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Great Lakes Public Forum 2016_France Picotte
On October 5, 2016, MNO Chair France Picotte spoke at
the Great Lakes Public Forum 2016. Click here to view a?
larger version of the picture.

From October 4-6, 2016, the M¨¦tis Nation of Ontario (MNO) took part in the Great Lakes Public Forum 2016: Celebrating Our Great Lakes (the Forum) in Toronto.

MNO Chair France Picotte and MNO Associate Director of Education and Way of Life Brian Tucker both spoke during the Forum. Alicia Blore, MNO Education Officer, and Joanna Burt, former MNO Summer Youth Cultural Program Lead, also attended the Forum and provided participants with information on M¨¦tis history and culture and MNO programs and services. Blore and Burt, along with MNO citizen Liam Blore, also entertained delegates with M¨¦tis fiddle music.

Earlier this week, MNO Chair France Picotte was invited to appear on The Agenda with Steve Paikin to discuss Indigenous Peoples and the Great Lakes. The Agenda examined why Indigenous leaders and communities need to be involved in?Great Lakes Public Forum 2016_Metis cultureAlicia Blore (left), MNO Education Officer, and Joanna
Burt (right),?former MNO Summer Youth Cultural Program
Lead, at the Forum. Click here to view a larger version of
the picture.
discussions about the Great Lakes.The program will air on TVO tonight¡ªThursday, October 6¡ªat 8:00 p.m. (EST) and 11:00 p.m. (EST).

Of particular importance to the MNO, the Forum provided an opportunity for the MNO to be a part of the dialogue on Great Lakes priorities and those important to Indigenous peoples.

The M¨¦tis Nation is intimately and inextricably connected to the waterways of the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes basin. M¨¦tis communities depend on the lands, waters and resources of their traditional territories for their well-being¡ªboth physical and cultural. To this day, the regional rights-bearing M¨¦tis communities in Ontario¡¯s Great Lakes basin continue to exercise their Indigenous rights to harvest.

MNO communities throughout Ontario are concerned about the potential environmental damage caused by industries, such as mining and forestry, and their negative effects on the environment including of course the Great Lakes.

The M¨¦tis Nation is also concerned about the impact of climate change on the Great Lakes including, for example, the increased water temperatures, increased rainfall and resulting increased surface runoff of chemicals into the Great Lakes.

The MNO is working closely with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the federal government, particularly Environment and Climate Change Canada, on climate change initiatives in order to enlighten MNO citizens and communities about the impacts of climate change on the unique M¨¦tis way of life.

The MNO is also working closely with the Ontario and federal governments to implement the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. As a result of our engagement with the Crown in 2011, the M¨¦tis are now represented on the Great Lakes Water Quality Board and the Great Lakes Executive Committee.

Published on: October 6, 2016

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