June 29, Ottawa, ON
The Métis National Council (MNC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Métis Veterans Legacy Program. The Program is an integral part of the $30 million agreement signed by Canada and the Métis Nation on June 13, 2019 to honour Métis Veterans of the Second World War including the payment of compensation. The Agreement was accompanied by an apology from Canada for the wrongs Métis WWII Veterans experienced upon their return to Canada.
“Our Nation has waited 75 years for this. Canada’s apology to our Veterans has resonated throughout the Métis Homeland with reverence,” says MNC Veterans Minister David Chartrand who led efforts over two decades to seek justice for the Métis Veterans who served in WWII. “Those we have lost during our struggle for recognition can finally rest in peace, knowing they have been recognized and honoured for their contributions and sacrifice. Our Nation rejoices as we celebrate the surviving WWII Veterans and honour them as they receive their Recognition Payment.”
The Métis Nation Veterans Legacy Program (MVLP) has two objectives:
To recognize, through individual Recognition Payments, Second World War Métis Veteran’s pre- and post-war experiences that may have negatively impacted their demobilization success; and
To support commemorative initiatives through the Commemoration Program that promotes awareness and appreciation of our Métis Veterans’ sacrifices and contributions throughout the Métis Nation and all of Canada.
As very few of the Second World War Métis Veterans are still living, Minister Chartrand has initiated Phase I of a campaign throughout the Métis Homeland to identify our living WWII Métis Veterans. During the past year, 23 WWII Métis Veterans have been presented with their $20,000 Recognition Payments, along with the heartfelt thanks of the Métis Nation, an apology from the Government of Canada, a ceremonial Métis Sash and a hand-beaded traditional Métis broach. The Program will support further efforts to identify all other Second World War Métis Veterans living and present them with their Recognition Payment as soon as possible.
In consideration of those Veterans who passed during the negotiation period with Canada, Phase II of the campaign was initially designed to compensate the spouses and common-law partners of deceased WWII Métis Veterans who passed after January 2016. In addition, should the spouse or common-law partner have also passed, the surviving children of the Veteran are entitled to receive equal portions of the $20,000 Recognition Payment.
After careful consideration and deliberations with community members and family members of our WWII Veterans, Minister Chartrand announced today that the policy is now inclusive of Recognition Payments being presented to all surviving spouses and common-law partners regardless of when their loved one passed. The policy remains the same that if the spouse or common-law partner has also passed, all living children of a WWII Métis Veteran who has passed after January 2016 are eligible to receive equal portions of the $20,000 Recognition Payment.
“The importance of family remains the essence of the Métis Nation,” states Minister David Chartrand. “Our WWII Métis Veterans who have passed would want to take care of their families and ensure their future and prosperity. Phase II of the MVLP will accomplish this and help the families of our Veterans heal, and take comfort knowing their loved one is being honoured as a Hero of this country.”
Phase III is the Commemoration Program which is expected to be launched in August of 2020. The intent of the Commemoration Program is to keep the Second World War Métis Veterans’ legacy alive by promoting awareness and appreciation amongst Métis and the Canadian public of their achievements and sacrifices for generations to come. It will support the work that Métis communities have traditionally undertaken to honor our Veterans such as the erection of monuments and ceremonies as well as undertake new initiatives. Grassroots consultations with Métis Nation citizens will assist in identifying the scope and eligibility requirements of these initiatives as we further develop the Commemoration Program.
In April 2020, Métis National Council launched a new Métis Veterans on-line portal to support efforts to recognize Veterans and promote commemoration of their immense contributions and sacrifices. You can also use the portal to apply online for the Recognition Payment. (visit: www.metisveterans.ca)
“Our Heroes Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.”
For more information contact:
Métis National Council
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 the contiguous parts of British Columbia, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the United States. There are approximately 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.