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Métis Enhance Culture and Programming

By Valerie G. Barnes-Connell

Jun 5, 2020

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Much has happened with Métis Nation—Saskatchewan (MN-S) and thus, with the Jim Brady Métis Local #19 Corporation Inc. in recent months with the signing of the agreement between the federal Liberal government and MN-S.


On June 27, 2019, MN-S and the Government of Canada signed the Métis Recognition and Self-Government Agreement according to the MN-S news release dated June 27, 2019.


The signing was termed ‘historic’ and ‘a momentous step toward reconciliation;’ and recognizing MN-S’s right to ‘self-government and self-determination,’ where the way is open to start working on basic governance concerns, including such areas as citizenship, leadership selection and financial accountability.


‘This historic agreement is a major step toward guaranteeing our rights to our land, our resources, our education, and our culture. It is real progress for our people.’ Glen McCallum, MN-S President, is quoted as saying in the news release.


The Agreement was the base for several initiatives here in La Ronge. The launch of the Northern Saskatchewan Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NSITEP) is history in the making, Earl Cook, MN-S Minister of Education, said at the launch September 5, 2019.


While there have been many new initiatives over the intervening months, MN-S’s focus has been on supporting their members in the COVID-19 pandemic. MN-S announced $2.88 in COVID-19 relief for Métis households for childcare supports, personal protective equipment (PPE) and cost of living hardships, according to the MN-S news release dated March 31, 2020.


MN-S announced programs to support Métis people through this pandemic – the Emergency Housing Support Program and the Personal Protective Equipment. Information is available through their regional representatives or by calling 1-833-343-8391. For Childcare Support, please contact Lisa Fleming at lfleming@mns.work or call 1-833-343-8391.


Among initiatives MN-S had been working on before the pandemic – early learning and childcare and post-secondary education, setting up a regional office in La Ronge, the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) education and employment office with a counsellor.


The Métis Registry is another initiative, through with MN-S assists people with their membership registration. People can get assistance with this through their regional offices.


As a direct result of the signing of the Agreement, three new offices, housed in the Kikinahk Friendship Centre in La Ronge, opened in the fall of 2019. They are: an MN-S regional office with Manager Anne Dorion; Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment, with Employment Counsellor, Victoria Murray; and the Jim Brady Métis Local Corporation Inc. with President Laura Burnouf. Earl Cook is the Regional Representative and MN-S treasurer.


This article first appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of Community Connections, a publication of the Kikinahk Friendship Centre, La Ronge, Saskatchewan.


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