Moving towards self-government
Building on the consultations held over the past several months in community meetings, the MMF has identified the priorities of the Métis people. The following outlines how self-government would more effectively meet their needs.
Improved healthcare means Métis Elders will not have to choose between their medications and feeding themselves. It means Métis Citizens will have access to health services right in their hometowns and villages. It means better health outcomes because Métis Citizens will have improved access to effective and appropriate healthcare. It means families may not have to be separated because one member has to travel long distances and remain away from home for health services. It is imperative that we, as the Métis Government, pursue long-term healthcare benefits like the First Nations. The 2016 Daniel’s Decision by the Supreme Court of Canada clearly states that we are to be treated with fairness and equality.
Additionally, we will have the strengthened ability to negotiate improved, affordable, sustainable and safe housing for Métis Citizens. Instead of being an afterthought, lumped into a federal budget line with other groups and agencies, we will have the authority to develop a strategy using appropriate measures and benchmarks that accurately reflect the reality of our towns and villages and the housing needs for our families.
ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCES
For example, through self-government, the Métis will be able to determine opportunities to protect and develop resources stemming from responsible water stewardship. These could include developing ecotourism, fish harvesting, as well as lake and river clean-up to protect and enhance important spawning locations. It could also mean implementing measures to maintain the balance of economics and environment, as well as protecting traditional rural industries identified by Métis Citizens.
Métis Citizens have indicated that education is critical to the long-term success of our Métis Nation. The MMF was given this direction by our families, our Elders and our youth. We have been told that this is the number one priority for the Métis Government. The MMF has already secured $21 million, but it’s still not enough to meet the needs of our education. Becoming a self-government will enable us to secure more funding towards the goal of ensuring every Métis Citizen who wants to go to school can do so.
Developing identified economic opportunities will also require an investment in education, entrepreneurship and business development. These supporting investments will assist our Citizens in reaching their earning potential. This will in turn lead to increased revenues into Métis towns and villages as our people begin to spend what they earn. A more affluent Community will mean Métis Citizens can invest in and support local markets and businesses, thereby further improving the overall socio-economic well-being of our Métis Community.
Following the strong leadership of President Chartrand and the MMF Cabinet, we have been able to develop robust economic opportunities in the areas of Energy and Construction. We have been able to take what we have earned and put it into capital projects. For example, the money earned through partnerships with Manitoba Hydro have been reinvested into capital projects, such as the arena in St. Laurent, and Veteran’s Monuments just like the one in the Métis village of Kinosota and the one being made in St. Eustache.
Also, MEDO Care Pharmacy is able to provide our Métis Seniors with free eyeglasses because of the revenue it earns. The more money the Métis Government earns, the more services it can offer. Selfgovernment provides the ability to further these initiatives by increasing investments into Métis-driven businesses