Year Incorporated: Letters Patent (Canada) – 1992
The Métis National Council of Women is the only national, autonomous, equality seeking Métis women’s representative organization. The Metis National Council represents the interests of all Metis women in Canada wherever they live.
Métis women from across Canada share common problems in terms of exclusion from policies and programs for other Aboriginal peoples. As a result of circumstances (rural versus urban), different Métis communities have different priorities in terms of achieving a solution to the common problems of Métis women as a whole.
Métis women share an overriding concern for the well being of their children, families, communities, a concern that encompasses all the issues from education to justice, lands and resources to governance, health to the environment. However, Métis women have often been excluded — from their home communities, from decision-making, and from having a say in their future and their children’s future. Their determination to change this situation — to be included in these areas and more — is why the Métis National Council of Women was formed.
What are the living conditions of Métis women
Métis have a disproportionately young population with almost fifty-eight percent of the population under twenty-five years of age. In 1990, twenty-six percent of Métis women in Canada received social assistance and the situation has likely worsened since. Unemployment rates for Métis women are two to three times higher than the national average. Métis women that are employed are disproportionately found in occupations characterized by low pay and seasonally employed. The majority of working Métis women are employed in clerical, sales, and service occupations.
Despite their lower labour force participation rates, Métis women have a higher propensity to complete high school and obtain post secondary education than Métis men. Nonetheless, as with other Aboriginal women, Métis women are doubly discriminated against in the labour force by virtue of the fact that they are women and Aboriginal. As a consequence, Métis women remain among the lowest paid of any category of persons in Canada.
What are the issues faced by Métis women
Métis women have always been active in their communities. Since the early 1990s, distinct Métis women’s organizations have also become prominent. The Métis National Council of Women was formed to represent the interests of its constituents, all Metis women. The regional provincial associations of the Council represent the interests of women in those regions, as does the national office.
The majority of Métis women face racial and gender discrimination, and their issues marginalized. Despite these barriers, Métis women continue to be important contributors in the development and well being of their communities.
Métis women face many barriers, the most critical being poverty. The priority for action will be focused on those initiatives that have the greatest potential to improve the living circumstances of Métis women and the children.
The Métis National Council of Women is committed to work with governments and their agencies to improve Métis women’s lives in the areas of poverty, economic development, gender