Cassidy Caron will not run for re-election as MNC President


Photo from Incumbent President Cassidy Caron has announced that she will not run in the Métis National Council (MNC) election in September.

Jeremy Appel
Reporter of the Initiative for Local Journalism
Alberta Indigenous News

(ANNews) – Incumbent President Cassidy Caron has announced that she will not run in the Métis National Council (MNC) elections in September, citing the impending birth of her first child.

Caron, the youngest and first female president in the history of a multinational corporation, announced her decision not to seek re-election after just one term at a press conference on Parliament Hill on May 23.

Caron said the MNC needed to be “fundamentally rebuilt as a national indigenous organization” when it won the election in September 2021.

“From the beginning of my tenure, I was committed to leading this time of change and transition. And now, three years later, I am proud of what we have accomplished,” she added.

The MNC is now a “transparent, accountable and effective” national organization, she added, with strong relationships among Métis member nations and with federal and provincial governments, as well as its national counterparts in the Assembly of First Nations and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

“Most importantly, we have restored the credibility and reputation of the Métis National Council both nationally and internationally,” Caron said.

Following her election, the Manitoba Métis Federation announced its withdrawal from the national organization. The reason for this was the inclusion of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) in the leadership of the organization, whose legitimacy the federation rejects.

The MNO was suspended by the MNC in 2020 due to concerns that its registry contained a majority of people who had no historical ties to the Métis Nation.

The association “will always have a seat at the table should it want to return,” Caron told APTN's Face to Face after her election, expressing a desire to “move forward and continue to be the voice and the one that represents the interests of the four Métis governments that are still part of the Métis National Council.”

In announcing she would not seek re-election, Caron said she was proud of her role in transforming the MNC “into an institution that serves our Métis governments, just as our original founders intended.”

“While I intend to continue to serve in new ways, it is time for me to refocus my dedication on my growing family,” she said. “I am so excited to announce that I am expecting my first child and will soon be helping to bring the next generation of proud Métis into this world.”

Caron added that although she is still in the early stages of her pregnancy, she wanted to make her announcement well in advance “to ensure an orderly transition” at the multinational corporation.

Caron is a strong supporter of Bill C-53, a controversial federal bill that would recognize the Métis nations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario as separate levels of government. That bill has stalled since its second reading in February after intense criticism from Métis organizations excluded from the bill, as well as First Nations.

She denied that her decision not to run for re-election was related to the C-53 controversy.

“The Métis Nation has been fighting for generations, among ourselves, with the Canadian government. We are a fighting people,” Caron said. “It has been challenging to find ways to unite the Métis during this time. However, I am proud of the work we have done to unite our Métis governments and unite many Métis through stories and events over the last three years.”

She described the multinational corporation's role in organizing the Pope's visit to Canada in July 2022, which included a stop in Edmonton and Maskwacis, as “one of those really defining moments where not only were the Métis united, but the First Nations, Métis and Inuit agreed to pursue a common goal.”

Andrea Sandmaier, president of the Métis government of Otipemisiwak in Alberta, described Caron as “a staunch advocate for our rights, our heritage and our future, fighting for the interests of Métis communities across our country.”

“We wish her all the best in starting her family as she begins this new and exciting chapter of her life. Becoming a parent is a profound experience and we know she will bring the same strength, compassion and resilience to motherhood that she has demonstrated as a leader,” Sandmaier wrote in a statement.

The next MNC presidential election is scheduled for September 26 in Saskatoon.