A recent report has found that Métis, along with First Nations and Inuit people, added more than $9.3 billion into Manitoba’s economy in just one year.
Issued jointly by Manitoba’s Southern Chiefs’ Organization, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Rural Development Institute at Brandon University, the report does not fully account for the significant Métis contribution to Manitoba’s economy.
Based on estimates from Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) adult citizenship trends, the Métis represent more than 50 per cent of the Indigenous population in the province. Furthermore, with hundreds of Métis businesses throughout Manitoba, it is likely that the Métis economic contribution surpasses $9 billion, particularly when Métis tax contributions are included.
“The support of the Trudeau government means that the Métis contribution to Manitoba’s economy will only increase in the coming years,” noted MMF President David Chartrand. “This year, the MMF is making significant investments in Manitoba.
“We will be contributing to construction projects including housing first initiatives, head start centres for child-care, and homes for seniors,” he added, “Investments from the Federal government through the Métis Nation help grow the province’s economy.”
Chartrand also lamented what he calls cutbacks which he says limits ‘the opportunity to see an even greater return on investment with the Manitoba Métis community.
“Instead, he slashes away financial obligations to support a sports franchise,” he said. “When will our Premier start to take the Métis seriously on an economic level? We can now show the growing Métis contributions to our province. Every day, Métis work to support Manitoba’s economy.”
As the single largest Indigenous Nation in Manitoba, the Métis’ economic strength cannot be overlooked. Métis-owned businesses are providing services in several sectors throughout the province, including the food and restaurant industry, clean energy solutions, and digital technologies.
Considering the strong economic arm of the MMF and the support it provides to Métis entrepreneurs, the Métis’ substantial economic contribution to Manitoba’s economy is only going to increase in 2019 to the benefit of all Manitobans.