Archive for November, 2017

Notice of Special Meeting

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Notice is hereby provided of a Special Meeting of the Members of the Métis Nation of Alberta to review and vote on a Special Resolution to amend the Bylaws of the Métis Nation of Alberta Association with respect to the Métis Judiciary Council.

Date: Saturday, December 16, 2017
Time: 10:00 am
Place: Courtyard Edmonton West
10011 184 Street NW
Edmonton, AB, T5S 0C7

Copies of the full Special Resolution, along with the MNA Bylaws and Election Bylaws can be found at the link below: 
http://albertametis.com/governance/bylaws/

To download the PDF Meeting Notice, click here.

If you would like a hard copy mailed to you, please phone Margaret Hawrysh at (780) 455-2200 Ext. 382 or email mna@metis.org.

Free Health Services

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During Métis Week 2017, the Métis Nation of Alberta is hosting a pop up health clinic. The clinic will offer a wide range of free, non-insured, and culturally appropriate health services to our Métis Citizens.

When

Thursday, November 16th 1pm – 6pm

Friday, November 17th 9am – 12pm. 

Location 

Métis Nation of Alberta Provincial Head Office, #100 11738 kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB, T5G 0X5

Available Services

Thursday (1pm – 6pm)

  • Free Flu Shots (over 9 yrs)
  • Canadian Blood Services
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Free Teeth Cleaning
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Kinesiologist
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Booth
  • Alberta Foster Parents
  • Blood Sugar & Blood Pressure Monitoring
  • On-the-spot Appointment Booking
  • Diabetes Program Referrals
  • Foot Care
  • Basic Nutrition Services
  • Car Seat Checks, CPR, & First Aid Information
  • Physiotherapy Services (4-6pm)

Friday (9am – 12 pm)

  • Free Flu Shots (over 9 yrs)
  • Canadian Blood Services
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Free Eye Test (under 18 yrs or over 65 yrs)
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Blood Sugar & Blood Pressure Monitoring
  • Kinesiologist
  • On-the-spot Appointment Booking

Download the PDF poster here

Out Now: Otipemisiwak Issue 3, 2017

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The Métis Nation of Alberta is pleased to share the latest issue of Otipemisiwak Magazine.

Inside you will find details about the upcoming Métis Week celebrations, interviews with Métis entrepreneurs, and other news concerning the Métis Community.

To view the full magazine click here.

To receive the Otipemisiwak Magazine direct to your inbox, subscribe here.

Environmental Review Survey

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The Métis Nation of Alberta is seeking feedback from Métis Citizens on a recent Federal Government discussion paper. The Environmental Review Discussion Paper outlines the changes the Government is considering for Canada’s environmental assessment and regulatory processes that they hope will, among other things, advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

The discussion paper is a response to the submissions made to the government concerning the review of the Fisheries Act, the Navigation Protection Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), and the National Energy Board (NEB).

If you would like to submit your feedback, click here

Métis Week Events: Grand Prairie

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Awakening Our Spirit

Métis Week Celebrations in Grande Prairie

Pick-up your Métis passport at any participating partners and receive a stamp at any Métis week event. Drop off your passport at the final event for a chance to win the grand prize draw!

Friday November 10th, 2017

City of Grande Prairie – 10205-98 St

Flag Raising by Métis Local 1990
1:30 pm

Native Counselling Services of Alberta – #118, 9728-101 Avenue in the Aberdeen Centre 

Open House 2:30 to 4:30
(780) 532-9359 Office

Tuesday November 14th, 2017

Grande Prairie Regional College On-Campus Friendship Centre – GPRC Room B205
Open House
3-4:30 pm

Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Community Outreach – 10513-98 Ave
Jam Session & Supper
5-7 pm

Wednesday November 15th, 2017

Elders Caring Shelter – 9702-99 Ave

Open House with Bannock Tacos (donations accepted for Bannock Tacos)
12-2 pm

Thursday November 16th, 2017

Grande Prairie Regional College Flag Raising – 10726 106 Ave, Grande Prairie
12:30 pm TBD

Rupertsland Institute – #101, 10109 – 100th Street
Grand Opening – Open House – lunch available
1:30-3 pm

Métis Kitchen Party Featuring Beverly Lambert 
Teresa Sargent Hall
6:30-8:30 pm

*All passport submissions will be entered for a door prize selected at the Métis Kitchen Party on November 16th.

For more information please contact Delaine Lambert-English @ 780-830-6474 or Michéle McCullough at 780-539-0359.

Government building named after Métis activist Muriel Stanley Venne

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On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 Premier Rachel Notley announced the building at 142 Street and 123 Avenue, in Edmonton, Alberta, will be named after Metis Nation of Alberta citizen, Ms. Muriel Stanley Venne.

Muriel Stanley Venne and her family members with Premier Notley at the unveiling ceremony, Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Photo courtesy of the Government of Alberta.

Ms. Stanley Venne is a tireless advocate for Métis rights and recipient of many recognitions and awards including the Order of Canada, the Golden Jubilee Medal, and the Diamond Jubilee Medal. Ms. Venne’s career as a human rights advocate began in 1973 when former Premier Peter Lougheed appointed her one of the first commissioners to the Alberta Human Rights Commission. She also founded the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, an organization promoting opportunities for women.

Stanley Venne is a former Vice President of the Mètis Nation of Alberta and represents Métis interests as member of The National Aboriginal Advisory Committee to the Commissioner of Prisons and the Remembering the Children Society. Her passionate and tireless support for Indigenous rights also earned her recognition from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Muriel Stanley Venne Provincial Centre is the first government building the province has named after an Indigenous woman.

At the unveiling ceremony, Notley declared, “[Muriel] is a woman who has fought her whole life to make life better, to make life fair, and to make life more just.”

“I am honoured to be the first Indigenous woman in Alberta to have my name attached to a provincial government building. I hope this is a sign to young women and girls across the country that they can raise their voices and demand to be treated with respect,” Stanley Venne said on Wednesday.

The building, currently being renovated, is set for completion next spring and will serve as a multipurpose government centre.

Read the Government of Alberta’s announcement here.

Youth Art Contest

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We’re looking for submissions for the Métis Week Youth Art Contest. Sketch, paint, or draw your favourite thing about Métis culture for the chance to have your artwork recreated as a lapel pin.

To download the PDF poster, click here.

Contest Information:

  • Age categories: 3-7 years, 8-12 years, and 13-17 years.
  • One winner from each age group.
  • Create original, Métis specific art to be eligible.
  • Names must be legibly printed on the back of artwork, along with the age of the artist,
    and contact information (email & phone).
  • Art work must be at least a letter sized piece of paper 8.5 x 11inches or larger.
  • Winners will be announced on Monday, November 20, 2017.
  • Voting will take place at the Métis Nation of Alberta Open House Thursday, November 16, 2017
    (1:00pm – 6:00pm) and Friday, November 17, 2017 (9:00am-12:00pm).

Submission Deadline:
Monday, November 13, 2017
Submissions can be emailed to tkruk@metis.org or dropped off to the Provincial Head Office:
#100 – 11738 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB,T5G 0X5

Métis Week Events: Region 6

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The Métis Nation of Alberta Region 6 Office in Peace River is hosting a series of events beginning Monday November 13th. For further information on any of the below events, please contact the Region 6 Office.

9621-90 Ave
Peace River, AB
T8S 1G8

Phone: 780-624-4219

Monday November 13th 

Métis Flag Flying During Métis Week
Our Métis flag will be flying from November 13th – November 20th to celebrate Métis Week.
Location: Peace River, AB

Tuesday November 14th 

Beyond Sashes & Fiddles
Please join us for the grand opening of Beyond Sashes & Fiddles exhibit.
The exhibit will remain until May 9, 2018.
Location: Peace River Museum Archive & Mackenzie Centre, 10302 99 St, Peace River, AB
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Wednesday November 15th 

Métis Artist Showcase
Join us at the Library for a Métis Artist Showcase. Bannock and soup will be provided.
Location: Peace River Library, 9807 97 Ave, Peace River, AB
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Monday November 20th 

Region 6 Open House
Learn about Métis awareness, our membership, and enjoy traditional Métis food.
Location: Region 6 Office, 9621-90 Ave, Peace River, AB
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

 

Recent Agreements with Canada and Alberta

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November 16, 2017

Métis Nation of Alberta-Government of Canada Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation

On Thursday, November 16th, 2017, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta, took a historic step with the signing of the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation.

The signing enables Canada and Métis Nation of Alberta to begin formal negotiations towards shared and balanced solutions advancing reconciliation and the enhancement of the well-being of Métis Nation of Alberta citizens while respecting the rights of all  Canadians. 

To view a PDF version of the complete Métis Nation of Alberta -Government of Canada Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation, please click here.

 

February 27, 2017

MNA-Alberta Framework Agreement

For over 30 years, our various MNA-Alberta Framework Agreements have guided our relationship with the province.  Over these decades, we have seen many gains and successes by working collaboratively with the province.  Our Framework Agreement provides the foundation for our relationship with Alberta.

It is a well-known fact that the last version of our Framework Agreement was whittled down by the previous provincial government with respect to language that recognized the Métis Nation and the MNA’s representative role.  While this was disappointing, we persevered and tried to make the most out of what was a challenging period of MNA-Alberta relations.

With that era behind us, I am very pleased that our new Framework Agreement goes further than any of our previous agreements with Alberta.  This is a testament to the commitment of Premier Notley and Minister Feehan to building relationships.  As I have often said, I believe that if we get the recognition and relationship right, we will be able to make things happen. This agreement sets the course for us to finally get that foundation right.

Notably, this agreement also includes the following important additions:

  • The agreement is between the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Government of Alberta.  Previous versions of the agreement constantly added “Association” to our name in order to diminish the reality that we represent a distinct Indigenous people—the Métis. 
  • The agreement includes explicit commitments to pursue discussions on key rights-related issues such as harvesting and a Métis consultation policy.  The success of this Framework Agreement will be measured on progress being made on these commitments.
  • The agreement is for a 10 year period.  In the past, the re-negotiation of the agreement every 3 or 5 years were distractions to keeping momentum under the agreement going.

Most importantly, the agreement commits to working with us on a “nation-to-nation” basis to advance Métis rights and reconciliation.  Specifically, the Agreement states,

AND WHEREAS Alberta recognizes the MNA’s representative role on behalf of its Citizens and is committed to working with the MNA, on a nation-to-nation basis, through this Framework Agreement, in order to advance reconciliation and enhance the MNA-Alberta relationship through recognition, collaboration, respect for Métis rights and working towards the advancement of Métis self-government and self-determination;

Flowing from this overall intent, the agreement explicitly commits to “discussing options for the legislative recognition of the MNA and its governance structures.”  As noted above, for far too often, the fact that our Nation’s legal and administrative arm is incorporated as an ‘association’ under Alberta’s Societies Act has been used against us to diminish the fact that we are a government for Alberta Métis. This commitment will allow us to explore other options with Alberta.

The agreement also commits Alberta to engage with us and Canada on the “implications of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Daniels v. Canada for Alberta Métis.”  We see this commitment as ensuring that Alberta will participate in our discussions with Canada, where required.  It is important to note that while the Daniels Case affirms Métis are within federal jurisdiction, the province was and remains a key partner in making progress on some of our rights-related issues, in particular dealing with lands.

In closing, I want to thank the MNA Provincial Council, including our Co-Ministers for Métis Rights (Karen Collins and Bev New) as well as MNA staff and legal counsel for getting us here.  Now the hard work begins!  Ultimately, these two agreements will be measured by what they achieve for our children, families and communities here in Alberta. I am confident that through hard work and determination, we will see real results from these agreements for Alberta Métis.

Click here to download the PDF memorandum. 

 

Memorandum: Métis Nation of Alberta-Government of Alberta Framework Agreement

On February 27th 2017, Métis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras released a memorandum regarding the recent agreements with Canada and Alberta.

To download the PDF memorandum, Please click here. The memorandum full text is also available in the post below. Please scroll down for more information. 

To access the complete Métis Nation of Alberta-Government of Alberta Framework Agreement, please click here.

TO: All Members
FROM: Audrey Poitras, MNA President
DATE: February 27, 2017
RE: Recent Agreements with Canada and Alberta

As many of you have likely already heard, the Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”) has recently signed two important agreements with both the federal and provincial governments.  Both of these agreements are now publicly available and can be found on the MNA’s website at www.albertametis.com.  Copies of these agreements can also be obtained by contacting the MNA Head Office or our Regional Offices throughout the province.

These two agreements consolidate many of the positive developments we have been making politically here in Alberta as well as at the federal level in over the last year or so.  These agreements also begin to strategically put the pieces into place to meaningfully implement our historic victory in the Harry Daniels case from April 2016 (the “Daniels Case”) as well as the recommendations of Mr. Tom Isaac, Canada’s Ministerial Special Representative on Métis Section 35 Rights, whose report was released in July 2016 (the “Isaac Report”).

In the upcoming months, the MNA will be initiating province-wide community consultations to update members on these agreements as well as to talk about our priorities for future negotiations with both Canada and Alberta.  In the meantime, I wanted to provide this update to highlight some important aspects of these agreements as well as outline how they fit together and complement each other.  As I stated at the signing of these two agreements, the “stars are aligning for Alberta Métis” to make some significant advances on our rights-based agenda in the near future.

From the positive relationships we have built with Premier Notley and her government, including the commitment in our new Framework Agreement to finally begin work with us on a nation-to-nation basis, to Prime Minister Trudeau’s commitment to finally put into place the nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship the Métis Nation has sought with Canada for generations, I believe we have the wind at our backs and we must seize upon the once-in-a-generation opportunities that are before us.

 

January 30, 2017

MNA-Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Reconciliation

This first agreement—the MNA-Canada MOU on Reconciliation—establishes a bilateral exploratory discussions process between ourselves and Canada in order to see if we can reach a formal Framework Agreement for negotiations on Métis rights and claims in Alberta by September 2017.  This is a momentous development for Alberta Métis!

Exploratory discussion processes are an important step in Canada’s six stage Indigenous “claims” resolution processes.  In the past, Métis south of the 60th parallel were completely excluded from these types of federal negotiation processes. Clearly, the direction from the Daniels Case and the Isaac Report; namely, that Métis can no longer be on the outside looking in at the federal level, is slowly taking hold.  For more information on the MOU and answers to frequently asked questions visit: http://albertametis.com/2017/01/20612/.

As set out in the MOU, these exploratory discussions will be focused on dealing with our Aboriginal rights and outstanding claims here in Alberta.  More specifically, this process will include rights-based discussions on Métis self-government, Métis lands and redressing the failings of the federal Métis scrip system.  We will also be talking about how to address the inequities our children, families and communities face because of discriminatory and colonial federal policies.

As I previously mentioned, in order to fully develop and prioritize subject matters for future negotiations, we will be undertaking province-wide consultations in the upcoming months.  We want to hear from all of our members on what are the key issues we should incorporate into any future Framework Agreement with Canada.  Rather than being stuck with a top-down national agenda, these exploratory discussions allow us to craft a ‘made-in-Alberta’ approach.   

Related to this, it is also important to note that the Prime Minister’s commitment to working with the Métis Nation on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship will be through bilateral negotiations with the MNA—not through any national process.  Specifically, the MOU states,

AND WHEREAS Canada is committed to working, on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government basis with the Métis Nation, through bilateral negotiations with the MNA, in order to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship through cooperation, respect for Métis rights, and ending the status quo; [Emphasis added.]

This aspect of the MOU is consistent with the recent direction received from the 2016 MNA Annual General Assembly, which added the following important objective to the MNA Bylaws:

[for the MNA] 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.” 

While we have much more work to do and a long road ahead of us, this MOU puts us on the right track.  I look forward to our upcoming community consultation to provide further updates on what is happening at the federal level.