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Métis Nation is pleased with long awaited stimulus announcement

OTTAWA, March 25 /CNW/ - The federal government has announced two major stimulus projects for the Métis Nation which will help improve Skills and Training opportunities for Métis in British Columbia and boost the heritage/tourism industry at Métis Crossing in Alberta.

Métis National Council President Clément Chartier says, "The Métis Nation has waited more than two years to hear these announcements, so today's news is very welcome especially for our Métis citizens in B.C. and Alberta. I am especially pleased that Prime Minister Stephen Harper kept his promise made last month, to ensure Métis do not fall through the cracks."

The Métis Nation British Columbia will be receiving $1.45 million to improve its Métis Skills and Employment Centre in Abbotsford, B.C. This support will help to increase the number of Métis who will be able to learn a trade and join the workforce. Meanwhile, the Métis Nation of Alberta is to receive $3.5 million that will be directed to the construction of a cultural interpretive and gathering centre at Métis Crossing. This historic site located northeast of Edmonton, is quickly becoming one of Alberta's top tourist attractions.

Absent from today's announcement is a third stimulus flagship proposal from the Manitoba Métis Federation which aims to build a National Métis Museum to be located in the heart of the Métis Nation, at the Forks in Winnipeg.

President Chartier says, "This third stimulus project is important in that it will allow the Métis Nation to capture and display our history, culture, language and to show our pride. While the project has not been announced at this time, we will continue to pursue this cultural imperative. Now that an election appears imminent, we hope the government and in particular its Métis candidates, will be supportive as well as the opposition parties."

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 Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the northern United States. There are approximately 350,000 - 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.

For further information:
Robert McDonald, MNC at
(613) 232-3216 or (613) 292-8606 mobile
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