TORONTO – Métis Nation of Ontario (“MNO”) President Margaret Froh joined the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Reconciliation with the Government of Canada (the “MOU”). The Honourable David Zimmer, Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, members of the MNO Provisional Council, MNO citizens and guests were also in attendance.
The MOU establishes an exploratory discussion table between the MNO and Canada with the goal of arriving at a 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.
“Today, we celebrate this new relationship – one based on respect and recognition,” said President Margaret Froh. “I thank the Minister and the Government of Canada for their strong leadership on advancing reconciliation with the Métis Nation of Ontario through this nation-to-nation, government-to-government agreement that further solidifies a strengthened relationship with Canada.”
The MOU comes on the heels of recent positive political and legal developments for Ontario Métis, including the Prime Minister’s November 2015 mandate letter to Minister Bennett providing direction for her to advance a nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship with the Métis Nation, the release of the Isaac Report as well as the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision in Daniels v. Canada that was released in April 2016.
Minister Bennett stated: “Congratulations to the Métis Nation of Ontario on signing a Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Reconciliation. This is an historic step forward in achieving lasting and meaningful reconciliation on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government basis for the benefit of the Métis Nation of Ontario and all Canadians.”