The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is one step closer toward reaching a self-government agreement with the federal government.
Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett was in Winnipeg on Saturday to announce a three-part plan for moving forward to advance reconciliation with the Manitoba Metis community.
The plan builds on the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation, which was established in 2016, and includes $154.3 million of funding from Ottawa.
The announcement was made during the MMF’s annual general assembly in Winnipeg.
MMF President David Chartrand became emotional as he described how this announcement signifies a new relationship with Canada.
“This is going to change lives,” Chartrand told the crowd. “No longer can our unique history, rights and self-government be denied.”
Some of the money will be put toward improving the social and economic well-being of the Manitoba Metis community.
MMF Minister Judy Mayer said she hopes to see the money go toward housing for members in her community. She works in The Pas in northern Manitoba and said some of the smaller Metis settlements near there have inadequate housing.
Funding will also go toward helping the Manitoba Metis community gain full jurisdiction over legal status and a future of self-determination.
At the announcement Bennett said this is a big step toward reconciliation with the Metis people.
“This demonstrates concrete progress between the MMF and Canada,” she said. “It is an example of progress we want to be making coast to coast to coast with all Indigenous people.”
The self-government negotiations with the MMF are the first talks to get underway with a Metis collective in the southern provinces.