WINNIPEG, MB, IN THE NATIONAL HOMELAND OF THE RED RIVER MÉTIS, Nov. 9, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, condemns the hypocrisy of the Métis National Council (MNC), expressed through their recent release in support of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), as they defend their identity against fraudulent claims to Inuit identity.
The MNC has shown, once again, that it has no shame, standing in support of another Indigenous people as they defend themselves against false claims to their identity, while at the same time ignoring that its own purpose has evolved to become a pan-Indigenous organizationthat allows non-Métis into their membership.
“We stand with all legitimate Indigenous rightsholders in Canada who are fighting in defence of their identity, including the Inuit,” said Will Goodon, MMF’s Minister of Housing and Property Management. “To watch the pan-Indigenous advocacy group called the MNC stand shoulder to shoulder with the Inuit, while at the same time supporting these ‘new historic communities’ in Ontario claiming our identity, is utterly absurd.”
The statement was released at the same time that the MMF – the only defender of the true and historic Métis Nation – was appearing in front of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Committee in Ottawa, to outline Red River Métis concerns and opposition to Bill C-53, An Act respecting the recognition of certain Métis governments in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, represented by Will Goodon and Al Benoit (MMF’s Chief of Staff).
The MMF strongly believes in Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and our inherent right of self-government. A recent study published by Drs. Celeste Pedri-Spade and Darryl Leroux entitled The Sault Ste. Marie “Métis” Community and “Halfbreed Petition” further affirms the legitimacy of the shared concerns of First Nations in Ontario and the Manitoba Métis Federation, clearly showing that the people the MNO is claiming as “root ancestors” are First Nations ancestors whose offspring were absorbed back into the First Nations communities that were their origins. The report clearly outlines that the MNO is distorting our unique Red River Métis culture and heritage, as well as the culture and heritage of Ontario First Nations, seizing on any reference to “half-breeds”, “voyageurs” or “freemen” to validate their claims.
“These MNO fakes are represented at the national level by MNC, which is supporting ITK as they fight against fakes and pretenders,” said Minister Goodon. “This is the epitome of talking out of both sides of your mouth. We’re tired of watching these bait and switch tactics be legitimized by colonial governments. We have the right to determine who we are, and we are saying clearly that these people in Ontario are not us. We can go back centuries and show that there is no connection between these people in Ontario outside of our Homeland, and the true and historic Métis Nation.”
The National Government of the Red River Métis stands firmly beside all Indigenous Nations and their representative bodies, including ITK, who must fight against outsiders seeking to steal their identity.
“I invite President Natan Obed and all legitimate Inuit representatives to work with us as we all stand against false claims to our identity,” said Minister Goodon. “It’s unfortunate, but we have extensive experience in dealing with the antics of false claimants and the tactics they use, including hypocritical, contradictory statements and misuse of the history and culture of legitimate rightsholders. We understand that this fight is existential, and we – like other Indigenous rights-bearing collectives – will never stop fighting for our right to exist, and the right to say who belongs to us and who does not.”
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis. The Red River Métis are a distinct Indigenous Nation and People and Canada’s Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.
SOURCE Manitoba Métis Federation