The McMurray Métis are pleased to once again host CEMA’s Elders Workshop today at the McMurray Métis grounds on Sakitawaw Trail. This event unites First Nations and Métis Elders from across northeastern Alberta for the largest annual gathering of aboriginal elders in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Attending this year are elders and youth from Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Conklin Métis Local 193, Elizabeth Métis Settlement, Fort Chipewyan Métis Local 125, Fort McKay First Nation, Lakeland Métis Local 1909, McKay Métis (MNA Local 63), McMurray Métis (MNA Local 1935), Métis Nation of Alberta Region One, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Nistawayou Association Friendship Centre, and Willow Lake Métis Local 780.
CEMA’s Executive Director Glen Semenchuk stated, “The Elders workshop is one of the most important events on CEMA’s calendar and this year we’ll be listening to Elders and hearing their concerns with the environment, animals, plants, and the ways they and their community are most affected by oil sands development. We’ll also be focusing on the development of CEMA’s Traditional Knowledge Framework which is intended to establish standards for inclusion of aboriginal traditional knowledge in regional planning, environmental assessment, monitoring, and follow-up in northeastern Alberta.”
CEMA Board Member and McMurray Métis Vice-President Bill Loutitt stated, “Aboriginal communities in northeastern Alberta strongly support CEMA and actively participate in its many working groups, sub-groups, and task groups. As an independent agency with a sector-balanced governance structure CEMA has been instrumental in allowing Métis and First Nations communities to meaningfully participate in identifying solutions to managing the cumulative environmental effects of oil sands development. CEMA requires secure, stable, long-term funding delivered by the Alberta Government and paid for by oil sands developers so that its important work can move forward without interruption. The multi-million-dollar reduction in funding of its operations over the last three years has had a direct impact on our aboriginal scope of study, work plan, and activities.”
Based in Fort McMurray and operating for more than 12 years, CEMA employs a professional secretariat to coordinate its world class research through working groups’ on land, air, water, reclamation, and traditional knowledge. CEMA's role is to produce recommendations and management frameworks pertaining to the cumulative impact of oil sands development in northeastern Alberta. For more information please visit www.cemaonline.ca.
Founded in 1987, the McMurray Métis are governed under the bylaws of the Métis Nation of Alberta by an elected local council. The local council is accountable to the membership and its mandate is to pursue the advancement of the Métis people of Fort McMurray and northeastern Alberta. For more information please visit www.FortMcMurrayMetis.org.