WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - May 2, 2014) - Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand and the Metis Government today announced the establishment of a province-wide town-hall tour on the impacts of Hydro's Bipole III, Keeyask and Summerberry projects as well as other related hydro impacts.
Hydro's Bipole III transmission line cuts a swath through the Metis traditional lands including the area in western Manitoba known as the Metis Breadbasket. Keeyask and its related transmission line and roads impact Metis hunting, harvesting and cultural activities. Asked why the consultation tour was needed, President Chartrand stated, "Minister Struthers and Hydro President Thomson have failed to recognize that Metis people have rights in their traditional territories and no government or Crown corporation can trample on those rights. We have resolved to have these town-hall meetings undertaken by the MMF Government and I need to talk to my people about the Manitoba Government and Manitoba Hydro insulting our rights."
He further added, "that at no time have the Metis reached an agreement or given free, prior and informed consent to these projects. This will further reinforce to Manitoba Hydro that failure to respect Metis rights and interests or to otherwise exclude Metis participation has negative consequences from a legal, social, ethical and political perspective. Let me be clear the MMF is pro-growth, pro-development and we are open to partnerships, but not at the expense of Metis Rights." Asked what the outcomes of the town hall tour would be, President Chartrand stated, "I have no preconceived ideas but my people are already calling for direct action to slow down or stop these developments. They are calling on us to delay the regulatory process and are demanding that we take court action if our rights are not recognized. As far as I am concerned, it is all on the table but I want to talk to my people first."
There are upwards of 120,000 Metis people currently living in Manitoba with over 60,000 Manitoba Metis Federation adult voting members.
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The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Metis Nation's Manitoba Metis Community.