Provincial Budget Makes Commitment to Manitoba Metis Community
Promise Must Bring Action – Not More Words.
For Immediate Release – April 4, 2007
Winnipeg, Manitoba – We applaud the Manitoba Government for its budget commitment to work with the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) to develop a new Metis Economic Development Strategy. For years the MMF has been working towards Metis Community and Metis Government sustainability with virtually no assistance from Manitoba.
We would like to have seen more substance in the commitment. Unfortunately the budget promise has no targets, no timetable, and no mention of resources. If this is to move beyond words and become a reality, we must come to a clear understanding and agreement. Action must be taken. Only then can praise be given.Manitoba had earlier promised to engage the MMF on a Government-to-Government basis, implement a Metis Policy, support the Kelowna Accord’s Metis-specific commitments, and honour the Supreme Court Powley Decision on the Metis right to harvest for food. We await substantive action from Manitoba to implement these promises. This budget does little to move these forward.
We see Manitoba has further enhanced its relationship and deepened its commitment to First Nations. We congratulate them and wish them the best of success. But we want to also make clear that First Nations’ success cannot be at the cost of our Metis entrepreneurs, employees, families and community.
The Metis Community must have fair and equitable access to the benefits of major natural resource development projects on our traditional lands. To date the Metis Community has been shut out of economic development opportunities such as hydroelectric project partnerships, mill joint-ventures, and forestry management, as well as land-use planning and decision-making.
The Metis are hardworking taxpayers who are facing crumbling traditional economies, depleting resources, and changing demographics. The Metis ask for the resources to meet these challenges. The Metis are ready to continue taking steps to fully participate in Manitoba’s growing economy. The Metis want to be full and equal partners in Manitoba’s future success.
For more information please contact:
Nhu Hong, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 586-8474 or Cell: 479-2873