I am writing in regards to conversations that occurred during our meeting of December 2, 2015. I committed during that meeting to follow up with you on a number of questions and issues. Since that time, we have had the opportunity to look into the matters you raised in more detail and so I wanted to provide you with the following information.
You raised the topic of the upcoming celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Specifically, you asked how and if Aboriginal organizations and peoples would be invited to participate. As you may be aware, preparations for and programming related to these celebrations are being led by Heritage Canada. Following our meeting, we have had discussions with colleagues at that Department. Heritage Canada would be pleased to discuss this matter with you further at your convenience and is best placed to provide you with additional information on how your organization and its members may be able to access programs and funding aimed at ensuring a strong Aboriginal participation in celebrating this important landmark in the history of Canada. Contact information for Heritage Canada related to the Canada 150 Fund for project and initiatives in British Columbia is as follows:Phone: 604-666-0176 or 1-866-811-0055 (toll-free) Fax: 604-666-3508 Email: PCH.bro-wro.PCH@canada.ca Mail: Canada Heritage Canada 150 Fund 351 Abbott Street, Suite 205 Vancouver BC V6B0G6
I am also pleased to be able to inform you that our Minister extended the engagement of Mr. Tom Isaacs as Ministerial Special Representative. Mr. Isaac will be continuing his work to explore and provide recommendations on how the Government of Canada can best move forward with partners toward a new reconciliation framework on Section 35 Métis rights. This engagement process is a key step forward on a path of reconciliation and renewal toward a shared prosperous future for the benefit of Métis people and all Canadians. A report will be prepared for the Minister summarizing what was heard during these exploratory talks, along with key recommendations from the Ministerial Special Representative about how best to move forward. It will be at the Minister’s discretion as to whether the report will be made public.
You also asked for information related to programming offered by our office. As you may be aware, the funding offered by my office for representative organizations I provided through the Aboriginal Representative Organization – Basic Organizational Capacity funding program. Program details, eligibility and application process can be found at the Indigenous and Northern Affair’s website at: https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1386699114943/1386699171938#h2-3. Should your organization apply for this program, your application will be given all due and proper consideration by my office.
Should you require any additional information on any of the above, do not hesitate to contact me and I will endeavour to clarify where and as possible. Similarly, should I have inadvertently not addressed any matter that was raised, please let me know.
Lastly, I would like to sincerely thank you for having taken the time to come and meet with us at our office. During the last few months we have had the opportunity to sit down with a number of representative from different organizations. The information you shared with us regarding your organization’s perspectives, views, and activities was genuinely appreciated and valued as part of our ongoing effort to build strong and positive relationships with Métis peoples across the country.
Sincerely,Ian Kretcheson Director Métis and Non-Status Indian Relations Directorate