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Metis Economic Development Organization (MEDO)

The first stage of implementing the strategy is to formally establish an organization dedicated to pursuing greater financial self-sustainability for the MMF by enabling it to invest in for-profit ventures. The department and the MMF Board of Directors are developing corporate structures to enable the Federation to engage in business development while preserving its non-profit status. Over the medium- and long-term, MEDO will also look to provide support to other Metis business owners and entrepreneurs through access to programs and services as well as potential sources of equity for business development.

Metis Economic Development Fund

In November 2008, the Province of Manitoba declared in the Speech From The Throne that it would establish a Metis Economic Development Fund in partnership with the MMF. This promise was repeated in the April 2009 Provincial Budget Address. Premier Greg Selinger and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Eric Robinson have committed to creating a multi-year fund that will enable the MMF to pursue greater capacity as the government of the Metis people and to promote ongoing Metis-owned business growth.

Metis Generation Fund

Administered by MEDO, the Metis generation Fund provides equity for metis businesses to increase their participation in economic opportunities in Manitoba. As a result of strong partnerships with Metis businesses, the fund maximizes opportunities and benefits for Metis people.

Increasing Metis participation in the sustainable development of Manitoba’s vast natural resources will benefit all Manitobans, Metis businesses will benefit from enhanced opportunities in Manitoba’s burgeoning resource and energy sectors.

The new self-sustaining Metis Generation Fund - For Resource and Energy Development, invests in Manitoba Metis-owned businesses helping to increase Metis participation in the province’s mining, oil and gas, forestry, fishing and renewable energy sectors.

The new fund is managed by the Metis Economic Development Organization.

Metis Business Directory

In April 2009, the Metis Business Directory went online with over 220 Metis owned and operated businesses in the province. The Economic Development Department partnered with the Louis Riel Capital Corporation to create the directory. This successful launch was made possible by a grant from Aboriginal Business Canada as well as a contribution agreement with the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. In January 2010, the MEDO and the LRCC will undertake a series of upgrades to improve the capability of the directory.

As we move ahead on our economic development initiatives, this directory will become a highly valuable resource in terms of marketing products and services to Manitoba’s industry sectors. It will enable us to develop networks and relationships with vendors and government procurement offices and promote the Metis as a powerful contributor to the province’s economic growth and prosperity. The Metis Business Directory can be viewed here.

Conclusion

This is an exciting time for the Metis. Self-reliance and economic growth come ever closer to reality. Valuable partnerships with federal and provincial governments have helped to set us on this course. Over the next year, the Economic Development Department looks forward to new opportunities to build valuable relationships and networks with stakeholders across multiple economic sectors in the province.