OTTAWA, June 27, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, the Government of Canada further advanced its commitment to renewing nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationships with the Métis, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations signed Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreements with the Métis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras, the Métis Nation of Ontario President Margaret Froh and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan President Glen McCallum.
These agreements affirm the Métis right of self-government and recognize the mandates of the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. The agreements also set out next steps to formally recognize Métis governments as Indigenous governments in Canadian law.
While the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan already have well-established province-wide governance structures, the agreements signed today deal with the recognition of Métis jurisdiction in core governance areas (citizenship, leadership selection and government operations). They also set out processes for negotiating other agreements dealing with additional areas of jurisdiction in the future.
Fundamental to this process will be the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan undertaking extensive outreach and consultations with their citizens to further implement Métis self-government.
The parties are also committed to continue developing shared and balanced solutions that advance reconciliation, enhance community well-being and are respectful of the rights and interests of all Canadians.
"By signing these historic agreements today, our government is taking a fundamental step to advance reconciliation and transform our relationships with the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. We are committed to advancing self-determination as we strengthen our government-to-government relationships."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
"This is an historic day for the Métis Nation of Alberta. Since 1928 our people have fought with passion and determination for this recognition as the Métis Nation government in Alberta. Today marks the beginning of a true government-to-government relationship with Canada based on reconciliation and recognition of our place in confederation."
President Audrey Poitras
Métis Nation of Alberta
"Our communities and leadership have worked tirelessly for decades towards the recognition of Métis rights and self-government in Ontario. The MNO fought for the recognition of Métis rights and won the historic Powley decision at the Supreme Court of Canada. In signing this Self-Government Agreement, we have taken a momentous and historic step forward for the Métis Nation of Ontario, our citizens and communities. We look forward to continuing to advance our government-to-government relationship with Canada and with Ontario, based on recognition and respect of our inherent rights of self-determination and self-government. Our Métis citizens and communities will rise to the exciting challenge of developing a 21st century Métis government that is authentic, visionary, responsive and accountable that will serve our citizens and communities for generations to come."
President, Métis Nation of Ontario
"Today is a day to celebrate the legacy of our Métis ancestors and the future of our children. For over a century, our people have fought – figuratively and literally – for recognition, respect and a rightful place in Canadian society. This agreement acknowledges the right of our people to self-government and to a true nation-to-nation relationship. We are able to stand taller today because we stand on the shoulders of giants and on the cusp of a better future."
Glen McCallum, President
- Section 35 of Canada's Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes the Aboriginal rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
- The Supreme Court of Canada's 2003 Powley decision was the first major Aboriginal rights case that set out the criteria for Section 35 Métis rights.
- Accelerating the formal recognition of Métis self-government was a priority identified in the Framework Agreements for Advancing Reconciliation signed by Canada and each of the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan in 2017- 2018.
- Today's announcement marks a key step in ongoing negotiations to advance reconciliation under these Framework Agreements.
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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
For further information: media may contact: Matthew Dillon-Leitch, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca; Rolando Inzunza, Director of Communications & Citizen Engagement, Métis Nation of Alberta, 780-455-2200, Ext. 395; Marc St. Germain, Manager of Communications, Métis Nation of Ontario, 613-798-1488, Ext. 119; John Fenton, Director of Media Relations, Navigator, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, 416-642-5228