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The Métis National Council (MNC) and the Women of the Métis Nation (WMN) express disappointment with the report released by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women

OTTAWA, March 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Métis National Council (MNC) is expressing its' frustration with the report released by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women.

The Final Report fails to address the unique circumstances of Métis women and girls and fails to adopt concrete measures to address the needs of Métis women and girls.

Melanie Omeniho, President of the Women of the Métis Nation, stated, "In point of fact, Metis women were denied an opportunity to meet with the committee despite requests by my office to appear before the Parliamentary Committee". David Chartrand, Vice-President of the MNC and President of the Manitoba Metis Federation, called the report "incomplete" and asked whether there "were missing pages as the report fails utterly to address Métis women and girls issues".

Melanie Omeniho, President of the Women of the Métis Nation, called the report a "missed opportunity" to address issue of Métis women and girls.  "The Committee's recommendations do not go far enough and are at too high a level to be of any meaningful effect.  What we need is Métis specific recommendations and action plans," said Omeniho.

While the MNC and the Women of the Métis Nation continue to support a national inquiry, they were clear that there is no reason why the Government of Canada cannot move now to address the underlying social and economic conditions of Metis women.  Vice-President Chartrand stated, "we need now to move on the economic agenda and renew critical employment and training programs like the Aboriginal Skills & Employment Training initiative (ASETS).  Omeniho also called on the need to promote awareness of the issue and to "develop a violence prevention initiative that is community based and well resourced".

Asked about the scope of a National Public Inquiry. Vice-President Chartrand indicated that "we do not support a study for the sake of study, what we want is a clearly focused inquiry that focuses on the real issues behind missing and murdered Métis women and girls".  "These issues are not limited to Indian reserves, the majority of Métis live in urban centres and this report fails to address this important demographic", said Omeniho.

Both the MNC and the Women of the Métis Nation supported those recommendations that go towards improving the criminal justice system to make it more responsive to the victims of these crimes. "Any measure that goes towards improving the ability of the criminal justice system to prevent violence against Métis women and girls we support, said Chartrand.

The Métis National Council (MNC) and the Women of the Métis Nation (WMN) were created to advance the interests of the 400,000 people who identify as Métis within the traditional territory of the Métis people from Ontario west.

The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the northern United States. There are approximately 350,000 - 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (Women of the Métis Nation) speaks as the national and international voice for Métis women.  WMN aims to consult, promote and represent the personal, spiritual, social, cultural, political and economic interests and aspirations of the Métis Nation in Canada.

SOURCE Métis National Council

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