Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

January 21, 2011 21:02 ET

Minister Duncan, Provincial Ministers and Metis Leaders Meet at Second Metis Economic Development Symposium

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 21, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, met January 19, 2011 with Métis Nation leaders and the Aboriginal Affairs Ministers from the five western-most provinces and industry representatives to launch the second Métis Economic Development Symposium (MEDS), which took place January 20 and 21 in Vancouver.

 "We are committed to pursuing our work in partnership with Métis leaders and provincial governments to ensure that Métis continue to fully share in economic development opportunities across Canada," said Minister Duncan. "All parties are fulfilling the commitment made at the first symposium held in December 2009 to work together to find opportunities to collaborate on economic development for Métis men and women and discuss progress made over the last year."

The first Métis Economic Development Symposium was hosted in Calgary in 2009 by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, then Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians.

The second Métis Economic Development Symposium presented an opportunity for participants to make note of the significant progress made over the year and to discuss, among other topics, successful approaches to economic development and practical ways to strengthen entrepreneurship among Métis women. 

Métis National Council President Clément Chartier says, "We've reached the point in our discussions that we are now ready to take the Métis Economic Development Strategy to the next level. MEDS has been a fantastic opportunity to exchange views and build good will with our Federal and Provincial counterparts and now it's time to get down to develop a long-term strategy and for this, we are keen on engaging private industry."

Ministers and Métis leaders agreed to coordinate existing efforts through a Working Group of officials in order to explore development of a long term Métis economic development strategy. This strategy will consider areas such as: encouraging successful and sustainable Métis entrepreneurship, ways to engage with the private sector in economic development, and participation in the workforce. The working group will report back to Principals in 2013. "The British Columbia Government continues to work on building social and economic opportunities that will benefit Métis people in all corners of the province," said Barry Penner, B.C. Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. "I was delighted to welcome this Economic Development Symposium to B.C., and it has provided excellent opportunities to learn, from across Canada."

The meetings of Ministers and Métis leaders stems in part from the Métis Nation Protocol, signed in 2008 between INAC and the Métis National Council (MNC), committing the two parties to work on a range of issues, and the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, which represents a fundamental change in how the Government of Canada supports Aboriginal economic development.

The year 2010 was a pivotal one for the Métis Nation. In addition to other achievements, the Government of Canada contributed $5 million to the Clarence Campeau Development Fund to establish the Métis Energy and Resource Program and
another $3.7 million over three years to the Westcap Management Limited to support Métis and First Nations participation in major energy projects. To mark 2010 as the Year of the Métis, the Government of Canada unveiled a commemorative medallion and contributed to the Veterans Garden located at the Batoche Historic site in honour of Métis Veterans. 

Please visit Achievements — Recent Government of Canada Initiatives involving the Métis National Council for more details.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    Minister's Office
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    Metis National Council
    Robert McDonald
    Manager of Public and Political Relations
    613-232-3216 x 509
    613-292-8606 (cell)
    or
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations
    819-953-1160
    or
    BC's Ministry of Aboriginal Relations
    and Reconciliation
    Karen Williams
    250-387-1460
    250-360-6222 (cell)