Since its inception in 1928, the MNA is the Métis Government for Métis Albertans with its geographical and legal boundaries being the province of Alberta. The MNA is governed by a Provincial Council, comprised of a Provincial President and Vice-President, and six (6) regional Presidents and Vice-Presidents, all democratically elected. Together, this Council work toward the mandate of the MNA, which supports practices of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness for Métis Albertans in governments’ policy and decision-making processes, and overall, promotes and facilitates the advancement of Métis people through self-reliance, self-determination and self-management.
As per the Métis National Council, ‘Métis means a person who self-identifies as a Métis, is distinct from other aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.’ Historic Métis Nation ‘means the Aboriginal people then known as Métis or half-breeds who resided in the Historic Métis Nation Homeland.’ Métis Nation ‘means the Aboriginal people descended from the Historic Métis Nation, which now comprised of all Métis Nation peoples and is one of the “aboriginal peoples of Canada” as defined in s.35 of the Constitution Act 1982.’
In the past decade, the Métis population has nearly doubled. The Métis are one of the fastest growing populations in Canada with a population estimated at 451,795 in 2011 of which a significantly high percentage lived in Alberta alone. Alberta today accounts for more than 96,865 Métis which is the largest among the provinces and territories representing more than 21.4% of all Métis in Canada.
Statistics Canada’s 2006 Aboriginal People’s Survey (APS) reported that the Métis population had a greater proportion of children less than 15 years of age compared to the Canadian population (25% vs. 17%). The majority of Métis (70%) resided in a urban area, and twice as many Métis (41% vs. 20%) resided in smaller urban centers (population less than 100,000) than non-Aboriginals. While Métis live and work in virtually every community in Alberta, the higher populace is seen in the estimated 31, 780 (33%) Métis living in Edmonton, and the 17,040 (18%) in Calgary, making up approximately 55 percent of the total Aboriginal population which together represent the challenges and issues faced by more than half the Métis in the province of Alberta.