MN-S moving forward after recent election
- EFN Staff | June 12, 2017
The long-awaited election for the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan (MN-S) has finally taken place, drawing out nearly double the voters than the last time Métis people took to the polls. This new 4 year term sees the introduction of some new faces, and the return of former Executive and Provincial Métis Council (PMC) members now tasked with moving forward collectively to create opportunities for growth and recognition of Métis rights on both the Provincial and Federal levels.
Newly elected MN-S President Glen McCallum is grateful for everyone who had the energy and courage to put their names in the ring with a commitment to build the Nation.
“It’s a tough choice to make, to run in an election like this. Candidates need to consider their families, careers, lives in taking this on. I truly appreciate everyone who ran, and I wish them all the best.”
McCallum has already been busy taking the first steps as President.
“Everyone who was elected have ideas about what needs to happen now. It is important that we get everyone together and begin to compare notes to create a plan to move forward. The Métis people are looking to see transparency, democracy and accountability,” said McCallum.
The first of these meetings is set to begin as early as next week. Communication and relationship building on the Federal level has already begun. “We are now going to work to capitalize on the opportunities that have been offered by the Liberal Government. We want to build from the good relationship that we’ve already created.”
One of the more interesting races in this year’s election was for the position of Treasurer. Mary Ann Morin swept the competition winning by 1000 votes over her nearest competitor. Armed with a CMA and strong financial background, she sees proper financial management as critically important for the health of the organization.
“It’s very important to develop trust with other levels of government that we know how to run our business. We have the people now that are skilled to manage our funds and political functions,” said Morin. Like McCallum, Morin is looking forward to the first meeting with the PMC. “I am looking forward to seeing what everyone’s priorities are and hope to develop good strategies that address the needs of Métis people spanning from East to West and North to South.” She, too, congratulates her fellow candidates and hopes to stay engaged with them, “We don’t want to lose touch with the well educated, passionate people who cared enough about our Nation to put their names forward. It’s going to start from the grassroots for the Métis people to build that trust again.”
Although there were a few changes to leadership positions, not everyone feels there was the type of change that seemed necessary to move past some of the systemic issues that have plagued the MN-S in recent years. Senator Nora Cummings is disappointed that the push for new leadership didn’t play out across all the positions.
“It’s unfortunate that more people didn’t get out to vote. This does not reflect the change people were hoping to see.” Cummings attributes the outcome to too many candidates running for Executive positions. “It split the votes. We should have been smarter, and compromised as to who would be the best to run and backed them as large groups,” said Senator Cummings.
Another area of concern for the Senator was the voting process itself.
“The identification required from voters was not sufficient. A driver’s license is not a way to track and verify the criteria for eligible voters. We should have also been asked to provide our hospitalization cards, or other means to ensure that all voters legitimately had the right to participate. We will need to review the polls, which could take some time.”
Senator Cummings suggests that time will tell whether this new leadership will work to change and fix the MN-S.
“Anything is workable if people want to change. These leaders now must look within and come together to work for the benefit of our people. In the meantime, we have a lot of work to do. So, to each individual Métis person, focus on yourselves, your families and your communities. Achieve good things at the grassroots level. Gather your young people together and prepare them for the future.”