EDMONTON – The Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”) has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Reconciliation (“MOU”) with the Government of Canada. The MOU was signed yesterday by MNA President Audrey Poitras, Bev New, MNA Co-Minister for Métis Rights and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs in Ottawa.
The MOU establishes a time-limited exploratory discussions table between the MNA and Canada with the goal of arriving at a mutually-agreeable framework agreement by September 2017. The anticipated framework agreement would establish a formal negotiations process based on mutually agreeable subject matters, including Métis self-government, lands, rights and outstanding claims against the Crown.
The MOU comes on the heels of recent positive political and legal developments for Alberta Métis, including the Prime Minister’s November 2015 mandate letter to Minister Bennett to advance a nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship with the Métis Nation as well as the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision in Daniels v. Canada that was released in April 2016.
“This MOU has been a long-time coming for Alberta Métis. For many years at the federal level, we have been on the outside looking in. This MOU opens the door for us to finally put in place the government-to-government relationship with Canada our people have sought for generations as well as begin to address the pressing issues of our citizens and communities in Alberta, including dealing with Métis rights, lands and self-government,” said President Poitras.
The MOU signing ceremony was held on Parliament Hill with members of the MNA Provincial Council in attendance. A copy of the MOU along with background materials and photos from the event are available at: www.albertametis.com.