Some of the key things include the fact that we're a multilingual nation. As you've seen in the 1995 report, there's some talk about how they didn't get newspapers or television, and at the same time they spoke a different language. Sometimes we forget that if....
Even when I speak, I assure you I can turn from speaking at a university level to speaking at a grade 9 level just like this, because that's who my audience is. A lot of the time when I speak in my own province, I speak at a grade 9 level to my people. The schooling of a lot of these veterans— these seniors and elders—has been very limited, so we try to address matters at a level they can understand. Even when Ottawa was trying to send documents at the time, trying to resolve these things or help them, they didn't understand them. Nobody spoke to them.
Think of the hypocrisy of it. We're a multilingual nation. We have a very large French-speaking population in part of our nation, and we don't get one cent in French language translation, yet, by law, we're supposed to translate. That's why I apologized earlier. I was supposed to bring two documents, one in English and one in French.
If services are to come, I think the best way to approach it is to recognize that this is the reason we have a government. Our Métis government knows exactly where people live. We know exactly what their issues are and we know exactly how to address them. You can go to functions anywhere you want in Manitoba, but you may not get a real taste of what is happening if you don't know who you should speak to and how you should speak to those people. That's the function of our Métis government. We do it better than anybody else. We have, as I said, the most powerful government. You'll see 3,000 people attending my assembly.
It's good to express it. I thank you for your question. I encourage you if you want to do that, if you want to work with our Métis governments. We're out there. We have offices right across the province. We have institutions of locals, which constitute the voice of the community. We can trace and bring those people to a meeting that you really want, and we can, if necessary, translate for you. Some people still are very fluent. I speak very fluent Saulteaux—Ojibwe, which is the same common language with just a bit of a different accent. It's the same thing, Ojibwe and Saulteaux. Our people are Michif speakers and Cree speakers, depending on what part of the province you're going into.
You just said something about your study. This is a 1995 study. That's a long time ago, you guys. There was already evidence of injustice happening again. This is 2018, and 2019 is coming around the corner. As I said, you only have a handful of veterans still alive in the Métis nation. If you're going to do a study and the recommendations are going to be similar to this again, this study did help the first nations. They came to a conclusion, to a resolution of their matters, and a settlement occurred.
I'm encouraging this country and I've been working with Minister O'Regan to try to get this thing resolved once and for all. I came close three times in this country, even with Strahl. Strahl and I are still good friends to this day and always will be friends. He understood, but he still couldn't get the support to get to the next level, to get towards a settlement and to dealing an apology to these Métis veterans. They kept not allowing.... Indigenous to them was good enough.
First nations are not us. We're completely different people, and so are the Inuit, so just because you've dealt with one indigenous people doesn't mean you've dealt with all of us. I think it's important for you to realize that.
The Métis nation has never been dealt with properly in this country. They fought for you. They fought for your families. They fought for your children and for those they didn't even know. Imagine that. Thirty years after you attacked us in Batoche and killed us in Batoche and did a lot of damage to our future and hanged our leader, we still came to fight for you. Nobody has ever said “Thank you”. Nobody has ever come out to express, “How can we help you? How can we fix the wrongs?”
If you can fix that, I think you'll do justice for yourselves and for your families.