Based on the longstanding direction from members and successive legal victories on Métis rights and related issues, including the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Daniels v. Canada in April 2016, the Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”)—which includes its Provincial, Regional, and Local Councils—will be attempting to pursue negotiations with the Crown aimed at ensuring Métis rights and self-government are recognized in Alberta. This includes dealing with Métis harvesting rights, the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate as well as addressing outstanding Métis claims against the Crown related to Métis lands and scrip.
With this in mind, all MNA members were given advance notice, as required by the MNA Bylaws, back in the summer of 2016 that a series of Special Resolutions would be considered by the 88th MNA Annual General Assembly (“AGA”) on Métis rights issues. The AGA was held on August 6th & 7th, 2016 at Métis Crossing near Smoky Lake. At the AGA, two of these Special Resolutions were passed by the required majority to amend the MNA Bylaws. Copies of the two Special Resolutions that were passed are attached to this notice. A copy of the updated MNA Bylaws are available at www.albertametis.com for your review.
Specifically, these two Special Resolutions amended the MNA Bylaws to add the following objective for the MNA to pursue: “to negotiate, on behalf of the Métis in Alberta, a modern day treaty relationship with the Crown through a “land claims agreement” or other arrangement as called for and contemplated within the meaning of section 35(3) of the Constitution Act, 1982.” The AGA also approved the following Oath of Membership, which all new applicants for MNA membership will be required to affirm:
I agree to the Métis Nation’s Bylaws and policies, as amended from time to time, and, voluntarily authorize the Métis Nation to assert and advance collectively-held Métis rights, interests, and claims on behalf of myself, my community and the Métis in Alberta, including negotiating and arriving at agreements that advance, determine, recognize, and respect Métis rights. In signing this oath, I also recognize that I have the right to end this authorization, at any time, by terminating my membership within the Métis Nation.
This Oath of Membership makes clear that, in applying for membership in the MNA, individuals voluntarily authorize the MNA to pursue on their behalf the objectives of the MNA. These objectives include to “promote, pursue, and defend the Aboriginal, legal, constitutional, and other rights of Métis in Alberta.” This mandates the MNA to advance the collectively-held Métis rights, interests and claims of its members in negotiations. Through the MNA’s democratic governance structures and the AGA, the MNA receives ongoing mandates and direction from its members. The Supreme Court of Canada has also recognized that Aboriginal peoples may authorize a “group or organization” to advance their collectively-held Aboriginal rights, interests and claims.
Members of the MNA who wish to end the MNA’s authorization to advance their collectively-held Métis rights, interests, and claims through negotiations may withdraw their membership by sending or delivering a written notice to the MNA. All MNA members who have not asked for their membership to be cancelled will be deemed to have authorized the MNA to advance their collectively-held rights, interests and claims as set out in the Oath of Membership.
The MNA is committed to building a strong Métis Nation based on Métis rights. In order to receive updates on our progress please visit our webpage, ask to be added to our electronic mailing list or follow our Facebook page. Please note that this notice replaces the previously issued notice on this issue dated December 6, 2016.
December 14, 2016