Métis Nation praises Manitoba Access Awareness Week

June 2, 2010

Ottawa, ON — Métis National Council (MNC) President Clément Chartier is commending the Province of Manitoba for proclaiming May 30 to July 5, 2010 Manitoba Access Awareness Week. The week will be celebrated with several events intended to raise awareness of the barriers faced by persons with disabilities.“There are countless barriers preventing Métis Nation citizens with disabilities in Manitoba and across the Métis homeland from fully participating in society,” said Chartier “The Government of Manitoba should be congratulated for taking a leading role in raising awareness of these challenges, and helping find ways to ensure all persons with disabilities have improved accessibility in their communities.”

Improving accessibility, particularly in rural and remote Métis communities, is a key issues being worked on by the Improving Employment Outcomes for Métis persons with Disabilities national advisory group. Comprised of representatives of the MNC and its Governing Members, the advisory group is working with the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work in exploring innovative and effective tools and services aimed at meeting the employment needs of Métis Nation citizens with disabilities.

“Many rural and remote Métis communities across the homeland lack the necessary resources to be fully accessible,” said David Chartrand, MNC Minister for Social Development and Chair of the advisory group. “With the proper support for improving accessibility, Métis persons with disabilities can be an integral part of their community and a vital part of the economy.”

To highlight accessibility issues in rural and remote Métis communities, the advisory group will be holding its next meeting this summer in La Ronge, SK, where they will see firsthand the barriers being faced by thousands of Métis Nation citizens with disabilities. These issues will also be a key agenda topic of a Métis Nation Forum on Disabilities, being held with October in Winnipeg, MB.

The national advisory board is encouraging other provinces in the Métis homeland to join Manitoba in helping raise awareness of accessibility issues, and is offering its support and expertise in improving accessibility for Métis Nation citizens and all Canadian with disabilities.

For more information contact Greg Taylor, MNC Communications, at (613) 296-9263 or gregt@metisnation.ca.

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