Platforms of MN-S Vice President candidates
- EFN Staff | May 24, 2017
As part of its MN-S Election coverage, Eagle Feather News contacted each candidate running for the positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, and President. Each candidate was given an opportunity to submit a photo and respond to the same questions. Below are their unedited answers.
Vice President candidates are:
- Darren Deschambeault,
- Cheryl Fiddler-Agren-Reed,
- Louis G. Gardiner,
- Miranda Moran,
- Gerald Morin,
- and Wayne Whitford.
What is the role of the Vice President of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan?
Darren Wayne Deschambeault (DWD): The role of the Vice President is to assist the President. There are times when the President is away on meetings or is unavailable to be at negotiations, or events and others and this is when the Vice President fills into that role to represent the Nation. There are times when the locals and regions need assistance and the Vice President engages the people to bring forward these concerns to the Provincial Métis Council. The Vice President must always protect the Nation at all costs with respect to negotiations and dealings with the Crown or other governments.
Louie Gardiner (LG): To be a supporter to the President and be the spokesperson of the Nation in the absence of President
Miranda Moran (MM): Speaking constitutionally, the VP is one of 4 Executive members of the Métis Nation Legislative Assembly who are elected province-wide for a 4-year term. I believe the VP role is to assist in MÉTIS INDEPENDENCE as the constitution and my own beliefs have always been set this way - we are a Peoples who shall be self-governing as a third order of government within Canada.
Wayne Whitford (WW): The role of a vice president. To replace the president in their absence. Work along side the president in all endeavors to achieve all goals. To be a good roll model. To be accessible. Work with a team concept.
What skills, qualifications, or background do you have those qualify you for the role of Vice President of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan?
DWD: I have worked as an educator with GDI; I have a Degree with the University of Regina and a Two year Certificate in Pre Journalism from First Nations University of Canada. I have 3 years of classes and a pre internship towards a Bachelor of Education Degree through the University of Saskatchewan... I have a certificate in proposal writing. I worked as a policy analyst for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and was one of the negotiators when dealing with the Province and the Federal government on duty to consult.
LG: MN-S Area Rep for NRIII since 2007 then MN-S Executive (Treasurer) since 2010
MM: The MNS needs someone who can deliver the skills and experience that the role requires. They need someone who is a 'good fit' for the Metis Nation. I feel the Nation needs someone who is loyal and who is willing to commit long term, not just because it suits them now. I would say my upbringing, my Elders advice, my education, my union involvement, and my life experiences puts me in a strong position for the role of VP of the Metis Nation. Some examples I can deliver would be how I have significantly developed my leadership skills over the past ten years by not only being involved in my union locally and provincially but as a national committee member and by chairing meetings when called upon.
WW: From having worked in the justice system for 31 years as a manager I developed good leadership skills. I was responsible for 150 staff. In my position I was able to hire and work with many metis men and women. I am a good decision maker. In my professional experience I learned that there is more than one way to resolve many problems I am easy to approach and a easy to talk to. I have been involved with the metis nation since the 1960's.
What do you see as the top 3 priorities of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan today?
DWD: We need to bring back the thousands of Métis within this Province to be enumerated and register our people. The constitution need to be addressed with respect to having input from the people in the Province if they want to make any types of amendments to our Laws and policies because this will protect the Nation. Negotiate in good faith with the Crown to make sure the true aspirations of our people is followed and respected.
Constitutional Reform which includes Governance & Judicial
Restore funding back to MN-SRegistry
MM: I really have to go back to the constitution and say that Metis Independence should be the top priority. With Independence flows every benefit which is needed to build a strong self sufficient Nation. Because of what has been happening with funding and working with other governments there are so many barriers to our priorities, we need to get the Nation on a path of transparency and make the membership of the Nation proud to be part of this organization.
WW: Create good communication between the executive and the PMC. Get the genealogy up and running right away so that the backlog of paperwork can be dealt with. Establish a board that will review the constitution and the acts. Then they can recommend these changes at an MNLA and AGM.
What is your strategy to engage at the Local/Regional Level?
DWD: I would like to develop a strategic communications strategy throughout this Province and utilize all the mediums such as: newspaper, Television, radio and internet. We need to develop a newspaper or tabloid to allow our people to learn about the leadership, programs and services available to them. I would like to see one page dedicated to a region with there locals to do a report and give that information to the rest of the Province. Every region will have one page to do there reports. Each of the affiliates will have a page to give a report on programs and services and The executive members will have one page to give us there report and there will be a one page report from the MNC on the Federal negotiations affecting the Nation. We need to have programs set up with MBC network radio and local radio stations throughout the Province so the communications process begins all over the Province.
LG: More Regional Council meetings as they give direction to the Area Rep who is attending PMC meetings on behalf of Region, agenda items discussed at PMC table should be brought to Regional Council for decision and if need be some Metis Locals might want to take to their Local for discussion.
MN-S Strategic Plan which needs to include and endorsed by the Grassroot people
MM: I would say that is a huge part of my role as one of the executive officers of the Nation. We would ensure our locals and regions have the programs and services plus the necessary resources to enable them to operate effectively and creating consistent and similar opportunities for all members. As you know the Métis Nation Legislative Assembly has the authority to enact legislation, regulations, rules and resolutions governing the affairs and conduct of the Métis in Saskatchewan and my hope is to be assisting all locals and regions through this process.
WW: Make myself available ay both levels to attend any meetings that I would be invited to. See that all information is sent to all local presidents and regional directors to share. At the regional level, try to work on problems and recommendations with a team concept and with the good of the metis people always coming first. If difficulties arise, we vote on the issues and then be able to accept the changes, make it work with the majority ruling.
What would be your first priority for governance of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan?
DWD: We need to find a building and negotiate with the Federal government on capacity to rebuild our Government. Strengthen our Constitution with consultation of our people all over this Province.
LG: Reviewing all Governance reports that were done for MN-S (Lampard, One World, Poitras and Deloitte to name a few) and putting all recommendations into Action!
MM: I would say governance of the Metis Nation has some strength. Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the President of the Métis National Council, Clément Chartier signing of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord during the first Métis Nation-Crown Summit in Ottawa in April is significant to governance and to Saskatchewan. I believe we need to put our Metis governing house in order and this election will assist in this. Next, we must begin serious talks with all governments around actions which will implement the Canada-Metis Accord in Saskatchewan. We must look across our borders and have strategic meetings with all Metis organizations and apply consistent actions for all our citizens.
WW: For the executive to have a meeting. Then meet with the PMC to set a date for an MNLA. Get a financial report from E&Y. Pay all outstanding bills so we can start with a clean slate.
How will you create unity within the Nation?
DWD: We need to begin at the PMC level there needs to accountability when we are in discussions at this level. We need to have cameras set up during these discussions, so, our people see who is make the motions and decisions that are affect there lives. There needs to be board training for the new PMC members coming in our government. The members need to know about defamation, slander and good governance. If we are a team coming into office we should act like Ministers and government representative.
LG: Involve grassroot people in decision making through MNLA,AGA and host Assemblies in Northern and Southern Saskatchewan so our grassroot people can have a say in our Nation.
PMC decisions should involve Metis Locals and Regional Councils as per MN-S Constitution
MM: I look to my Elders advice on this question as it seemed bigger than me. I have learned I can play a role in unity of the Nation just as I was told all Metis Peoples must play a role. To have unity we need to show respect to every individual of the Nation and appreciate their individual contributions towards the building of unity. We can do this when we go to our locals to get their input and listen to them in how to keep pushing forward. We need to push forward as a collective – by doing this we will accomplish our goal of Metis Independence.
WW: Honesty, openness and accessibility is were you start. Address all concerns, from the PMC to the local presidents to all members of our nation. Information sharing at all times. Team concept will create unity. My past professional experience has taught me this.
DWD: If, I am given the mandate to serve our people in this capacity. I will work for our people and our Nation to the best of my ability our Nation is paramount and will always defend and honour the leaders of the past who did not give up on our Métis Nation. We must continue to the fight this accord that was signed must be enacted into the laws of the land and the Métis land claim process must begin, so, we can take our rightful place in confederation. We are the Fifth order of government and we deserve the respect from the Crown.
MM: My other comments include not only is there a want for a strong Nation, but a necessary need of a strong Nation. We can’t stand aside while we see our socio-economical situation getting worse. All we have to look at is our housing, our environment, our employment and our unemployment rates, let alone the statistics for missing and murdered aboriginal women and children. Let’s work together with all governments and push forward.