MMF expresses deep concern about well-being of Red River Métis children and youth in Mountain View School Division

Press Release

June 3, 2024

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, expresses deep concern with the ongoing dysfunction at Mountain View School Division (MVSD) in our Northwest Region, including recent demonstrations of intolerance and racism, and how these affect our children, Youth and families.

The MMF’s Northwest Region sponsored the second annual, successful Pride Parade in Dauphin on Saturday. Unfortunately, the event was overshadowed by the MVSD superintendent’s abrupt dismissal the night before. Northwest Regional leadership and Citizens were deeply concerned by reports within the community that the superintendent’s dismissal was at least partly in reaction to the Pride parade beginning on school grounds.

“As the elected representative for many Red River Métis families who call the Northwest Region home, I am deeply concerned about the superintendent’s dismissal, and what we are hearing about the reasons,” said Frances Chartrand, Vice-President of the Northwest Region. “The school grounds are often a gathering point for community activities, and we cannot ignore the possibility that the school division dismissal of the superintendent may be an indirect expression of intolerance or hostility at marginalized members of our community. MVSD is entrusted with teaching the children of our community, which includes First Nations, Inuit and Red River Métis children, as well as gender diverse children. How can we continue extending that trust if it risks harm to the well-being of our children?”

The MMF recognizes that all school boards are fully entitled to make decisions about governance and human resources. They are also entitled to make decisions about their public views on topics of general concern. However, MVSD, like all school divisions, has an elevated level of responsibility for providing a safe space for all children, regardless of the personal or political views of any employees or elected officials in the system.

“Our government has been monitoring MVSD in recent months, due to some deeply troubling views that have been expressed and actions that have been taken,” said David Chartrand, President of the MMF. “We have every confidence that the Province of Manitoba is equally concerned about this, and we anticipate that they will also feel that intervention by governing bodies is crucial at this point. We will not tolerate racism, prejudice or the advancement of personal agendas in our school system. We have come a long way in Dauphin and the Northwest to eliminate racism and intolerance, and it is sad to see that there are a select few who keep that racism and hatred as a part of their daily lives. The Red River Métis fought hard to create and preserve a province that is inclusive for all. Rest assured, we will do everything in our power to keep it that way, particularly for our children.”

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For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation
204-801-7710
Kat.Patenaude@mmf.mb.ca

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