Archive for August, 2017

Community Health Nights: Healthy Pregnancy

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Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) will be hosting their third Community Health Night on September 26, 2017. The Gianna Centre with Catholic Social Services will be providing a presentation on Healthy Pregnancy. Topics will include; nutrition, mindfulness, exercise, and birth planning.

To reserve a spot contact Christine by Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at cdyck@metis.org, or 780-455-2200 ext. 249.

Click here to download the PDF poster.

MNA Affiliate Brochure

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The Métis Nation of Alberta works with various internal and external stakeholders to provide citizens with community-driven services and support.

Our Programs and Affiliates brochure details the background and roles of these departments along with their contact information.

If you are looking for supports within your community, this brochure is a great place to start.

Click here to download a PDF version.

MNA Annual General Assembly 2016/2017 Report

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The Métis Nation of Alberta 89th Annual General Assembly report is now available to view online.

This year’s report includes a feature spread on a 200 year old tradition kept alive by the Métis of Qu’apelle Valley as well as all ministerial reports and special resolutions.

Click here to download the entire report.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Prevention Conversation

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Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) will be hosting the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Prevention Conversation on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017. This informative session will be led by guest speaker Lisa Rogozinsky. Lisa is the Coordinator of the Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network and comes with a wealth of knowledge around FASD. Guests will have the ability to learn about FASD and to connect with supports within their community. Reserve a spot by contacting Christine by Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 at cdyck@metis.org, or 780-455-2200 ext. 249. 

Voyageur Days at Métis Crossing & Victoria Settlement

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Connect with Métis culture at Voyageur Days! This is a wonderful weekend filled with experiences and activities for the whole family. Join us a Métis Crossing and nearby Victoria Settlement for a range of exciting new events on August 25, 26, and 27.

Find a full program of events here!

Immerse yourself in a range of fun family activities.

  • Camping at Métis Crossing – Friday and Saturday night
  • Earn your Voyageur Certificate while paddling a 25 foot North Voyageur Canoe
  • Listen to Métis Elders tell stories to help you connect with the Métis culture
  • Hear the sound of the fiddle, live, as you kick up your heels to the Red River Jig or Square Dance
  • Complete several rows on the woven “Infinity Sash” using a historic weaving loom
  • Participate in fun fur trade activities at Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site
  • Chow down on Bison Bannock Burger’s…or dogs
  • Try your skill in Voyageur games
  • Test your throwing accuracy in the horseshoe tournament

New special Voyageur Weekend experiences will connect with the traditional knowledge of the Métis culture and create a special sense of place. Haskin Canoe will provide 25 foot North Voyageur Canoes and will transport participants from Métis Crossing to Victoria Settlement.  At Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site, visitors paddling in Voyageur canoes  will be greeted on the shore of the North Saskatchewan River and welcomed to Fort Victoria which was established as a Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading post in 1862.  Experience life as it was in the 1860’s with a focus on the fur trade!

Voyageur Canoe Experiences (Saturday & Sunday)      

  • Immersive (5 hrs): Travel by Voyageur Canoe down the North Saskatchewan River to Fort Victoria and delve into the lives of those who once called Victoria Settlement home. Trained guides will facilitate this excursion. ($30.00 for adults and $15.00 for youth)
  • North Voyageur (1.5 hrs): Led by qualified canoe guides, paddle in an authentic 25 foot North Voyageur Canoe down the North Saskatchewan.  This canoe experience builds upon Voyageur life where they transported furs and supplies along Canada’s historic fur trade routes. ($10.00 for adults and $5.00 for youth)
  • Fort Victoria Fur Trader (3 hrs): Paddle in a North Voyageur Canoe and experience how fur traders spent their summers travelling along Canadian rivers. Land ashore at Fort Victoria and step back into the 1860’s. This experience, led by costumed guides will connect you with Victoria Settlement that grew out of the fur trade.  ($20 for adults and $10.00 for youth)

 

For further information on camping and events please contact Leon & Phoebe at (780) 656 2229 or metiscrossing@metis.org

Otipemisiwak Annual General Assembly Special Out!

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This is a special edition of Otipemisiwak magazine that is designed to inform Métis Nation of Alberta citizens on Alberta Métis governance. The edition contains information on MNA Bylaws, Special Resolutions, the origin of the Annual General Assembly, voting procedures, and much more! We also have included information on what to expect for this year’s AGA and how you can get involved.  

This issue of Otipemisiwak visits past Annual General Assemblies, while highlighting upcoming events for this year’s AGA, including our 2017 Youth Conference, the Mobile Health Units, and our Métis Rights Conference! You can also find the complete package of upcoming Special Resolutions for the 89th Annual General Assembly. 

Click here to find the full Magazine.

Memorandum from President Audrey Poitras: Métis Rights Update

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Métis Rights Update

MEMORANDUM

TO: MNA Members, Locals, Regions and Provincial Council

FROM: Audrey Poitras, MNA President

DATE: August 1, 2017

RE: Update on Métis Rights

                                                                                                                                                             

I am writing to provide an update on some of the recent and exciting progress we have been making on our Métis rights agenda.

 

  1. Métis Harvesting Rights

As most members should be aware, the MNA-Alberta Framework Agreement, which was signed in February 2017, included Alberta’s commitment to facilitate “the recognition and respect of Métis rights in Alberta that upholds the honour of the Crown and advances reconciliation.” Since that time, we have been working hard with Alberta to implement this agreement.  With respect to Métis harvesting, the agreement committed Alberta to:

“Pursue collaborative discussions with the Ministry of Environment and Parks with respect to Métis harvesting rights;”

As most of you know, the MNA has never agreed with or supported Alberta’s unilaterally imposed Métis Harvesting Policy.  This policy was put into place in 2007 after our Interim Métis Harvesting Agreement (“IMHA”) was cancelled by the Ed Stelmach Government and Ted Morton.  Since that time, we have turned to the courts and have taken political action to overturn this flawed provincial policy. 

Because of our consistent and collective efforts, Alberta has now agreed to begin formal discussions with the MNA on reviewing and updating this policy.  For your information, I am attaching a letter recently received from Alberta indicating that they now have a mandate from Cabinet to collaborate with us on reviewing this policy. In the next few weeks, we hope to finalize mutually agreeable terms of reference to guide our efforts. 

Then the hard work will begin—at the negotiations table with Alberta.  At the same time, we will be engaging in province-wide consultations in the Fall of 2017 to inform our positions at the table and to receive input from our members on the issues identified in the attached letter.  I am cautiously optimistic that real progress can be made on this file, so our Métis harvesters can exercise their constitutionally-protected rights without fear of harassment or prosecution. 

 

  1. A Métis Consultation Policy

Significant progress is also being made in the area of Métis consultation and accommodation in Alberta.  Similar to Métis harvesting, the MNA-Alberta Framework Agreement included the following commitment from Alberta:

“Work towards the development of a non-Settlement Métis Consultation Policy that is consistent with provincial Aboriginal consultation policies in force in Alberta, subject to provincial Cabinet approval;”

Based on the Statement of Principles on Crown Consultation and Accommodation with Métis in Alberta that were unanimously adopted by the 2016 Annual Assembly, several Regional Consultations Protocols have already been signed between the MNA’s Provincial Office, Regions, and Locals.  These Protocols will form the basis for a provincial Métis Consultation Policy with the MNA.  We are optimistic that Protocols will be finalized across the province by the Fall of 2017 so we can move into the next phase—implementation.

Related to this file and at the request of members, the MNA has prepared a brochure, which includes frequently asked questions, that explains the historic context, purpose, and rationale for recent initiatives the MNA has undertaken with respect to Métis rights, including the adoption of the new oath of membership. I am attaching that brochure to this memo.  This brochure is also now available on the MNA’s website.  

 

  1. Exploratory Discussions on Reconciliation with Canada

At the federal level, the MNA-Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Advancing Reconciliation (“MOU”) was signed in January 2017.  This MOU contemplates arriving at a formal MNA-Canada Framework Agreement for negotiations by September 2017.  This Framework Agreement will establish formal negotiations between the MNA and Canada on issues such as self-government, Métis rights, outstanding Métis claims against the federal Crown, health, and housing, amongst many other priorities.

We remain optimistic that our September deadline for a Framework Agreement will be met.  At our upcoming Annual Assembly in Peace River, we will be holding a Métis rights and self-government workshop on Friday, August 11, 2017.  At this workshop, Tom Isaac, Canada’s Ministerial Special Representative on Section 35 Métis Rights, will be presenting on his landmark report, along with Métis lawyer Jason Madden and our MNA negotiating team with Canada.  All of the presentations from this workshop will be made available on the MNA’s website after the Annual Assembly.

For those that cannot attend this workshop or this year’s Annual Assembly in Peace River, I am pleased to report that we will be kicking off province-wide consultations in the Fall of 2017 to provide an opportunity for all members to be updated and have their voices heard in order to inform our potential future negotiations with Canada.  These are exciting times for the Métis Nation in Alberta; however, we need to ensure our citizens are meaningful and actively engaged as we—finally—move towards self-government. 

We need to hear from all of you on how we make Canada’s commitment to advancing a “nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship with the Métis Nation” a reality here in Alberta.  As our 2016 Annual Assembly directed, we will move forward on bilateral negotiations between the MNA and Canada to arrive at a modern-day treaty relationship between the Crown and Alberta Métis.  I am optimistic that, in the near future, we will finally see the dream of many of our ancestors—to have the MNA’s full self-government recognized—become a reality.

In closing, I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the MNA’s Co-Ministers on Métis Rights—Karen Collins and Bev New—for advancing these files on behalf of the Provincial Council and the Métis Nation within Alberta.  Together, we are building a stronger Métis Nation based on Métis rights!

 

Attachments:

  1. Letter from Alberta on Métis Harvesting dated July 20, 2017
  2. Brochure on Advancing Métis Rights and Claims in Alberta