MMF: Equity from Manitoba Justice far from Reconciliation
June 17, 2021
Winnipeg, MB, in the Homeland of the Métis Nation – The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is appalled that once again the Manitoba Government is avoiding respectful and reconciliatory nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationships with the Métis Nation. The provincial government — without any engagement with the MMF — recently announced the establishment of an Indigenous Elders Advisory Council. The Pallister Government alleges the Council is to help address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Manitoba’s criminal justice system.
“Establishing a council aimed at lowering Indigenous representation in the criminal justice system without the participation of Indigenous governments shows how out of touch the Pallister Government is when it comes to reconciliation in Manitoba,” said Julyda Lagimodiere, MMF Minister of Justice. “We welcome our Elders participating in meaningful work and making contributions to their communities — but the Government of Manitoba picking our Citizens and calling it ‘grassroots’ is not reconciliation.
“Our Elders are our Knowledge Keepers and hold our collective wisdom as a Nation — selecting them in isolation without the support of their government and their community means they run the risk of being used politically or being ignored, misunderstood, or misused by a provincial government that has too often shown itself to be far from cooperative,” Minister Lagimodiere said. “The Pallister Government is not willing to build partnerships — even around the establishment of the council or providing our Elders with the necessary support to ensure their success.
“This is another lost opportunity for a potential partnership to work together with the MMF, jointly recommend council members, and create a plan for future community engagement. This is very disappointing and disrespectful,” continued Minister Lagimodiere. “In one breath, Manitoba says they want to have an ongoing dialogue on justice matters, but then in the next breath, they muzzle our communities’ democratically elected and accountable voices.”
“The Manitoba Government talks about meaningful reconciliation, respectful involvement, and the search for innovative solutions. An Advisory Council can have an impact on policy and Indigenous governments need to be fully involved in policy development from start to finish,” explained David Chartrand, President of the MMF. “If Manitoba really wanted to make a lasting and meaningful impact, as well as making best use taxpayers’ dollars, they would not ignore and disregard their Indigenous counterparts. It is irresponsible and insulting.”
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the democratic self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis Community is Canada’s Partner in Confederation and the Founder of the Province of Manitoba.
For more information, media may contact:
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Metis Federation