I have waited for more then a day to hear something from the leaders of MNC in relation to the new budget that was announced in Ottawa on February 26, 2008. Nothing – and with a glimpse of the budget – we know there is no priority for Métis. This money is what is announced for the next two years. I do hope that in the future – when we repair our Nation – we too will be able to work with the Federal government in ensuring that Métis has some level of visability and focus when they are speaking about the Aboriginal people of Canada.
In fact, I am one of the people that does not believe in our Métis organizations playing in the partisan politics. I do support encouraging Métis people to vote – don’t care for who – just make an informed choice and vote! I know that some of our leaders as individuals may have strong personal political affiliations – but look what your views have cost us as a Nation. I do believe that if we have those strong political tendencies – campaign for your party, fund raise for your party, encourage on a personal level for people to support your party – but do not bring the Nation into partisan politics. Some of your fellow Métis may be Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, Marxist, Communist or otherwise. Our forefathers and Veterans fought for the freedom of choice – we should value that and just encourage people to vote. I believe that statement in our Constitution or Bylaws that says: No Political Affiliations means something…
Back to the point though – this is what was in the budget on Tuesday as announced by the Harper government:
"Strengthening Partnerships With Aboriginal Canadians
The Government has made significant progress in supporting Aboriginal Canadians over the past two years with a new practical approach that is paying off. Advantage Canada recognized the most effective way to close the gap in socio-economic conditions faced by Aboriginal Canadians is to increase their workforce participation. Budget 2008 takes action toward this goal by:
Dedicating $70 million over two years for measures within a new Aboriginal economic development framework.
Dedicating $70 million over two years to improve First Nations education outcomes through enhanced accountability and by encouraging integration with provincial systems.
Committing $147 million over two years to stabilize current First Nations and Inuit health programs and promote closer integration with provincial systems in order to achieve better health outcomes.
Committing $43 million over two years for prevention-based models of child and family services on reserve.
Investing over $330 million over two years to improve access to safe drinking water in First Nations. "
If you check out the Assembly of First Nations, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Native Women’s Association, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami – they all made some acknowledgement of the issues related to the budget and their representation. Some links for some press stories related to this issue:
I did check out all the Métis Governing Members websites and there was no mention of the budget. Maybe in the future our leaders will be a part of the significant issues that are relevant to all Aboriginal people.
Friday, February 29, 2008
I have waited for more then a day to hear something from the leaders of MNC in relation to the new budget that was announced in Ottawa on February 26, 2008. Nothing – and with a glimpse of the budget – we know there is no priority for Métis. This money is what is announced for the next two years. I do hope that in the future – when we repair our Nation – we too will be able to work with the Federal government in ensuring that Métis has some level of visability and focus when they are speaking about the Aboriginal people of Canada.
Posted by MetisMama at 1:33 PM
I remember a day – we would go to the neighbors – often our extended family – the tea or coffee would be on and we would spend the day watching the old ones tell stories – some in English – some in Michif - some a combination of both languages. The memories bring back smiles because it was the deep belly laughs of these people that would resonate through the air and make everyone laugh. As children – we did not always understand the humor but we would sit and giggle because of the infectious laugh they would share.
We were often delighted to be asked to assist the old grandmothers and grandfathers. We would work hard to please them and seek their approval. They were kind to us and would sit and smile as we would struggle to try and achieve. They seemed to encourage us with patience and understanding. We would feel very special when they would call upon us.
I know there was never a lot of money or a lot of material wealth. The things of value were generally those things that were passed down from one family member to another or the things that were made like the embroidered table cloths. I remember my grandparents as humble people but I also remember them as the first sign of advocates for the rights of people - their people. If there was a crisis in the community we would pull together and every member would help. We never walked away from family and let them struggle without support. Funny as it may seem – even when we would be rebellious, obstinate and bull headed young people – they would never give up on us. They sheltered us - protected us – fought for us.
My family were not soft spoken quiet people - they spoke the truth and fought for what they believed. They worked hard and contributed to the well being of the entire family which often extended many generations and distant cousins were like brothers and sisters to us all. They often stood shoulder to shoulder ensuring the best for all - never for the individual.
You may be wondering why this visit down memory lane – but there is a purpose. It is through this initial foundation of values and principles that made many of us who we are today. It is with sadness that I see some of our leaders not using those inherent values to build on our communities. For their own political gain – they divide our nation. They try to build a war based on lies and the feeding of misinformation in our communities.
I reviewed the words of the re-elected Clem Chartier in the press release – all words – no commitment to rebuilding our nation. He declared that in spite of what had happened he would work with the Board of Governors and bring the nation back together. Actions always speak louder then words – instead of trying to engage the BOG in a plan of working to “Build the Nation” he meets with just the President of the Manitoba Métis Federation and names him the Vice President of MNC, Minister of Social Development, Minister of Health, Minister of Finance/Treasurer and virtually the real and only leader of the Métis National Council. Clem does not make any effort to engage a Board of Governor meeting or to work with the other three Presidents. He names his good friend John Weinstein as the Interim Executive Director. Actions do speak lots louder then words. Clem is going to continue on his destruction of the Métis National Council.
To look at the bright side – it is just as well that David Chartrand and Clem will be the executive of the Métis National Council and make up all of its’ parts. The remaining governing bodies will be able to demonstrate that they had no ability to monitor or control the activities of the Métis National Council and who has complete legal liability for the corporation is Clem and David.
As for our community – we need to take the lessons of our grandparents and work together to advocate for a real Nation – one that is made up of the people – not the leaders.
Posted by MetisMama at 9:07 AM
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Many years ago after the death of Louis Riel – there appeared to be a movement that continued with the grassroots people. The great depression was in Alberta – the Métis had been oppressed and the only thing that was left was sharing stories amongst the families and friends in quiet corners of wood burning heated homes and passing the passion of the Métis people across the homeland.
Four men in the early 1900’s started to see the need to move the Métis agenda forward. With nothing more then their belief, passion and will – they went door to door to share the issues that were common to the Métis cause. Community meetings began and people were motivated to see more for the Métis. James Brady, Malcolm Norris, Peter Tomkins and Joe Dion created a petition that was signed by more then 500 Métis people from across Alberta. They presented the Métis land petition to the Alberta government.
Malcolm Norris was called “Dynamite” because of his tireless pursuit for justice for the Métis and his ability to agitate and speak to his cause with passion and vigor. The Métis grassroots were motivated to move the Métis agenda forward. With the ability of these men to strategize and motivate a large meeting was hosted in July 1932 that was the development of the first Métis council in Alberta.
76 years later we want to see the grassroots people take back their organization. These past leaders have demonstrated for us that even though we are saddened by the lack of ethics by a few – the passion for what is right and just still exists.
It is important to realize that we could become apathetic or complacent but our forefathers taught us the fight for social justice is the right thing to do. We need to take up the cause and remove the secretariat (MNC) that is blocking our way. Robert Doucette reported to the Star Phoenix on Monday that, "At the end of the day, we're not working for politicians. We're working for people," Doucette said.
Doucette said he'll be pushing for changes to the way the MNC president is elected. A system of delegates casting votes is outdated, he said, and technology is available to give all Metis people the chance to vote for their national president. He also wants the MNC to adopt a rule that no president can serve more than two consecutive terms.
"We have a lot of gifted people out there who can do a lot of great things for Metis people," he said.
Let us stand behind the leaders who will move us from the mess that exists and create a Nation that stands on the shoulders of its’ people not forgets its’ purpose and role. The words in the media were about working together regardless of the issues that resulted in the present situation – but the action of Clem Chartier to this point was to give David back complete control of MNC (Less the money because there is none.) and not even talk to the other Board of Governors or calling a meeting to bring the organization back together. Much has happened – Nothing has changed and words are not worth anything after this weekends events.
Clem would like to talk about the great support that he recieved but lets' be honest - even with all the games, buy outs and deals - YOU WON BY ONE VOTE! Not like an overwhelming show of confidence considering you had 100% of the vote the first time you ran.
Posted by MetisMama at 11:39 AM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Yesterday when the Métis websites and blogs seemed to be very busy I came across this entry that alleged that BC and Alberta Presidents were related and things are full of nepotism. I thought those were interesting comments and have heard insinuations in the past – so I went to explore these words.
Firstly – let’s review Audrey Poitras’s and Bruce Dumont’s relationship. Audrey’s maiden name is Dumont and that would lead you to assume they must be related somehow but how that gets Bruce or Audrey elected under the definition of nepotism is beyond me. Maybe it is something in the DNA so I thought exploring family lines would be interesting. In Métis land we always appear to identify ourselves via our traditional communities and who our families were.
Bruce and Audrey are indirectly related via this. Gabriel Dumont, past Métis leader and head of the Buffalo hunt had an uncle that he shared stories about – he was his name sake – Uncle Gabriel Dumont. Uncle Gabriel had a brother named Isadore Dumont who was also an Uncle to our infamous past leader Gabriel Dumont. Both of these individuals would be from the late 1700’s or early 1800’s.
One of Audrey’s direct forefathers is the Uncle Gabriel that Gabriel Dumont spoke of and Bruce’s direct forefather was his brother Isadore.
So depending on how many generations between these individuals and their forefathers they may be like 30th cousin to each other.
In Métis land – we all have these extensive family lines that interconnect over past generations and now 7 – 10 generations later we will call that nepotism. Do not be ridiculous people – there is no where in this country that someone would come close to seeing this as nepotism.
As I posted on the previous site though – we do not have to look that far to know and see true nepotism. Has anyone noticed how many Chartrand’s are in Manitoba – David Chartrand, Carl Chartrand, Elbert Chartrand. Much like with Bruce and Audrey – they were elected on a ballot in an election – it must have been okay with the Manitoba electorate – you can not call that nepotism. But then we have sister Fran and in law Cindy Miller who is the sister-in-law to one of David’s brothers. And just to make things a bit more interesting Cindy and this group of in-laws are cousins to Rick Boucher from Metco Ventures Inc.
Yes in Métis land when you say all my relations – none of us has to look far a field and we all seem to share relatives – some much closer then others. So to all of you I say have a great day – ALL MY RELATIONS!
Posted by MetisMama at 6:21 AM
Monday, February 25, 2008
This weekend there was an editorial about the Metis blogs on another Metis site located at:
This is a website called Nova Metis News and comes from BC. It is associated with the Metis Matters Radio Show. Not to confuse with the copy cat name of Metis Matters Political rag that Trevor Gladue produces.
Now we find this article coming from Ontario:
The following is the campaign enlightment from Mr. Chartier prior to his election:
Fact: NO VOTE = NO VOICE
As a former President of PACT National Performers Union and former Vice President of Canadian Media Guild I know what I am talking about when it comes to the importance of a voice AND vote for membership. Metis woman and youth councils should sit up and take notice of the following:
It is a very sad day for the Metis Nation with the re-election of Clem as our national President. When the canadates came in the PCMNO meeting the first one was Clem, when asked the question regarding the number of delegates that Ontario and BC has and if there are plans to change this, in so many words no, as the census numbers are not correct in Ontario as we had the OMMA that sold metis cards in malls many of these numbers are from them, I couldn't believe this, the 2nd question was currently we have on the Board of Governers (BOG) each of the Presidents as voting members and then the National Youth and then National Women spokeperson as NON- voting members, when Clem was asked if there are plans to allow the youth and women a vote at the table, the answer was
NO.Metis Women with NO VOTE???
Metis Youth NO VOTE???
Census Records for Ontario and BC not correct??? This I will address right now....For those of you unaware of this story, there was an unconnected group called OMMA who was in fact selling "OMMA Metis Cards". OMMA has no connection to Metis Nation Ontario and is not recognized by the Ontario or Federal Governments. Metis Nation Ontario is recognized by both the Ontario and Federal Governments and Metis Nation Ontario status is not granted without confirmation processes as equally thorough as the Manitoba Metis Nation, Alberta Metis Nation or Saskachewan Metis Nation.
Do we as a Nation allow ANY of this to go unchallenged?
For Your Consideration,
We Are All Connected and a wrong done to one is a wrong done to ALL, find your VOICE and MAKE IT HEARD...write. ..email.. .phone your local Metis councils and let them know your opinion.Many small voices raised as one become a ROAR that cannot be ignored!
Take hope the Metis Grassroots can take their Nation back and redevelop the Metis Nation of Canada. Let us build the people - because Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, James Brady, Malcolm Norris they all believed in the power of the people - NOT THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUALS THAT ACTED FAR MORE LIKE SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD!
Posted by MetisMama at 7:10 PM
A complete report is in and things are split but it sounds like it was very interesting.
A few of the highlights are:
Clem Chartier 28
Tony Belcourt 12
Bruce Dumont 11
Rick Laliberte 3
The finances were discussed over two days and many questions went unanswered and had an arrogant Auditor responding with statements like I have 30 years experience and I know what I am doing. In fact the chair, Richard Mirasty thanked him for his ongoing job description because instead of answers he advised he is the all knowledge man and did not need to answer the question.
As the day turned out the audits were not passed – in fact when David’s group were concerned that the audit motion would not pass they withdrew the motion.
An auditor needed to be appointed for the upcoming year and a new auditor was hired. We had one delegate explain that Bernie Shore acted like a lawyer chasing ambulances and was dismal when they said good bye Bernie.
Just a few points of interest
- Rick Boucher had the health money in Metco Venture pay for him to attend. He had no purpose at the meeting but was seen taking advantage of his childish behaviour and name calling.
- In fact, David’s friends were name calling right till the end of weekend. Doesn’t sound like people who are comfortable with the results of things. The bullies do not even know how to gloat they just keep trying to bully.
- Some other people who were there, compliments of David Chartrand and Clem Chartier were Guy Bouvier and Gerald Morin.
There are other tidbits here and there but for the time being some will have to wait till confirmation can happen – but things are definitely interesting because it seems things are coming down the stem that will not stop even with them winning the election. The flow of information has started and is not ending. There will be details of items that will be released not just on the blogs but through the media over the next few months and there may even be criminal charges that are forth coming for some. Stay posted and we will keep you informed.
The last bit of information I will share - the power of communication is that everyone is talking about the blogs and the information being shared. Maybe we will become a part of helping to improve the literacy rate in our nation - even some of the leaders who did not read their reports and agreements in the past are now learning how to access the internet and reading the blogs.
Posted by MetisMama at 8:07 AM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Métis National Council Assembly is quite a process and some of our new delegates have had their eyes open to the Ole Boys Club brand of politics.
The candidates nominated were:
There were deals being cut and promises being made. There were old politicians and new green horns. I have been told that there were jobs promised, contracts made and issues unresolved.
Doucette and Poitras reported that Clem Chartier was being paid a handsome salary, $10,000 a year in apartment rent, $129 a day in meal allowance and 217 nights at $200/night in hotel costs. A rough tally would have our president paid at $86,000 per year in non-taxable benefits over his salary. There are letters from early last summer that were disclosed that identify many dollars in overpayments including David’s wife Glorian – these overpayments are to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Auditor Bernie Shore advised that he did not see the letters until just prior to the meeting even though the dates on the letters were from June or July.
The finances reported a 3.5 million dollar deficit with the bills still coming in, no staff and no commitment for government bailouts.
Oh yea – not to forget Clem also has a $300,000 lawsuit against the Métis National Council that he can now potentially pay himself – if he can find any money and he can put forward for back pay and expenses since October when he was no longer paid as the President. He calls these his damages.
He does not have to call a Board of Governor meeting for the next three years while he is President elect and he can continue to run the place into the ground. Now based on the unresolved issues – how will he make those job and contract commitments? – it should all be interesting and when will the promises be collected?
His campaign speech was about getting Paul Martin elected as the Liberal leader, a Powley decison that happened prior to his leadership and how good he is at writing Prime Minister Harper a letter that had five points in it some two or three years ago. He promised he will now do a follow up to the letter from then. Sounds like we are well on our way to an outstanding National Leader. Hope you are all feeling hopeful.
There is a star at the end of this tunnel – it is time for a real Métis Nation of Canada – with a constitution, a democracy and real leaders who are supported by the grassroots Métis people. Let the existing Board of Governors clean up the mess they have created and the rest of us can work to build a nation – at home in the Métis homeland – with real Métis values - where it belongs.
Posted by MetisMama at 11:07 PM
Friday, February 22, 2008
We have heard from some of the delegates and they have committed to keeping us informed. The information so far is that there are hospitatity rooms for Bruce Dumont, Clem Chartier and Tony Becourt.
It is also reported that Rick Laliberte and Gerald Morin are in attendance. So the five speculated candidates are in the Ottawa area.
One of the delegates informed me that the ole boys club is working hard and nobody trusts anybody. Things are definitely going to be interesting.
As Metis Mama gets information - she will post the comings and goings.
Posted by MetisMama at 8:05 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The latest news today is the candidates of the MNC election this weekend are now:
I am a thinking a few more might have those 54 delegates voting from Saturday until next Wednesday. The winning candidate has to win by 51% which is they need a clear 28 votes. Every ballot will drop the lowest candidate off and remaining number will continue to the next ballot. Certainly there must be a few more people that would like to give this a shot. A few good women would be nice to see. Are there any takers out there?
Maybe if we play the cards right – we could have a completely unknown come and win hands down. Imagine the right player and the right game – maybe you too could win.
All joking aside – the MNC is in dire straits. We know that there are meetings at the Federal Government that has the upper echelon bureaucrats hedging their bets against the MNC and strategizing for plan B – a different representative force to take over the Métis agenda. The credibility of the MNC and their Board of Governors is seriously compromised and government is looking to see honesty and integrity in dealing with their residual issues. No matter who wins – this will not be an easy walk – trying to bring back a BOG that has fought like this and also to bring back an organization that has so many financial challenges.
Posted by MetisMama at 8:10 PM
Yesterday’s announcement makes one speculate as to what are the real issues? The Press Release stated, “The MNC continues to face several challenges and requires a leader who has a proven track record and credibility. This is not a popularity contest and there are very serious issues that must be addressed. The MNC is in crisis and I know I can step forward and be dedicated to address these challenges. We need a leader who can support a complete organizational change and ensure principles of true Métis Nation self-governance can be demonstrated and not just spoken. I truly feel that I will be the only candidate who can bring such important issues forward with credibility in this election. ”
Let me shake my head – it is not a popularity contest? Bruce do you think you are competing in a political wisdom exam and based on the results – let the most intelligent guy win? Guess what – you did not make it! It is a popularity contest and after a few inquiries your popularity consists of five votes in BC - maybe. Leads you to ask the question – based on the lack of popularity and luster that your campaign has – is your board trying to dispose of you provincially and this is the best way?
As for your statement of walk the talk – you were seen on APTN News last night committing your support to Tony Belcourt and advising that if the game did not go where you wanted it to – BC would pull out of the MNC. Do leaders take their sand pails and go home when the going gets tough – or do they stick to their principles and fight the battle to see their vision come into reality? I realize that the APTN piece must have been recorded last week – but what a difference a week makes.
Rumors are that David Chartrand had indicated to his MMF Board that an individual on Bruce Dumont’s board was working with him. It makes you wonder – maybe he does – this certainly makes it look like they want to split the vote to ensure Clem Chartier gets elected.
I did say last week that the MNC election is heating up and interesting it remains. Obviously there are no political loyalties and you never know where things could end up. We do know that it will be important to keep watching.
Posted by MetisMama at 7:02 AM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Well folks - I thought I knew what was what - but it appears like we have another candidate who is running at the MNC. I will save my view for a future post later today.
Date: Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
For Immediate Release
Métis Nation British Columbia President Dumont Re-Enters National Presidency Bid
(Vancouver, BC) – Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) President Bruce Dumont met with the MNBC Board of Directors this past week to discuss the upcoming Métis National Council (MNC) General Assembly set for February 23rd and 24th in Ottawa.
The MNC General Assembly is composed of fifty-five voting delegates from Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Métis Federation, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, and Métis Nation British Columbia. The MNC General Assembly marks the second attempt by the MNC in the last five months to elect the national President.
MNBC President Dumont decided to maintain his bid for the MNC Presidential Candidacy late yesterday after further discussion. The MNBC Board of Directors were unanimous in their endorsement and felt that such a decision must be made regardless of any other possible candidates. MNBC Treasurer Dave Hodgson stated, “You were the leader that the majority of the MNC Board of Governors endorsed last July as the Interim MNC President. You were the leader who was prepared to step forward at the last MNC General Assembly in October. The only choice we have is to continue to support your leadership bid.”
MNBC President Dumont stated, “The MNC continues to face several challenges and requires a leader who has a proven track record and credibility. This is not a popularity contest and there are very serious issues that must be addressed. The MNC is in crisis and I know I can step forward and be dedicated to address these challenges. We need a leader who can support a complete organizational change and ensure principles of true Métis Nation self-governance can be demonstrated and not just spoken. I truly feel that I will be the only candidate who can bring such important issues forward with credibility in this election. ”
MNBC delegates will join the MNC General Assembly beginning Saturday, February 23rd at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa. The MNC General Election results should be completed that day.
Chief Executive Officer
Métis Nation British Columbia
Posted by MetisMama at 1:44 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
Alberta Metis Hunters make us very proud in Alberta. Between Jason Madden and these dedicated hunters working with the Metis Nation of Alberta - we can not lose. If you get a chance to go to a community meeting and hear these men speak - take the opportunity.
Our hunters are doing this at their own cost. It has cost many of them thousands of dollars and many hours. They have started a legal defence fund that they have contributed their own money to the cause. They are very supportive of our Metis Leader - Audrey Poitras and they work closely with her and the Minister of Metis Rights, Cecil Bellrose to ensure that they will move forward on the Metis agenda.
The entire article that was in the Edmonton Journal can be found at:
I have put a portion of the article here.
Alberta Metis are staging illegal hunts aimed at provoking a court battle with the provincial government. For them, it's a matter of principle and cultural pride
The Edmonton Journal
Sunday, February 17, 2008
CESSFORD - Heading out across the Southern Alberta prairie to set up a Métis hunting camp, Ron Jones stops at a fork in the road.
It's apparent that he isn't sure whether to turn right or left.
A former hunting guide with a large black stetson and the Métis penchant for brightly coloured clothing, he steps out of his truck to consult with travellers following in another vehicle. After they consult maps and a GPS, they suggest he turn right.
Jones, 58, who resides on the Kootenay Plains on the edge of Alberta's mountain parks, isn't familiar with the flat, treeless terrain north of Brooks, some 160 kilometres east of Calgary. He's never hunted here. ...
...Most of the hunters arrive before dusk. Some have come from as far away as Fox Creek, Hinton and Valleyview.
They pitch tents in -18 C temperatures around a teepee constructed by Jim Lambert, 65, who dragged his 10-metre poles 650 kilometres from Robb, near Jasper Park.
The Fort Vermilion-born outfitter, guide, trapper and jack of all trades has picked a low spot for camp near a frozen marsh that provides a few willows for protection against the unrelenting wind.
Lambert, clad in a plaid shirt, jeans and fur hat, curses the treeless prairie, where he has to mount a lengthy search just to find a stick, but with the eye of an experienced chef, which he is, he has been hungrily eyeing the pheasants running thick in the tall grass.
After camp has been set up and the blue Métis "infinity" flag raised, a council is held in Lambert's teepee to discuss the next day's hunt.
Participants stand around a campfire, smoking cigarettes and shuffling their feet to keep warm, while Jones, seated near the teepee entrance, explains the reason and rules for the hunt.
"Our goal will be to harvest an antelope for food and to be subsequently charged by the Alberta government," he says, reading his notes by lantern-light. "Law enforcement officers have been invited to attend. It is important to keep in mind that the officers are just doing their job, as we are just doing ours."
He sets out the rules -- no alcohol, no drugs, no unregistered firearms and no trespassing.
Jones praises the others who are supporting him on the hunt, but who are not expecting to participate in the actual shooting of an animal.
"You're proud and making history," he tells them. "You will be remembered for fighting for our cause."
Earlier in the day he and the other "deputy captains" briefed two Fish and Wildlife officers about the hunt, providing them written copies of the rules at a Brooks coffee shop.
The two officers, Doug Etherington of Medicine Hat and Bob Machum of Hanna, arrived wearing flak jackets over their forest green uniform tops, the head of a bighorn ram displayed on their shoulder badges.
Jones explains the hunters plan to shoot one antelope, likely in the Medicine Hat District, but failing that they would settle for a deer.
"Call us when you get one on the ground," says Machum.
He also advises the hunters to follow hunter safety regulations, not to shoot from secondary roads or within 50 yards of their vehicle. ...
...A big-game hunter who has hunted around the world, Mohan says he killed his first moose when he was 11 and was hunting ducks with a slingshot before he went to kindergarten.
He's only now embracing his roots and he's not worried about the fallout.
"I'm getting to the point that I don't care any more because my true friends respect me for me," he says. "I can't sit on the fence. I have never been good at doing that."
A hunting camp on the first morning of the hunt is alive with excitement, but the mood is pensive as Jones and his spotter, Josh Slager, head out with Mohan and Lambert following in his truck.
Jones is anxious about doing this right. He wants to shoot an antelope cleanly, obeying all the other regulations, to ensure that it will be a clear issue for the court to decide.
But he also knows that if he is successful, he will be charged with a hunting violation for the first time in his life? and that saddens him.
The Métis hunters stop one last time to check an area map, picking out a section of pasture south of Canadian Forces Base Suffield they want to try first.
"We're hunting now," announces Jones. It's 11:30 a.m.
Within a couple of minutes, Slager, 31, who professes to being colour blind, spots a four-point mule deer buck bedded in a pasture.
"There's a little buck there but we'll let him go," he says, after studying the deer with his binoculars.
Slager, the only Métis hunter who has ever shot an antelope, says his colour blindness is an asset for spotting game.
Jones turns off a gravel road into a pasture just north of the Trans-Canada Highway and follows a meandering trail that winds around a gravel pit and a number of gas wells. He drives only a few minutes before Slager spots a pair of antelope bucks bedded down in the tall grass about 180 metres away, but Jones keeps driving on past them.
He wants to make sure he is a legal distance from the highway and any occupied buildings before he starts to stalk the animals. Once Slager has examined the hunting regulations and zone maps and double-checked to ensure they aren't in any prohibited hunting area, the pair begin stalking the animals from the north. It takes them about 20 minutes to get into position for a shot.
The temperature is above zero, but a biting 25- to 30-km/h wind brings it down close to -10 C and makes it difficult to hold a rifle steady. Jones fires three shots from his custom-made .257 Weatherby from about 75 metres, but misses and the antelope bound out of sight over a low rise to the south.
The disappointed hunters return to the truck to resume scouting.
"We're just a bunch of poor starving Indians," Lambert calls out to the invisible quarry. "Give up the ghost for us."
The hunters spot two more antelope a few minutes later, but by the time they disembark behind a low rise, the prey have taken off to the south to join up with a herd of about 40 antelope.
Jones eyes light up. He outlines his intention to crawl toward the crest of a hill to get a shot at the closest antelope which is, according to Mohan, just under 300 metres away.
"I'll be right back," he says confidently. It's just after 1 p.m.
As he moves toward the grazing herd, it suddenly bolts.
Two shots ring out. One antelope stops. It's hit.
A third shot rings out, a fourth, a fifth. Jones shoulders his rifle. The antelope is down. It's 1:07 p.m.
"I was watching the whole herd in the binoculars and all of a sudden one stopped dead," Slager says later. "The first shot hit it in the low shoulder."
The buck, which Slager estimates to be three years old, is still alive when the hunters approach. Jones finishes it off.
It's not the clean kill he wanted, but his mission is accomplished.
Though he knows the antelope carcass will be seized as evidence for any subsequent court proceeding, he prepares it for butchering, field-dressing it and dumping the entrails into the snow.
If he wins his court case, he can apply to have the meat returned to him. But that could take five years or more.
Back at his truck, which has been driven forward to the site of the kill, he calls the Fish and Wildlife office in Medicine Hat to report that he has an animal on the ground. He would have preferred to take the antelope to camp for a feast, but he gave the officers his word he would call them from the scene of the killing.
He slumps dejectedly in the seat of the truck awaiting their arrival.
"I feel very sad," he explains. "I killed that animal and it won't be eaten because it will be confiscated. It will go to waste and I feel bad about that."
Jones says he feels neither nervous nor guilty of a crime. It's the province of Alberta that is breaking the law, he says.
"The Supreme Court of Canada directed the provinces to accommodate Métis harvesting," he says. "Alberta hasn't done that. Alberta is the lawbreaker."
The Fish and Wildlife officers -- Etherington and Len Lupyczuk -- arrive in separate trucks about an hour later.
Etherington asks Jones to accompany him to his truck to provide a statement. Lupyczuk investigates the scene, taking photographs and measurements.
As the investigators go to work, a cellphone rings in Mohan's truck. It's a customer needing a welding truck.
"I'm in the middle of being arrested and I can't stay on the phone too long," Mohan drawls.
Later, as the two officers accompany Jones to his truck to seize his rifle, the antelope emerge from behind a ridge and cross in single file behind them, silhouetted against the setting sun.
Jones hands over his scope-mounted .257 Weatherby magnum rifle -- a firearm he estimates is worth more than $3,000. He was hoping it would not be seized, but he doesn't complain.
"It doesn't matter," he says. "They can take the truck, too."
Jones is charged with hunting wildlife during a closed season and unlawful possession of wildlife. He is issued a summons to appear in court May 9, but Métis officials say their lawyers hope to "bundle" the six cases and deal with them all at once at one trial.
Jones is confident that informed Albertans will support the Métis cause.
"The more we educate people the more understanding they will have to make an informed decision, rather than a knee-jerk reaction."
University of Alberta native studies professor Nathalie Kermoal says Métis in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and B.C. are also struggling with provincial interpretations of the court ruling.
Métis continue to be charged, cases tried and decisions appealed.
Robert Lee, the Métis Nation of Alberta's manager of justice issues, says his people just want to continue to hunt for food the way they always have.
"We don't want any special favours."
Jones says he takes pride in standing up for Métis rights for his nine-month-old granddaughter, who is a descendent of mountain man Ewan Moberly, a Métis leader evicted from Jasper in 1907 when the national park was created.
"I want her to be very proud. I am doing this for future generations," he says. "I want them to be proud of their culture."
A video about Metis hunting produced by the Edmonton Journal can be found at:
Posted by MetisMama at 5:52 AM
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Congratulations to the Manitoba Government for assisting the Métis in bringing forward our prophets vision.
In 1885 Louis Riel shared the following words -
“I am more convinced everyday that without a single exception I did right... and I have always believed that, as I have acted honestly, the time will come when the people of Canada will see and acknowledge it."
"We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future. The story should be written down to pass on." Louis Riel
“I am glad the Crown has proved that I am the leader of the half-breeds in the Northwest. I will perhaps be one day acknowledged as more than a leader of the half-breeds, and if I am, I will have the opportunity of being acknowledged as a leader of good in this great country." Louis Riel, 1885
123 years later one of our Great Forefathers, Louis Riel has been honoured and recognized in the manner in which he should. As Métis we continue to work on bringing forward our great honourable heritage.
In the 1800’s the Métis of the North West forged a new Nation through the most challenging times. We took elements of our mixed heritage and were often considered generous but nonconforming. Our ancestors strived to improve their economic, social and political situation. Other elements of our birth heritage are our philosophical, friendly and adaptive approach to life. Democracy is the essence of our Métis existence; and this has carried over to our descendants even today.
In 2008, we still have the need to be recognized for the contributions that we have made in the development of Canada. Acknowledging this day each year in Manitoba assists us in moving forward to continue to having the contributions of our forefathers appreciated by all Canadians.
All Manitoba Métis enjoy your day – show your heritage with great pride and we hope our future leaders will remember the proud heroes that have gone before them.
Posted by MetisMama at 7:34 PM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
We are almost a week away and now the election for the Métis National Council is heating up. Clem Chartier is calling the delegates for the upcoming election and fear mongering. He is trying to slight Tony Belcourt’s support and trying to indicate that he is a pan-Aboriginal man not a Métis leader. Now it is true, he was the founding President of the Native Council of Canada but let’s consider that we are talking about a time in our history when all Métis were represented by that body.
He worked to push for the issues that resulted in Métis being included in the Constitution in 1982 and has been a very successful leader for the past three decades. Tony has represented us on many issues related to the United Nations and has been the founding instrumental leader who has had Métis recognized in Ontario. Tony has held the course even when his views were not always the most popular views of the other leaders. He does lobby hard to represent the Métis people of Ontario and to ensure that they are not what Clem often refers to as the “bookend”.
Tony comes from a traditional, proud Métis family - which have been very active members of the community. He was born in the historic Métis community of Lac St. Anne and has dedicated his life to the advancement of the Métis cause like many in his family. In fact, the Belcourt family has been what many would term as a very successful Métis family who have never forgotten their roots and have, in spite of their personal successes, contributed freely back to their community.
Now as for Clem Chartier’s leaderahip. He was unanimously put in as leader of the Métis National Council in 2003 – shortly after the release of the Powley decision. The Métis National Council and the Board of Governors were working hard on the Métis agenda and moving forward with government negotiations. The Board of Governors was cohesive and working towards a united agenda. Within a relatively short period of time – under his leadership – we have an organization that did not have a Board of Governors meeting in many months prior to his demise. Clem was a leader who – did campaign on bringing a constitution to the Métis National Council - we notice that there is no movement towards that. Instead he supported continued divisiveness on the BOG and many times was not present at the various public events, negotiations and consultations that were necessary to move the Métis agenda forward.
Clem would send one of the other Board of Governors to represent MNC- but mostly David Chartrand. Clem would not move to Ottawa to take up his role and be an active leader. The Métis National Council has had to pay his hotel room since 2003 until October last year – because he continued to say he resided in Buffalo Narrows. Even when you consider the financial burden on the Métis National Council in paying monthly hotel bills at the Albert at Bay in Ottawa and the travel expenditures that are incurred to transport the National President back and forth between Buffalo Narrows – how can we frankly afford him as our leader.
Clem is a respected Métis rights lawyer who has been instrumental in many precedent setting cases. He has an intuitive quality that has represented Métis well in the courts across Canada – but a good lawyer does not make a good political leader. I believe that there is a role for Mr. Chartier in the Métis Nation but not as the President of the Métis National Council.
Posted by MetisMama at 7:45 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
On the Métis News and Stuff Blog Site (http://derrylsanderson.blogspot.com/) a question keeps coming up – “What good is MNC?”
I am going to make an attempt at answering that without sounding like I am running a political campaign –
The Métis National Council in truth is a corporate entity much like all its’ provincial counterparts that sum up to make the whole. I wish that we were in a better political presence to have fought to be the respected representative body without being a part of the Corporate Acts of Canada but that is going to take more political will then we have today. Government requires incorporations so that when legal contracts that involve contribution agreements are signed they have an actual legal entity to enter into an agreement with. So firstly, I believe the Métis National Council needs to stop being an elitist club and they need to become the democracy that they profess to honour. True traditional democracy – where the people are the power.
When you look at the history of the real first Métis Council – it was Louis Riel with his Provisional Government. He would have community meetings and seek the support of the community to move forward with the mandate that was given to him. There are records that talk about meetings of a 1,000 (10%) of the population that was considered Manitoba at the time. Issues were presented, debated and moved forward on. It was not a select group who controlled the will of the people without seeking their support. In today’s MNC response at an Annual General Meeting like the one on February 23 and 24th, 2008 we have 55 people of 390,000 setting the mandate and priorities for the Métis people from across Canada. I believe that works out to like 0.014% of the Métis population in Canada.
My response of do we need a Métis National Council or entity to represent Métis people from across Canada – just one word YES! I am a nationalist – much like my forefathers that went before me. The role of the Métis National Council is to work with the existing Government of Canada – much like Louis Riel did – to further the agenda of Métis people from across the homeland. Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren deserve to have their place honoured as one of the Indigenous groups of Canada. Our children do not want to have to go to court to fight for what was inherent to them.
Issues that relate to adequate housing, education, health services and healthy families should be a given – but it is not. Access to the same programming that is available for other Aboriginal people in Canada should be automatic not challenged between political authorities like it is now – Are we Federal or Provincial jurisdiction? Issues of how are Veterans were dishonoured and not acknowledged should be addressed. Issues related to our Métis people who were victims of residential schools should not be forgotten. The role of the Métis National Council is to work with the Government of Canada to ensure that Métis people are no longer the forgotten people.
I know that everyone likes to focus on the right to hunt but frankly that is only the existing recognition of one inalienable right. That is probably one of the greatest reasons that I work to overcome the issues that internally plague us – we are bigger then the bullies that have run us. We are Métis and many before David tried to take us down but our passion, our pride and our rich heritage has taught us to stand and fight for what is right. We need a strong National representative body that will reflect the views of many of our young Métis people who deserve an honourable place in the mosaic of Canada just as our forefathers had.
I am requesting that the next leader of the Métis National Council brings forward a National Constitution that respects and treats all Métis from across the homeland with respect and dignity. Let the Constitution outline the jurisdictions and role of each of the counterparts and lets conduct elections that have every Métis person from across the homeland eligible to vote. Ensure the honest and integrity of our governing bodies by using democracy and consensus to build a strong nation. I know this is a big challenge – but that is what we need in today’s leader so that we can quit repeating the errors of the past.
Posted by MetisMama at 3:05 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
There is much a foot and many things at work – but my admiration of the Métis community never waivers. People with hearts – people with a beliefs - people with the passion and commitment to fight for the rights that our forefathers and foremothers gave us.
We received a report that on February 9, 2008 – there was a community grassroots meeting in Edmonton. A meeting that in -44 degree weather – Métis people gathered to come and talk about their concerns and to hear the issues of the people. As it was reported to Métis Mama – the people paid for the meeting. They gathered, came at their expense from all across Alberta – shared tears, shared stories and identified issues that were present today. They came to tell the leaders of their disillusion with the in fighting that has us being embarrassed by the individuals who are going to government to undermine our leadership.
Ron Jones and about 12 – 15 Métis hunters came to share their experiences. They have been out with the traditional hunts and encampments practicing their traditional hunting rights. They have gone at their own risk and their own expense. They talked about how many of the hunts have cost them as individuals $1,000 each to prepare, travel, set up camp and to ensure that they work towards challenging the Alberta governments stand on Métis hunting rights. They work with the existing leadership and set up the statistics and data necessary to challenge our impact on the number of animals that are taken in comparison to the sport hunting that is present in today’s Alberta.
Remember now – we have an American born Minister for Sustainable Resource Development in Alberta that wants Métis people to bring in our genealogy and our annual taxable income documents to determine if we are poor enough to qualify as hunters. In fact, one hunter reported that Fish and Game denied him his rights because he owns a truck with a camper – so that assessed him as he can afford to buy meat at the store. It is a scary process when the government that has attempted to assimilate us wants to start looking at blood quantum to determine our Métis heritage. Some hunters have been told if they want to traditionally hunt they should return to Manitoba - even though they have lived in Alberta most of their lives!
Based on what the hunters reported – if you are poor you can not afford to hunt. The hunters have started a legal defense fund. Many of them have donated their own money to this cause. They are working at setting up the proper protocols to challenge the issues and to work towards fighting the parameters of policies and legislation so that all Métis can assert their inherent rights in this country. They are an admirable group – who we should all be proud of.
The people talked about the importance of working with the Leader of the Métis Nation of Alberta in moving the agenda forward that benefits all Métis people. In fact, many identified that it is time to eliminate the dissidents that are only working for themselves and have forgotten why they were put there.
We will keep you posted as to the events and grassroots movement – they are planning another town hall meeting – at their own expense on March 8, 2008.
Posted by MetisMama at 5:53 AM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
As I mentioned in a previous post - Alberta grassroots Metis have the ability to take action and ensure integrity in the leaders who represent them.
Posts were sent to me by the Alberta community and we have edited to fit within the confines of the blog. We will put smaller pieces of the post so that it will be easier to understand. The first post is in relation to the meetings that are being hosted and the bylaws that are being identified in the action.
Under the bylaws and with Respect for the MNAA and the Métis Nation of Alberta Judiciary Council….
Independent Actions of Other Locals in the Region 3, Public Meeting Scheduled in Local Chinook 1880, Local 8 Medicine Hat & Local 845 Rocky Mountain House.
Based on the performance, behavior of Region 3 Vice President, Joe Chodzicki and
Based on the performance, behavior of Vice President MNA Trevor Gladue.
Regarding removal of Joe Chodzicki from office of Region 3 Vice-President
Excerpt from Bylaws Metis Nation of Alberta:
23.3 A Provincial Council member other than the President or Vice-President may be removed from office through the following process:
(a) A minimum of twenty-one (21) days notice of a Local Community Meeting to approve an ordinary resolution demanding the removal of their Provincial council member must be given to members of the Local Community; and
(b) A written resolution demanding the removal of the Provincial Council Member must be approved by seventy-five (75%) percent of the Local Councils in the Region who have held meetings and given their members a minimum of twenty-one (21) days notice of the meeting; and
(c) The written resolution approved and signed by seventy-five (75%)percent of the Local Councils in the Region shall be sent to the Regional Council; and
(d) Upon receipt of the written resolution from the Local Councils the Secretary of the Regional Council Shall give a minimum of twenty-one (21) days notice of meeting to the members of the Regional Council to vote on the written resolution; and
(e) A meeting of the Regional Council shall be held and if seventy-five (75%) percent of the members of the Regional Council vote to remove their Provincial Council member then a written resolution demanding the removal of the Provincial Council member shall be sent to the Provincial Council; and
(f) Within twenty-one (21) days of the receipt of a written resolution from the Regional Council signed by seventy-five (75%) percent of the members of Regional Council the Provincial Council shall remove the Provincial Council member and the position shall be declared vacant.
Regarding removal of Trevor Gladue from office of Provincial Vice-PresidentExcerpt from BYLAWS Metis Nation of Alberta
23.2 A President or Vice-President may be removed from office through the following process:
(g) A minimum of twenty-one (21) days notice of a Local Community Meeting to approve an ordinary resolution demanding the removal of the President or Vice-President must be a given to all Local Communities in Alberta; and
(h) A written resolution demanding the removal of the President or Vice-President must be approved by seventy-five (75%) percent of all Local Councils in Alberta who have held meetings and given their members a minimum of twenty-one (21) days notice of the meeting; and
(i) The written resolution approved and signed by seventy-five (75%)percent of all Local Communities in Alberta shall be sent to their Regional Council; and
(j) Upon receipt of the written resolution from the Local Council the Secretary of each Regional Council shall give a minimum of twenty-one (21) days notice of meeting to the members of the Regional Council to vote on the written resolution; and
(k) A meeting of each Regional Council shall be held and if seventy-five (75%) percent of the members of the Regional Council vote to remove the President or Vice-President then each Regional Council shall send a written resolution demanding the removal of the President or Vice-President to the Provincial Council; and
(l) Within twenty-one (21) days of the receipt of a written resolution from seventy-five (75%) percent of the Regional Councils signed by seventy-five (75%) percent of the members of each Regional Council the Provincial Council shall remove the President or Vice-President and the position shall be declared vacant.
There are other pieces to the information that has been sent that will be posted later....
Posted by MetisMama at 8:03 PM
Audrey Poitras, President of the Metis Nation of Alberta wrote a letter to the Metis people in Alberta on May 9, 2007. Did she have a crystal ball - or maybe - just a good leader who campaigned on accountability and has walked the talk through the years of her leadership. For those of you that may not have seen the letter on the cancelled health agreement see "Metis National Council and the Health Agreement- Exclusive to MN&S" at http://derrylsanderson.blogspot.com/.
Here is the text of the letter dated May 9, 2007
On May 9, 2007 a letter was sent to all of the Métis Locals and Regions in Alberta from the Office of the President.
To Members of the Métis Nation of Alberta
RE: Update on Metis Health Programs and Services
Please accept the following as an update with respect to the Métis Nation of Alberta’s (MNA) recent challenges with the Métis National Council (MNC) with respect to the delivery of Métis health programs and services in this province.
In recent weeks, some of you may have heard about or have even attended regional health meetings that are being hosted by the Métis National Council (MNC), along with a consultant from Ottawa and select individuals who have been chosen by the MNC. It is important for members to know that the MNA is not formally a part of these meetings and that the MNC has chosen to work around the MNA, as the democratically elected representative of Alberta Métis.
In order to understand how this unfortunate situation came to pass, I want to provide you with some background on these health initiatives. In September 2004, the federal government committed $700 million over five years for Aboriginal health. Based on a commitment from then Prime Minister Paul Martin, a historic Metis-specific allocation of this funding was secured. The MNA, along with all of the Metis affiliates, were instrumental in realizing this breakthrough in Metis health.
This $700 million is targeted in three areas: $100 million is designated for the Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative, that is, measures to increase the numbers of Aboriginal people in health careers or to retain health workers in Aboriginal communities, of which the MNC is receiving approximately $10 million; $200 million is being placed in the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund, which is suppose to fund short-term projects to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system for Aboriginal people, of which the MNC is being allocated $4.3 million overall; and $400 million has been committed to existing health promotion and disease prevention programs, that is, programs designed to deal with prevention and life-style issues rather than primary care, of which the MNC is receiving an undisclosed but very minor amount. These amounts must be spent by March 31, 2010 - “over the next three years“ and there is no guarantee that programs will continue after that date.
Although these resources fall short of the health needs of Métis or what a fair distribution would demand, they are still an important breakthrough for the Métis Nation. The real problems have arisen in how this funding is being used by the MNC. More specifically, the challenges relate to how David Chartrand, who is the MNC Minister for Health, has chosen to conduct himself in a unilateral fashion that undermines accountability to the MNA.
For example, in the past, whenever the MNC has secured such funding from the federal government, it has always respected the primary role of its provincial affiliates, which are its Governing Members, in managing funds and in designing and delivering programs. The MNC was not created to deliver programs and services from Ottawa. That is the role of its Governing Members. However, this time, the MNC negotiated a deal with Health Canada that not only transfers all funding to the MNC but that gives it the power to administer these funds more or less as it pleases.
The MNA was not involved in negotiating the contribution agreements the MNC concluded with Health Canada. We were not even kept informed of the proposals submitted to Health Canada by the MNC or on the progress of negotiations. Instead, copies of agreements were provided to us only after they had been signed. The MNA was simply expected to accept what the MNC had done and if we did not do so, the current leadership of the MNC could simply by-pass the MNA and other Governing Members by entering into agreements with virtually anyone it wished to deliver Métis health initiatives at the provincial level.
The MNA was also concerned about the accountability challenges this type of national agreement creates. In all other programs we operate, the MNA has a direct contribution agreement with the federal department that provides funding. This ensures that the MNA alone is accountable for the funds for which it is responsible. In the arrangement the MNC negotiated, funding targeted at Alberta Métis must flow though the MNC, and if either the MNC or another MNC affiliate miss one of their reporting requirements, then Health Canada has the right to stop payments under the agreement as a whole. The MNA would therefore be placed in a position, through no fault of its own, of having its funding depend on actions of others. We have learned from past experiences that these types of umbrella funding agreements create real problems for the MNC and its Governing Members. That is why from Urban Multi-Purpose Youth Centres funding to Powley funding, each Governing Member negotiates and enters into its own bilateral contribution agreement with the federal government. In the past, the MNC Board of Governors have all taken strong stands on this principle. However, in this situation, the Minister responsible for Health pushed forward on a national umbrella agreement without the support of the MNA or other Governing Members.
Based on these realities, with the full consent of MNA Provincial Council, a motion was passed in February 2007 to withdraw from these MNC-led initiatives and seek a direct agreement with Health Canada in order to resolve the MNA concerns.
Unfortunately, instead of respecting the MNA’s decision and allowing the situation to work itself out, David Chartrand began to bilaterally approach select individuals and groups in Alberta to deliver these Métis health programs and services for the MNC in Alberta. His actions clearly undermined the principle of respecting each MNC provincial affiliate’s respective jurisdiction. Further, his actions set back our agenda to have our own Métis governments respected by others. How can we expect others to respect our governments if the MNC itself will not respect the jurisdiction of its own regional governments?
The result of Mr. Chartrand’s efforts was signing an agreement with Metco Ventures Inc., a private company owned by the Vice-President of Region 1 and a select few, to deliver MNC/Health Canada initiatives in Alberta. This Metco agreement was not brought forward to the MNA Provincial Council before it was signed. In fact, the MNA only recently received a copy of this agreement. Since it is readily apparent to other MNA Provincial Council members and I that the Vice-President of Region 1 is now in a conflict of interest, we have asked the MNA Judiciary Council to review this matter prior to taking any further steps at the MNA Provincial Council level. Unfortunately, while this is taking place, the few who are beneficiaries to this Metco agreement are traveling the province and consulting with select individuals, rather than the MNA engaging all MNA regions and citizens.
In organizing regional sessions in Alberta, the MNC through its consultant claims to be acting in the interest of Métis students and the Métis people of Alberta yet it has consistently shown that it is not prepared to involve the MNA in any meaningful way in the development of these initiatives. The MNA is accountable to the Métis people of Alberta, not a consultant from Ottawa, a private company or a hand-picked few who agree with the positions of David Chartrand.
It should also be noted that both the Presidents of the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) and Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) do not agree with what the MNC has done. In order to resolve this issue internally, I have asked the MNC President to call a meeting of the MNC Board of Governors. Unfortunately, because of how the MNC bylaws are structured, the MNC President, combined with President Chartrand, can stop that meeting from happening at this time. I will continue to push for a meeting of the MNC Board of Governors; however, while I am continuing to resolve this internally, the MNA is also bilaterally engaging the federal government to see how this situation can be addressed.Finally, I want to stress that the MNA has always been and will continue to be a strong supporter of the Métis Nation. We are a Founding Member of the MNC. Our frustration does not lie with the Métis Nation as a whole. Our frustration lies with the actions of specific individuals in positions of power who have decided that they know better than the democratically elected leadership of Alberta Métis. As I outlined above, we are not alone in our frustration. Both the MNBC and MNO are fully supportive of the MNA’s position on this matter.
Over ten years ago, I was elected on a platform of increasing transparency and accountability within the MNA. I believe over the last decade, we have built a stronger MNA together. Our efforts have been recognized by governments and others from across the country. As such, I do not believe we should compromise what we have built in Alberta to appease the MNC, David Chartrand or the self-interests of Ottawa consultants.
I will continue to seek an agreement with Health Canada in respect of these health initiatives and I believe we will ultimately be successful. The individuals who have benefited for short-term gains and politics will be held to account for their actions. The struggle will be difficult, but the issue is critically important for the future of the MNA and the Métis Nation. I believe it would be a grave error on our part to allow the arrangement the MNC has negotiated with Health Canada to set a precedent for other federal departments to follow. If we show solidarity, I am confident that we will achieve our goal.
Métis Nation of Alberta
Posted by MetisMama at 8:43 AM
Friday, February 8, 2008
Article in todays Winnipeg Free Press:
Member manoeuvred off board?
Claims criticisms of Métis federation president led to his removal
Fri Feb 8 2008
By Aldo Santin
A long-time member of the Manitoba Métis Federation said he was manoeuvred off the board of directors because of his criticisms of federation president David Chartrand.
Darrel Deslaurier said he was removed late last year after he was forced into bankruptcy by an MMF subsidiary, a lending institution called Louis Riel Capital Corp., over a $56,000 loan for a truck.
Deslaurier said that after he declared bankruptcy, MMF officials informed him that the Corporations Act prohibits anyone in bankruptcy from holding a seat on a corporation board. Chartrand said Deslaurier was a deadbeat who got what he deserved.
"This is just a vile attempt by Mr. Deslaurier to put a negative spin on the federation," Chartrand said. "He knew the rules, knew that if he declared bankruptcy he couldn't stay on the board. He wouldn't resign so he was removed."
Deslaurier said he had spent the previous several months questioning Chartrand, particularly over his handling of funds as health minister of the Métis National Council.
Deslaurier said he also opposed Chartrand's efforts to have Manitoba delegates support his candidate in the upcoming Métis National Council presidential election.
"I had been a member of the MMF for eight years and for all that time I believed I was part of a Métis government," Deslaurier said. "Then I found out I wasn't part of government -- I was on a corporation."
Deslaurier said he suspects that officials from the Louis Riel Capital Corp. manoeuvred him into a position of bankruptcy in a bid to silence his criticism of Chartrand. The Louis Riel Capital Corporation "went after my loan and I had no choice but to declare bankruptcy," Deslaurier said. "They had already taken my truck, emptied my bank account and my kids' trust accounts and were going after my house. I had to declare bankruptcy to save my house. Then I found out I was off the board."
Chartrand said the MMF and the Métis National Council have a good relationship with Ottawa and there are no issues over how either body is spending money given to it by the federal government.
Chartrand said Deslaurier had refused for several years to pay back his loan, adding the Louis Riel Capital Corp. seized his property to make good the debt.
Chartrand said that every candidate for the MMF board knows that they would be removed from their position if they fall into bankruptcy.
Deslaurier is still included as a director on the MMF website but Chartrand said a byelection will be held soon to replace him.
I find Mr. Chartrand’s comment about the relationship with MNC being portrayed as good. Wonder if he forgot all those Press Releases that indicated that Clem and him filed Statement of Claims against the MNC and the other Board of Governors. As for his relationship with Ottawa – the letter he received last week identifying that they are in default in the Health Contract and that Minister Strahl put out last October saying no more money – doesn’t sound so good to me. This was some interesting statements coming from a very angry bully.
Posted by MetisMama at 6:25 AM
Monday, February 4, 2008
As in most honorable people – there is no speculation – no interpretation but an honest upfront announcement that clearly states your intention. Good show Tony – If the other candidates believed in what they were doing they would demonstrate a good political campaign that is based on their accomplishments and a vision for the future – not Back Room Politics and Mud Slinging!
OTTAWA (February 4, 2008) --- Tony Belcourt, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario, has announced that he will be a candidate for President of the Métis National Council. The election for President will take place at the MNC General Assembly on February 23-24, 2008 at the Delta Ottawa Hotel in Ottawa.
“We need to come together as a Nation. Today, across the Métis Nation, we share collective concerns: our health care and care for our seniors, education, unemployment, housing, the environment, justice for the victims of the residential school era, justice for our veterans and the recognition of our Constitutional rights, including the rights to land and respect of our right to hunt and fish for food everywhere throughout the Métis homeland,” Mr. Belcourt said. “It is critical that we unite, that we bring these shared issues to the doorstep of Parliament, that together we take our rightful place at the negotiation table with the Federal Government.”
“My experience over four decades of involvement in the Métis Nation and in Aboriginal issues generally gives us the opportunity to set a new, united direction for the Métis National Council in dealing with the Government of Canada, the Premiers, business leaders and other Aboriginal leaders,” Mr. Belcourt said. “We are a proud people, rich in our culture, tradition and values; a people of great accomplishment with a vibrant youthful population offering great promise for the future. I want to work towards the development of a strong national voice that will inspire our people to bring their talents and knowledge to the Métis cause and to build upon our values of self-determination and self-sufficiency.
“Collectively we have an incredible depth of human resources within our Nation, in particular among Métis women and our elders whose knowledge and unique perspectives are so often overlooked. Our people are more educated now than we ever have been in our past and our population is growing exponentially. So our potential at this point in our history is great, but the challenges facing the Métis Nation remain. We have clear-cutting within our traditional territories right up to our front doors. We have levels of poverty and unemployment within our communities that far surpass the mainstream. Our language is in real danger of disappearing. We need to bind together for the common good of our people and our communities. That is the challenge facing the Métis Nation and I have every confidence that with the right focus we can meet that challenge and achieve the aspirations that our people have sought for generations.”
Tony Belcourt, who was born in Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta, has served in many capacities within the Métis Nation throughout his career, including as Vice-President of the Métis Nation of Alberta and founding President of the Native Council of Canada. In 1993 he was instrumental in founding the Métis Nation of Ontario and has served as its President since then. He has led the Métis hunt for justice that resulted in the landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Powley in 2003 which ruled that the Métis right to hunt and fish for food was an existing Constitutional right. He has served as the Métis National Council’s representative at the international level for many years and participated in the negotiations that led to the recent adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He has served on many boards including the Governing Council of Trent University's Ph.D. program in Native Studies. In 2006 he received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Public Service. One of his proudest accomplishments is the “Nation-to-Nation” relationship that has been established between the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Anishinabek Nation.
For further information, see these websites: www.metisnation.org/tonybelcourt.html or www.metisnation.org
Ph: Tony Belcourt at 1-613-798-1488 ext 108 or 1-888-690-0823
Katelin Peltier 613-859-7130 - Cell
Posted by MetisMama at 10:17 AM
David Chartrand was made Minister of Health in Clem Chartier’s Cabinet. In late 2004 – early 2005 the Métis National Council through the work on the Kelowna Accord began the development of the Métis National Council’s involvement in the Aboriginal Blueprint for Health (http://www.metisnation.ca/pdfs/Blueprint_aboriginal_health.pdf) .
The Métis National Council negotiated a health agreement that was suppose to give them 10 million dollars over 10 years to assist Métis students in the health industry access dollars for health training. (http://www.metisnation.ca/HHRI/default.html) In addition, there was 3 – 4 million that was for things like Capacity Building.
Now the word had come from Health Canada – “They are cancelling the Contribution Agreement because it was in default.”
We are not sure just yet what that will mean for the future of this agreement but obviously – unexplained contracts, agreements and other issues will now have to be answered for.
Posted by MetisMama at 6:18 AM
Friday, February 1, 2008
This post was left yesterday. David Chartrand indicated on the Métis Hour last Saturday that things would get interesting in Alberta prior to the MNC Assembly in Alberta. Well based on this post – interesting it is.
Here is something interesting:
Notice of Special Meeting
Members of the Metis Nation of Alberta
A Special Meeting will be held on February 19th at 6pm at the Office of the Local 845 North Rear Bay, Friendship Centre, 4917 52 Street, Rocky Mountain House
Phone/Fax (403) 844-4628
Resolution Concerning: Removal from Provincial office of Vice President MNA Region 3, Joe Chodzicki
Resolution Concerning: Removal from Provincial office and vote of Non Confidence regarding Vice President MNA Trevor Gladue
Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:27:00 PM
In Alberta, the Métis put in place several mechanisms for the right of recall. Accountability coming from elected officials was important to the Métis people in Alberta. The bylaws (http://www.albertametis.com/MNAHome/MNA2/MNA-Bylaws.aspx) do have mechanisms in them to have special meetings that allow members to pass a 75% resolution that would send individuals who were no longer representing them packing. We have heard that this is one of several such meetings that are happening in this Region.
We will keep our eye on this process to see where things go.
Posted by MetisMama at 7:21 AM