Tone Of Negotiations Worries National Metis Leader

Monday, September 26, 2005 at 14:46



Métis National Council president Clem Chartier is concerned about what he says he is hearing in ongoing negotiations with the federal and provincial governments in advance of November’s First Ministers Meeting on Aboriginal Issues.


Chartier says there is an absence of Métis-specific commitments emerging from these talks.


Chartier notes the federal government declared earlier this year that its relationship with the Métis people is changing, but Chartier charges that federal bureaucrats haven’t changed how they deal with the Métis.


Chartier is indicating that both levels of government are again engaged in the usual “political game of jurisdictional football” in regards to the Métis.


He says Métis leaders and academics have outlined a number of proposals designed to narrow the gap between Métis and other Canadians, and the time for talking is over.


Those proposals include enhancing Métis scholarship and bursary trusts, establishing a Métis child care initiative, investing in Métis educational institutions and creating a Métis housing authority to build new social housing in Métis communities.


Chartier points out that, according to the 2001 Census, Métis represent roughly 25 per cent of the Aboriginal population in Canada.