Manitoba Métis cards recognized by some government departments but not all

A Manitoba woman was denied entry into a Winnipeg Liquor Mart, after trying to use her Métis card. She is now calling on Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries to change its current policies. Alex Karpa reports.

By Alex Karpa

A Manitoba Métis woman was denied the use of her Métis Citizenship Identification card to get into this liquor store in Winnipeg. She is now calling for this rule to change, citing that her Metis card should be recognized as a form of official ID.

Holly Plouffe was entering a liquor store in Winnipeg’s St. Boniface area to pick up a bottle of wine. When she pulled out her Métis card to enter the store, she was told her card wasn’t a valid piece of ID.

“I was frustrated because I thought you know, ‘why not?’,” she explained. “I think it is important to identify who you are.”

Holly Plouffe. (Photo Credit: Alex Karpa, CityNews)

Manitoba Métis card. (Photo Credit: Alex Karpa, CityNews)

Plouffe says she eventually got into the store using another ID, but says there is no reason why her Metis card should not be accepted.

“I’m choosing to identify as a Métis person, as I should be. It’s an identification process or category of identification. Not everybody has a driver’s license.”

Erica Chatelain says she had a similar experience, this time at a liquor store in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village, a location she says she is now permanently barred from entering.

Erica Chatelain (Photo Credit: Alex Karpa, CityNews)

“I was humiliated. I felt in disbelief. I mean I could go to the bank and use my card as ID; I can get a passport with that card. Manitoba Liquor Commission, come on, smarten up. This is awful,” explained Chatelain.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is recognized as a self-government through an agreement with the federal government. The president says he finds this exclusion insulting.

“It’s really contradictory and it has to be corrected as quickly as possible,” said David Chartrand, President of MMF.

David Chartrand (Photo Credit: Alex Karpa, CityNews)

Chartrand says he also went to a liquor store using his Métis card and was denied. He says he doesn’t drink but wanted to experience it for himself. Chartrand and the MMF have been in contact with Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries (MLL).

“It’s quite ludicrous that the department of MLCC would say, ‘we don’t recognize the cards, although the government recognizes you as the government, we don’t recognize your cards.’ It doesn’t make sense at all.”

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries says a Manitoba driver’s licence, Manitoba Identification Card, Secure Certificate of Indian Status and a Passport are all acceptable forms of ID to use when entering a liquor store, but a Métis card is not on the list.

A spokesperson from the MLL tells CityNews that work is being done to have the MMF card categorized as an accepted form of identification when entering liquor stores. Plouffe says she hopes this change is soon.

Plouffe says she is hopeful something will change. “I’d like to see something done and I understand that it can’t be done today, but there should be talks today about it as well and get the ball rolling.”

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