The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) has joined other Indigenous organizations in laying out what it wants to see from the federal parties and, ultimately, the next federal government.
Fifteen key items have been identified by the MMF, whose office is headquartered in Winnipeg.
One of them is enacting the modern-day treaty signed with the Trudeau government earlier this summer.
The MMF estimates the cost of governance to be at least $30 million annually, and is asking parties to commit to that funding so the MMF can deliver services to Métis citizens.
MMF President David Chartrand said he will stand behind any government that supports the Métis Nation.
“I’ve been in politics a long time, and people say, ‘David, you’re just Liberal,'” Chartrand said in an interview with APTN News. “No, I’m not.
“I supported former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney. I’ll say it publicly, former Conservative prime minister Joe Clark. So those are people that actually had a lot of respect for the Métis people.”
Chartrand said he wasn’t very close with former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien. But he was close with [former Liberal prime minister] Paul Martin.
“For one reason alone,” Chartrand said, “because he supported the Métis Nation, and so does [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau; he showed this by putting [in] resources.”
Another priority is to include the MMF in the coverage and benefits of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.
It also wants to see a 10-year, $50-million agreement to address Métis homelessness.
The MMF also highlighted reparations for land claims, which it has pegged at $1-billion or more spread over 20 years.
Chartrand says Indigenous peoples need to vote so their voices can be heard.
“Indigenous people matter, and it’s going to be very, very important that everybody comes out to vote,” he said. “I think people need to send their message. If not you do not matter – any political party will tell you that.
“If you don’t come out to vote, why should they listen? Why should they hear or address your concerns?”
The MMF based its priorities on surveys of MMF citizens, and the experiences of Chartrand and his cabinet members.