The Metis Nation presented Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with its highest honour in Ottawa Thursday.
Prior to a summit between Trudeau, selected ministers from his cabinet and leaders of the Metis Nation, Trudeau was presented with the Order of the Metis Nation.
At the same news conference, both Trudeau and Metis National Council President Clement Chartier said the relationship between the Metis and government has come a long way since the Liberals took power.
“Reconciliation, it’s a term that some people might say is used loosely, and just another buzzword,” said Chartier. “But we in the Metis Nation have witnesses reconciliation in action.
“Your ministers have again, not only been dedicated but have been more than willing to work with us as we move forward, which is a good thing because they as well believe in your vision of reconciliation.”
Chartier says that when he first met Trudeau, he tried to impress upon him it was critical to address the challenges facing Indigenous Peoples with respect for the unique needs of Metis, First Nations, and Inuit.
Trudeau said the relationship the government has with the Metis Nation is a “model” of reconciliation.
“Over the past years we have come a tremendous long way in working with the Metis Nation on their priorities on economic capacity building, on responding to long standing challenges, I really want to put forward this relationship as the model of what reconciliation can be, tangibly, and concretely.
After the news conference both sides went behind closed door for a meeting.
After a joint news release a number of issues were discussed including; child and family services, education, health, justice and policing, youth and sports, and implementation of Section 35 rights. and post secondary education.
“Through the Canada-Métis Nation Accord process in the past two years, we have achieved more with this federal government than with any of its predecessors,” said Chartier after the meeting.
“We truly look forward to working with Prime Minister Trudeau and his ministers to maintain this momentum going forward.”