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Former Metis president to be honoured

By Randy Thoms May 17, 2023 | 2:10 PM

MNO President Gary Lipinski speaking at the 2011 MNO Annual General Assembly. (CNW Group/METIS NATION OF ONTARIO)

A former president of the Metis Nation of Ontario is receiving an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Gary Lipinski will receive the honour next month from Wilfred Laurier University.

The former Fort Frances teacher was part of the Metis Nation from its inception in 1993, becoming its president from 2008 until his retirement eight years later.

One of his key accomplishments was negotiating a Framework Agreement regarding Metis rights with the province in 2008 and renewing it in 2014.

“Lipinski made a transformational impact on Ontario-Métis relations by successfully negotiating the MNO–Ontario Framework Agreement. In stark contrast to generations of government policy that denied the very existence of Ontario Métis, the agreement recognizes the unique identity, history, culture and rights of Ontario Métis communities. The agreement led to similar agreements with other government ministries, agencies and post-secondary institutions,” says a release from the university.

The passage of the MNO by the Ontario Legislature in December 2015 was also one of his proudest moments.

In a statement issued on his retirement, Lipinski said, “It was quite something to sit in the place that once put a bounty on Louis Riel’s head and see all political parties support this historic legislation. We have now ensured that the MNO’s mandate to represent its citizens and communities with respect to our collective rights will never be questioned by future governments.”

Lipinski will receive his honorary degree during the university’s commencement ceremony on June 6.



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