EDMONTON, Jan. 17, 2020 /CNW/ - The Métis Governments of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan held a historic Tri-council meeting this week in Edmonton, Alberta from January 14 to 16, 2020.
This meeting marks the first time elected representatives of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), the Métis Nation of Alberta, and the Métis Nation - Saskatchewan (MNS) have assembled together since signing Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreements (MGRSA) with Canada in June 2019. Collectively, they represent over 200,000 rights-bearing Métis people.
Over the three days, the primary focus was on identifying common priorities, mutual beneficial opportunities and enhancing collaboration and cooperation between the three Métis Governments.
The Tri-council delegates passed a resolution: calling for more transparency and accountability from the Métis National Council (MNC); affirming that self-government and rights related discussions and negotiations must occur between Canada and the Métis Governments, not through the MNC; and directing the creation of a working group to explore potential reform of the MNC.
The Tri-council delegates also passed a joint declaration to continue to work together at the national level in their ongoing collaborations and negotiations with Canada. As well, they will work to develop a memorandum of understanding that formalizes the relationship of the Métis Governments at the national level for consideration at a future Métis Government Tri-council meeting.
Increasingly the MNO, MNA, and MNS have been working together to advance common interests trilaterally and to develop shared and balanced solutions to advance reconciliation, self-governance, and community well-being.
- As a distinct Indigenous people Métis possess the inherent right to self-government and self-determination.
- Métis have demonstrated self-government, Métis Laws and Métis legal traditions ever since the Provisional Métis governments established in 1869/70 and 1885.
- Aboriginal rights of Métis are recognized in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and were further set out in The Supreme Court of Canada's 2003 Powley decision.
- The Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation of Ontario, and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan all signed Framework Agreements for Advancing Reconciliation with the government of Canada between 2017 and 2018.
- A core self-government recognition agreement (MGRSA) was signed by Canada and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation of Ontario, and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan on June 27, 2019.
By finding common ground for collaboration, the Tri-council Meeting this week furthered the process to formally and legally recognize Métis governments as Indigenous governments in Canadian law. The Self-Government Agreement signatories will continue to work together to advance Métis issues and rights, including the right to self-government and self-determination.
"Over generations, our ancestors honoured Louis Riel's vision of a self-governing and independent Métis Nation. After decades of struggle and perseverance, our goal was finally realized with the signing of the self-government agreements with Canada. Now the work begins. This historical Tri-council Meeting is the beginnings of three Métis governments finding strength in unity."
President Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Alberta
"Since our three Métis Governments signed historic Self-Government Agreements this past summer we have been looking for ways to collaborate, to take the gains we have made and really roll up our sleeves and move forward on self-determination and self-government on behalf of all Métis citizens. This was a historic opportunity to create a shared vision and to finally see the dream of Métis Self-Government realized."
President Margaret Froh, Métis Nation of Ontario
"As we continue to collaborate with MNO and MNA, we build a stronger relationship. When we make efforts to work together it brings a future with secure benefits for all Métis citizens. This gathering of Métis governments has been another step in realizing the dreams of our people and reinforces the importance of self-governance and self-determination."
President Glen McCallum, Métis Nation - Saskatchewan
SOURCE Métis Nation - Saskatchewan
For further information: Amy Dillon - Communications Manager, Métis Nation of Alberta, 780-455-2200 Ext 309; Marc St. Germain - Director of Communications, Métis Nation of Ontario, 613-798-1488 Ext 119; Julia Burns - Director of Communications, Métis Nation- Saskatchewan, 306-343-8285