Special Bulletin from President Chartrand COVID-19 Update

Special COVID-19 Bulletin for Manitoba Metis Citizens

March 25, 2020

Special COVID-19 Bulletin for Manitoba Metis Citizens

Thanks for the Ongoing Patience and Supports Being Provided by All

Canada continues to see an increase of COVID-19 cases, and Manitoba has just reported 35 lab-confirmed and probable positive cases at this time. We anticipate that there will be a rapid rise in cases, and we urge all people to be very cautious. We ask you to respect social-isolation measures for the protection of all.

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) has been the first to react in response to this threat, and since December has been preparing in case the COVID-19 crisis struck the Manitoba Metis community. We have recently expanded our Health Action Plan funding and contributed $1 million in efforts to provide direct services to the Manitoba Metis community.

In addition to this funding, we commend Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller on the latest Metis-specific funding announcement directly allocated to the Manitoba Metis Government of $7,250,000. This new funding will be flexible to support the health and safety of our Metis people.

This is just the beginning of several months of our Action Plan that will need to be put into place. This is not a sprint; we need to consider this as a marathon. We must continue to work together.

Your Manitoba Metis Government has been working diligently to help lessen the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in our community. MMF Cabinet is meeting weekly to get COVID-19-related updates and plan immediate actions. Also, MMF Cabinet members and staff have been meeting daily to implement internal policies and develop programs and resources to protect the health and safety of our Citizens.

Firstly, I thank our MMF Minister of Health and Wellness, Frances Chartrand, and our Minister of Finance, Anita Campbell, for their leadership in the development of these programs, policies, and procedures. I also thank Ministers Will Goodon and Jack Park, who have been working hard to prepare and stock our mobile health units and secure health facilities to address the needs of our Citizens.

In addition, I would like to thank all our Home Office and Regional staff for taking the time out of their day to be present at these meetings during this extraordinary time. I would also like to thank staff who have been continuing their work in whatever capacity they can to ensure the needs of our Citizens are being met. It has been a difficult transition for all of us, but we must continue to adapt and be ready.

And last but not least, I would like to thank all of our Manitoba Metis Citizens for your patience in this difficult time. Many of our cultural programs and other services are temporarily suspended as a result of COVID-19, but rest assured we are doing our very best to keep all essential services available. We are committed to keeping staff working to serve our Citizens and provide essential services.

Even during this toughest of times, we need to celebrate our sense of community and our commitment to each other: we need to work together and stay strong to overcome the challenges we will face in the coming weeks and months.

Please practice social distancing, wash your hands, and be mindful of how your actions may affect others in your community. Your daily choices can have huge impacts on the health, literally the life or death, of our Elders and those with vulnerable health conditions. Please be cautious. This is a difficult message, but if you can be home during this crisis, stay home.

Your Metis Government is here for you. We will continue to work together as we all do our part to stay home. We encourage you to stay in contact with your regions and share with others supports that are being offered so no one gets left behind. We will continue to deliver services to our Elders, entrepreneurs, and all those negatively impacted by the

COVID-19 crisis. Please be patient as delivery systems across the nation are slowed, as we are starting our food support program and delivery.

Rest assured, we will continue to keep you updated on the MMF services being provided in response to our Health Action Plan, as well as on other services available by other governments or organizations. We know many of you have questions and concerns. The MMF will continue to update information as it becomes available, and you can expect to learn more about our solutions-based approach on how, together, we will overcome this crisis.

As customary to our culture we will continue to focus on the needs of our Elders. We look towards our youth and ask for all to take seriously the threat this virus has on our Nation. Our youth of today have an advantage of understanding technology, and we encourage you to use it to your advantage and use it wisely.

I will be keeping the health and security of our Nation and Citizens in my prayers as we continue combatting the threat of the COVID-19 virus. I hope all of you are doing well, both in body and mind, through this difficult time – and remember this crisis will subside and the social and economic troubles it is causing will come to an end. Until then please keep diligent in your protection efforts and take this opportunity to enjoy the quality time at home with your families.

Now and always, your Metis Government will be here for you.

David Chartrand

President

Manitoba Metis Federation

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Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis are Canada’s Negotiating Partner in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.

For media information, please contact:
Al Foster
Director – Communications
Manitoba Metis Federation
Office: (204) 586-8474 x324
Cell: (204) 806-4752
Email: al.foster@mmf.mb.ca

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