Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan has personally apologized to Metis Local 193 President Shirley Tremblay and Vice-President Ernie Deserlias about an incident at the Conklin Metis Cultural Camp.
“This was an unfortunate circumstance. I understand there may have been some issues with the licensing, but I think this situation could have been avoided. I commit that we will take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said Minister Feehan, who had visited the camp on Sept. 14.
“I had a great time at the camp and truly enjoyed meeting with the residents,” he added. “These types of cultural experiences are very important in preserving Metis culture and I wouldn’t want to see that experience ruined.”
Minister Feehan and Minister of Justice Kathleen Ganley are reviewing this policy in the spirit of ongoing reconciliation efforts.
On Sept.14, Fish and Wildlife investigators received a call regarding an illegal net in Christina Lake near Conklin, in northern Alberta, and the presence of a camp. Officers attended the lake on Sept. 15. They did not find the net, but did locate the camp with approximately 30 Metis individuals. These individuals were in the process of smoking about 25 lake whitefish. The fish were seized and two individuals were issued appearance notices for fishing without a licence. In the coming days, government will work with the community to ensure members have appropriate licences.