The Metis Nation-Saskatchewan general assembly is underway in Saskatoon, however, it started with a bit of controversy.

Former treasurer, Mary Ann Morin, stood in protest of her removal from her position.

In December, the Provincial Metis Council announced they had accepted Morin’s resignation from her position. She was elected as treasurer at last May’s MN-S election.

Following the announcement, Morin claimed she never sent a resignation letter and was being removed by the PMC against her will. MN-S leadership say they received her resignation through email, but Morin claims someone tampered with her email.

In the meantime, a collection of representatives from the Metis Nation have been fulfilling Morin’s duties.

At Saturday’s MN-S assembly in Saskatoon, Morin walked in with the rest of the MN-S leadership and stood in front of the main podium.

“I was voted in by the people and not the PMC,” Morin told the assembly before remaining silent for the rest of the morning.

She would remain standing in front of the podium for the entirety of the opening addresses. No attempt was made to remove her from her protest.

During the speeches, no one addressed Morin’s presence in front of the podium. President Glen McCallum only spoke to the history of political in-fighting in the organization and the rules and policies their government must follow.

“Yes, we have our infighting,” he told the assembly during his State of the Nation address. “But that will not stop us from achieving our goals.”

The infighting in the MN-S led the federal government to begin withholding funding to the organization in 2014. Following a May 2017 election, where McCallum and Morin were elected, funding was restored.

This weekend’s assembly is the first since the election.

“We have to begin the process of tightening our government,” said McCallum. “I, like many of you, was tired of the infighting, but it will be governance and policies that will continue to guide us through.”

Neither Morin nor McCallum was immediately available to comment on the silent protest.

The general assembly will wrap up on Sunday.

(PHOTO – the grand entry at this weekend’s MN-S Legislative Assembly.  Photo by Joel Willick)