traditional form of Métis governance, has no authority or jurisdiction over their own affairs,” said President Chartrand. “Since the days of the Buffalo Hunt, our people in assembly have elected delegates to speak on behalf of the community and guide their leaders. However, the other Presidents clearly believe that the General Assembly is nothing more than a corporate governance structure.”
“For those who are ancestrally connected to our prairie flower beadwork, our National Flag, the Red River Jig, the Red River Cart, the poems, songs and music of our artists, and our language, Michif, remember nobody can strip this from you, unless you allow it to happen,” said President Chartrand. “People outside of our Nation might try to steal our heritage, but this is indeed Métis Nation identity theft.”
The MMF has always stood firm as the protector of the Métis Nation Homeland and the Red River Métis – the historical and modern-day Métis Nation. As indicated in our self-government agreement, signed with Canada on July 6, 2021, the MMF represents the interests and claims of all Red River Métis, regardless of where they live.
“The MNC is at risk of washing away the voice of the Riel’s people – the true Métis Nation, and that is something we cannot allow,” said President Chartrand. “By withdrawing from MNC, we believe we will be better able to negotiate, represent, and protect the interests and rights of the true Métis Nation – the Red River Métis. It is no less than Louis Riel would have expected from us.”
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratic government for the Manitoba Métis, also known as the Red River Métis, the origin and core of the Métis Nation. The Manitoba Métis are Canada’s Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.
For more information, media may contact: Kat Patenaude Media Relations Advisor Manitoba Métis Federation 204-801-7710 Kat.Patenaude@mmf.mb.ca