Current Affairs

Special Resolutions

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Special Resolutions to amend the Métis Nation of Alberta Association’s bylaws at the 90th Annual General Assembly to be held August 11-12, 2018 in Lac La Biche, AB., are now available.

Click here to view or download the Special Resolutions Package.

Harvesting Report: What We Heard

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Over the past year, the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) has been collaborating with the Government of Alberta (GoA) on Métis harvesting rights.

As part of this collaborative work, the MNA hosted a series of engagement sessions across Alberta.
We had over 800 attendees and received 757 paper and online surveys.

With this feedback, we are negotiating a new Métis harvesting policy with the Alberta government. Our findings have been submitted to the GoA Cabinet, and we expect a decision by the end of July, 2018.

What We Heard

When engagement sessions wrapped up, we compiled a What We Heard report summarizing feedback into key themes.

Click here to read the full What We Heard report.

Click here for a printable copy of the What We Heard Report

Background

The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) and the Government of Alberta (GoA) are jointly reviewing the existing Métis Harvesting in Alberta policy (the policy). The policy was put into place by the GoA unilaterally in 2007 to replace the Interim Métis Harvesting Agreement, and updated it in 2010. Now, the GoA and the MNA have agreed to collaborate in reviewing this policy in order to facilitate recognition for Métis rights in Alberta, uphold the honour of the Crown, and advance reconciliation.

For further information, please see the GoA-MNA working document: A Way Forward: Métis Harvesting in Alberta. This document details the collaborative work the GoA and the MNA are undertaking with respect to Métis harvesting.  

 

For more information:

Should you require more information you may contact our harvesting manager:

Amy Quintal
Manager, Harvesting
Tel: 780-455-2200 Ext. 256
Email: aquintal@metis.org

Memo: Step 2: Construction of Métis Cultural Gathering Centre – Opportunities for Métis Contractors/Individuals/Suppliers

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TO: MNA Citizens, Locals, Regions and Provincial Council
FROM: Audrey Poitras, MNA President
DATE: June 25, 2018
RE: Step 2: Construction of Métis Cultural Gathering Centre – Opportunities for Métis Contractors/Individuals/Suppliers

Good Afternoon,
I am pleased to follow-up on my previous memo dated May 16, 2018. Seven General Contractors have been invited to bid on the construction of our Métis Crossing Cultural Gathering Centre. As outlined in Step 2 of that memo, below is the list of GCs, along with the contact information. Please share this information with interested Métis contractors, individuals and suppliers within your regions or networks, and encourage them to contact one the GCs directly.

General Contractors invited to bid on the construction of the Metis Crossing Cultural Gathering Centre

The Métis Crossing Advisory Committee (MCAC) has allocated 20/100 possible scoring points within the tender evaluation process to the Métis involvement in the final bids of each GC; it is a priority. Final bid packages are due from the General Contractors by July 3, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Juanita Marois, the Métis Crossing Development Manager
at jmarois@metis.org.

Respectfully,
Audrey Poitras,
President, Métis Nation of Alberta

MNA Ministry to Offer Temporary Accommodations to Citizens for Medically-Necessary Travel

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June 26, 2018 (Edmonton, AB) The Ministry of Health, Children, and Youth, at the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) provincial head office, is excited to announce the allocation of two (2) suites in the Métis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC) Renaissance Tower for citizens travelling to Edmonton for medically necessary appointments or treatment.

A one-bedroom suite and a two-bedroom barrier-free suite are available for MNA citizens traveling from communities across the province to access health care services in Edmonton. Citizens applying for this service will have access to safe, reliable, and culturally-appropriate accommodations, free of charge, for medically necessary travel.

The Ministry of Health, Children, and Youth is committed to developing and providing programs and services that aim to reduce existing barriers to accessing health care services, and aid in improving the overall health outcomes of Métis Albertans.

This program aims to assist low-income citizens who are especially impacted by medically-necessary travel. Many of our citizens are not able to afford a trip to Edmonton and forgo important and necessary medical treatment for that reason. Those who can make the trip often face considerable financial hardship while paying out-of-pocket for travel and accommodations.

Citizens wishing to access this program and book accommodations must meet the defined criteria and are required to submit an application. The cost of travel to, from, and within the city of Edmonton is not included in this program at this time. Application packages can be found at http://albertametis.com/medical-accommodations or by contacting your regional office. 

If you have any questions about this program, please call 780-455-2200 Ext. 249 or email us at health@metis.org.

To download a copy of our release, click here.

Métis National Council and Government of Canada sign Skills and Employment Training Accord

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Photo: (l-r) Métis Nation Saskatchewan President, Glen McCallum; Métis Nation Ontario President, Margaret Froh; Manitoba Métis Federation President, David Chartrand; Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patricia Hajdu; Métis National Council President, Clément Chartier; Métis Nation of Alberta President, Audrey Poitras, and;
Métis Nation British Columbia President, Clara Morin Dal Col.

June 19, 2018 (Ottawa, ON) The Métis Nation of Alberta is pleased to announce the signing of the Métis Nation Skills and Employment Accord between the leaders of the Métis Nation of Canada and the Government of Canada on Friday, June 15, 2018.

The Métis Nation Skills and Employment Accord provides all parties a framework for jointly implementing the new Métis National Labour Market Strategy. The strategy focuses on enhanced employment services, skills development, and job training to improve the overall well-being of the Métis Nation. This Accord marks the first sub-accord under the Canada-Métis Nation Accord signed by the Prime Minister of Canada and Métis Nation leadership on April 13, 2017.

The signing of the Accord comes after the federal government made a commitment of more than $625 million over 10 years for the Métis Nation stream of the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training program in the 2018 budget. The program replaces the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy.

Quick Facts:

  • The Métis Nation is represented by the Métis National Council and its governing members: the Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Métis Federation, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, and Métis Nation British Columbia.
  • Budget 2018 also provides $516 million in funding over 10 years to respond to the unique needs and concerns of the Métis Nation, including:
    • $500 million over 10 years to support a Métis Nation housing strategy
    • $10 million in 2018-19 to support Métis Nation post-secondary education
    • $6 million over five years to support the Métis Nation in gathering health data and developing a health strategy

Quotes:

“The signing of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord last year was the first step toward a renewed relationship with the Métis Nation. These meetings provide an important opportunity to hear directly from leaders of the Métis Nation about their unique needs and concerns. We will continue to work together with the Métis Nation as partners to address these needs, and strengthen the Canada-Métis Nation relationship for the benefit of our country and all Canadians.”
—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“The Canada-Métis Nation Accord is enabling the Métis Nation to make significant strides toward our social and economic development. We look forward to working with the Prime Minister and his ministers on this year’s priorities.”
Clément Chartier, President of the Métis National Council

“Today’s meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau was positive, and I thank him for his commitment to a distinctions-based approach. The work we are doing nationally will benefit Métis citizens in Alberta.”
—Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta

To download a copy of the Accord, click here.

Memo: Construction of Métis Cultural Gathering Centre – Opportunities for Métis Citizens/General Contractors/Suppliers

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TO: MNA Citizens, Locals, Regions and Provincial Council
FROM: Audrey Poitras, MNA President
DATE: May 16, 2018
RE: Construction of Métis Cultural Gathering Centre – Opportunities for Métis Citizens/General Contractors/Suppliers

The Métis Crossing Cultural Gathering Centre will begin construction this summer. One of the priorities for the construction of the project is to maximize opportunities for our Métis citizens, suppliers and contractors to participate. The Métis Crossing Advisory Committee (MCAC) is requesting the assistance of MNA Regions and Affiliates to achieve this priority.

Step One: Will be an invitational bid process, meaning the tender package will be sent to seven (7) General Contractors (GC) to bid on the job. Subcontractors and suppliers will be invited to bid to the selected General Contractors.

To ensure that we include our Métis General Contractors in this invitation, the MCAC requests your assistance to identify Métis General Contractors that can provide a 50% Performance Bond for a $10,000,000 construction project.

Please forward their names to Juanita Marois, the Métis Crossing Development Manager (jmarois@metis.org), and she will ensure that they are included in the invitational process. All names of General Contractors must be to Juanita by Thursday, May 24, 2018 to be included.

Step Two: Once the seven (7) General Contractors have been invited, this list will be circulated to each Region and Affiliate, as well as posted on our MNA and Métis Crossing websites. The MCAC will again request your assistance to encourage Métis citizens and subcontractors to contact each GC directly to be included in their bids. We will also be requesting that these GCs access the new Métis Contractor Database.

Feel free to circulate this request, and ensure that Juanita Marois receives the names of the Métis General Contractors by Thursday, May 24, 2018. You can reach Juanita at jmarois@metis.org or by phone at (780) 722-1993.

Respectfully, 

Audrey Poitras
President

New Cultural Gathering Centre will breathe new life into Métis Crossing

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May 14, 2018 (Smoky Lake, AB) – The Métis Nation of Alberta, Government of Canada and Government of Alberta celebrated the ground-breaking for the new cultural gathering centre at Métis Crossing. Once complete, the centre will allow the Indigenous tourist attraction to offer year-round programming for the first time.

“Métis Crossing is a place of pride where we not only share culture and tradition, but offer an opportunity for others to learn and experience Métis culture. Our long awaited Cultural Gathering Centre, that has been a dream of Alberta’s Métis people for decades, is finally underway and will open up so many more future possibilities for visitors to enjoy in every season,” said Métis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras.

The new centre will provide 10,000 ft2 of gathering spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, exhibits and interpretive spaces to engage visitors. The centre is being designed to maximize energy and operational efficiencies to help achieve financial sustainability. The Government of Canada has committed $3.5 million for construction of the facility and the Government of Alberta has also provided $1 million in funding for construction and site developments.

“Our government is committed to working with Indigenous Peoples to build a better relationship based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. We are proud to support the Métis Nation of Alberta in honouring this region’s—and Canada’s—diverse heritage and history through important sites like the Métis Crossing. Investments in projects like these demonstrate the Government of Canada’s goal of building strong, inclusive communities and promoting economic prosperity for all,” said the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

Construction on the new cultural centre is scheduled for completion late summer of 2019. The facility will provide a cozy place to warm up by the fireplace after visitors participate in authentic Métis experiences that may include night sky watching, snowshoeing, and trapping programs.

“Métis Crossing will contribute to the local and provincial economy while showcasing the history of a proud people – the Métis people of Alberta. Through this initiative, visitors from across the province and the country will learn about the importance of the Métis to Alberta and Canada through several exhibits and historical village tours,” said the Honourable Richard Feehan Alberta Provincial Minister of Indigenous Relations.

Located within the Victoria District National Historic Site, Métis Crossing is a beautiful 512-acre setting along the North Saskatchewan River comprised of five historic river lots. Métis Crossing is perfect for a family weekend getaway with activities for all ages, hiking trails, campsites, and new this year comfort camping in Métis trappers’ tents. It is the first Métis cultural interpretive centre in Alberta and boasts a historical village, restored homesteads, nature trails, and Voyageur canoe trips. Métis Crossing remains open this summer during construction and all programming will be available.

The development and operation of Métis Crossing mirrors the core values of the Métis community including self-sufficiency, respect of elders, participation of youth, and pride in culture. This site is one of many initiatives and projects the Métis Nation of Alberta supports to develop the socio-economic and cultural well-being of Métis people in Alberta.

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For more information, please visit: metiscrossing.org

Media contact:

Rolando Inzunza

Director of Communications & Citizen Engagement

780-455-2200 ext. 395

rinzunza@metis.org

Fourth Annual Métis Nation of Alberta Pancake Breakfast

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All are welcome to the fourth annual Métis Nation of Alberta Pancake Breakfast on Friday, May 25, 2018.

Join us for free pancakes as CFWE Radio broadcasts live.

Time: 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Location: Métis Nation of Alberta Provincial Head Office, #100 11738 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB

A special thank you to ATCO for generously providing the grills.

For further information, please call Sarah Kaup at (780) 455 2200 Ext. 431

Métis Nation of Alberta Releases Opioid Data & Action Plan

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For Immediate Release

Métis Nation of Alberta Releases Opioid Data & Action Plan

Edmonton, AB May 2, 2018 – The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is committed to positively affecting the health status of Métis citizens by providing supports and services to address the unique health outcomes among Métis Albertans. Utilizing our ongoing partnership and in response to the opioid crisis affecting all Albertans, the MNA is collaborating with Alberta Health, to determine the impact of opioids on Métis Albertans. 

The MNA, recently developed data on opioid and substance misuse, comparing rates of use and other indicators, for Métis Albertans with non-Métis Albertans. Some highlights of the findings include:

  • Between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017, the rate of apparent accidental opioid toxicity deaths was slightly higher among Métis Albertans.
  • From 2013 to 2016, the rate of opioid dispensing has consistently been higher among Métis Albertans.
  • From 2014 to 2017, the rates of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations related to opioid use and other substances of misuse for Métis Albertans were consistently higher. Increases in the rates of ED visits and hospitalizations over this period were also greater for Métis Albertans.
  • Among both populations, the majority of apparent accidental opioid toxicity deaths were related to fentanyl relative to non-fentanyl opioids from January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.
  • Among both populations, males, particularly those males aged 30-44 years, represented a much higher proportion of apparent accidental opioid toxicity deaths compared to females.
  • In 2016, among both populations, accidental fentanyl opioid toxicity deaths represented the highest proportion of all confirmed drug and alcohol toxicity deaths.

While these statistics are extremely concerning, the MNA is committed to providing supports and services with the intention of reducing the impact of opioid misuse on Métis Albertans. To this end, we have developed an Opioid Crisis Management Action Plan that will address this serious health concern. Starting June 2018, we will begin opioid awareness education and Take Home Naloxone Kit (THNK) training and distribution with Métis Albertans, in more than 70 Métis communities across Alberta.

The MNA has also hired a Research and Project Coordinator, specific to Opioids Navigation Services, to assist Metis Albertans who have experienced an overdose, help them navigate through the health care system, and connect them with culturally-relevant resources. By introducing the Opioid Crisis Management Action Plan and Opioid Navigation Services, we intend to decrease the number of overdoses seen in our Métis communities, lessen the amount of emergency department visits, encourage community champions through THNK training, and provide support for those navigating the health care system following an overdose.

The Métis Nation of Alberta will be releasing the full report to citizens in the coming weeks.

For a downloadable version of the press release, click here.

For more information on this project, contact:
Health, Children, and Youth Department
780-455-2200 ext. 249
health@métis.org

For more information on the MNA, contact:
Rolando Inzunza
Director of Communications
Métis Nation of Alberta
780-455-2200 ext. 395
rinzunza@metis.org

 

Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards

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The Métis Nation of Alberta is excited to share details of the Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards. This unique award program provides the opportunity to celebrate the exceptional qualities of students who inspire their peers, teachers, education leaders, and community members while respecting the agency of other students to do the same in their own ways. 

The Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards are intended to recognize First Nations, Métis and Inuit students who model strength and commitment in the pursuit of their personal education path and embrace their own gifts, strengths and potential while celebrating the ways of their people.
Formerly known as “Indigenous Shining Student Award”, the program has been enhanced and expanded and continues to be supported through the collaboration of education partners in Alberta. This important re-imagining of the award has been inspired by the ASBA Indigenous Advisory Circle whose leadership, advice, and guidance has been invaluable in creating this exciting new awards program.

If you know a Métis student who embodies the above qualities, you now have the chance to nominate them. For nomination information and further details on the awards, click here.

Rupertsland Structural Assessment Stakeholder Survey

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Métis Nation of Alberta affiliate, Rupertsland Institute (RLI) has commissioned a study to examine the alignment of RLI’s organizational structure with its mandate, mission and vision. The scope of this project includes an independent review of RLI’s governance, administration, and service delivery structures in the context of foreseeable changes in its business environment and in light of the Métis Nation of Alberta’s relationship with the Government of Canada.

After a competitive process RLI has selected Engage First Management Consultants (www.engagefirst.ca) to conduct this independent review. Engage First is a professional management consulting firm based in Edmonton with expertise in organizational analysis and experience with Indigenous organizations.

The first phase of the review requires extensive data collection and consultations with RLI’s key stakeholders including staff, clients and members of the Métis community. You are part of this consultation and your valuable opinion is being sought through an online survey being conducted by the independent consultant.  We would greatly appreciate your participation in this survey.  Please be assured that no personal information will be asked and all the information collected in this survey will be treated with strict confidentiality.  

Begin Survey

Response to Inaccuracies in CBC News Article re: MNA Local 2097 Election

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For Immediate Release

Response to Inaccuracies in CBC News Article re: MNA Local 2097 Election

Edmonton, AB January 8, 2018 – The Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”) must respond to numerous errors and inaccuracies contained in an article entitled “Métis Nation of Alberta calls re-election of local president ‘a sham’,” which was published on the CBC News website on January 7, 2018.  The article relates to the re-election of the president of MNA Local 2097 (Lac la Biche) on November 16, 2017.

First, it must be made clear that this is the MNA’s first public statement regarding the re-election of the president of MNA Local 2097: the MNA has not called this re-election “a sham.”  The MNA is a province-wide organization with over 35,000 Citizens.  The MNA consists of a Provincial Council, six Regional Councils, and numerous Local Councils that, taken together, constitute the government of the Métis Nation within Alberta.  According to the MNA’s bylaws, the President of the MNA’s Provincial Council, Audrey Poitras, is the spokesperson for the MNA.  The CBC News article’s headline apparently refers to a press release issued by MNA Region 1 Regional Council on January 5, 2018.  MNA Region 1 Regional Council, however, does not speak for the MNA as a whole.

For over 90 years, the MNA has been a manifestation of the Métis Nation’s inherent right to self-government.  Our legitimacy, as a Métis government, comes from our Citizens—the Métis people themselves.  At present, however, the MNA and its Regions and Locals are incorporated under Alberta’s Societies Act. The purpose of the incorporated association is to serve as a transitional vehicle on our journey towards full recognition of our self-government.  Until full recognition of our self-government is achieved, we are obliged to adhere to the Societies Act and the bylaws considered, passed, and amended by our citizens at our Annual Meetings.

The MNA Local 2097’s Local Annual Meeting and Local Council election was held on November 16, 2017.  In keeping with the bylaws of the MNA and MNA Local 2097, this date was set on October 25, 2017, at a regular meeting of the Local Council.  As directed by the Local Council and in keeping with the applicable bylaws, notice of the meeting was given to members of Local 2097 by email, text, phone call, and newspaper. 

The November 16, 2017, meeting was held at the home of Local president Brenda Bourque-Stratichuk.  The bylaws of the MNA and MNA Local 2097 place no restrictions on where meetings can be held.  MNA Locals are often small and underfunded, which sometimes means that meetings must be held in private residences.

The applicable bylaws require that a Local Council election be attended by at least 10 MNA Citizens who are eligible to vote at the meeting.  At November 16, 2017, meeting, this quorum was met.  In keeping with MNA Local 2097’s bylaws, all members of MNA Local 2097 who attended the meeting were permitted to vote.  The election was chaired by Daniel Cardinal, MNA Region 1 Vice President.

The MNA’s Citizens and leaders have long recognized the limitations of the Societies Act as a vehicle for Métis self-government.  That is why we are actively engaged in achieving full self-government for the Métis Nation of Alberta, outside of the Societies Act.  On November 16, 2017, Canada and the MNA signed a historic Framework Agreement, which committed to giving expression to our inherent right to self-government and self-determination, including by negotiating a self-government agreement with Canada and developing a constitution for the Métis Nation with Alberta. We are working hard to make this happen.  The dream of full recognition of self-government for the Métis Nation within Alberta is now closer than ever.

 

For more information, contact:

Rolando Inzunza

Director of Communications and Citizen Engagement

Metis Nation of Alberta

780-455-2200 ext. 395

rinzunza@metis.org

 

Memo: Update on Lawsuit Against MNA

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TO: MNA Citizens, Locals, Regions and Provincial Council
FROM: Audrey Poitras, MNA President
DATE: November 24, 2017
RE: Update on Lawsuit Against the MNA

As some of you may be aware, one MNA citizen started a lawsuit against the MNA in November 2016 with respect to two special resolutions duly passed by the 2016 MNA Annual Assembly. This same individual is also challenging the Kikino Métis Settlement’s decision to refuse him membership.
Up until now, I have not issued communications on this lawsuit because we wanted to respect the court process, and, quite frankly, I believe the lawsuit has no legal merit, but rather seeks to advance one individual’s political agenda. Drawing attention to him and his lawsuit is what he—and his lawyer—want. I have not wanted to give them the platform they seek.
With that said, many people have been asking about recent court decisions on this lawsuit that are in the MNA’s favour. In the spirit of transparency, I offer this update.

The Lawsuit Against the MNA
In November 2016, this individual started his lawsuit in his personal capacity (i.e., on behalf of himself and no one else). Since then, the MNA has been forced to incur significant costs to defend against what we believe to be a meritless lawsuit.
Specifically, this individual challenged the passage of the following two special resolutions at the 2016 Annual Assembly:

  • Special Resolution #1 clarified and added the goal of negotiating a modern-day treaty with the Crown to the MNA Bylaws.
  • Special Resolution #2 updated the MNA’s oath of membership to provide further clarity that the MNA—which includes its Regions and Locals—is duly authorized to advance the collectively-held rights and claims of its citizens.

These two special resolutions were passed with overwhelming support from those in attendance at the Annual Assembly. Following their passage, the MNA mailed out over 33,000 notices to all of our citizens making them aware of these developments. Since that time, not a single MNA citizen has withdrawn their citizenship. Nor has it reduced the number of Métis individuals applying to the MNA for citizenship every month.
On the contrary, over the last year, the MNA’s leadership has repeatedly heard from our citizens across the province that they are very excited to see the Métis Nation finally making renewed progress on Métis harvesting rights, a Métis consultation policy and our negotiations with Canada to implement a nation-to-nation relationship and the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Daniels v. Canada.
While the individual advancing this lawsuit may believe it is an effective political strategy to attempt to diminish the MNA in the courts and to work to undermine our negotiations with other governments, I do not believe that the vast majority of the MNA’s citizens agree.

Recent Court Decisions in Favour of the MNA
Over the last few months, the courts have also repeatedly sided with the MNA in relation to aspects of this lawsuit. These successes have included:

  • Both Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal have rejected this individual’s attempt to obtain the personal genealogies of all of the MNA’s elected leadership and various MNA citizenship lists. The courts found that these demands were “egregious as being clearly irrelevant on its face” and “should never have been raised.” The court awarded the MNA over $16,000.00 in costs against this individual for his actions, which must be paid immediately or his lawsuit cannot proceed any further.
  • The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench rejected this individual’s attempt to amend his lawsuit—on the very day the case was to be heard—in order to significantly expand it with a view to getting access to all of the genealogies of the MNA’s 35,000+ citizens for his personal review. His request for these amendments were denied by the court. As a result of his actions, another $6,500.00 in costs was awarded against him, which must be paid immediately or his lawsuit cannot proceed any further. The following are just some of the conclusions and warnings the judge made:
    [38] I find that [this individual’s] eleventh-hour actions are the cause for the adjournment of the October Hearing, and the consequential waste of scarce judicial resources, time, and money. …
    [47] I reject [this individual’s] contention that the Court or the MNAA is responsible for his last-minute actions or the expectation that the October Hearing would not proceed as originally scheduled. Litigants, and particularly those represented by counsel, are expected to know that a motion filed and served moments before a hearing begins is very likely to result in an adjournment.
    [50] While I am satisfied that these series of events could well be construed as an example of “litigation by ambush”, I cannot conclusively say whether it results from design or misguidance. As such, I cannot find that the conduct is clearly egregious and therefore warranting solicitor-client costs. For the same reason, I do not think it appropriate to yet consider the indicia of litigation misconduct … (emphasis added)

As a part of this recent decision, the court has also now removed all of the previous restrictions agreed to by the MNA with respect to new citizens having to sign the MNA oath of citizenship. As such, all new applicants must now sign this oath in order to obtain citizenship within the MNA. As well, the MNA Registry will be ensuring all citizens who have received their citizenship since October 12, 2016 have a signed oath in their file. All other MNA citizens are deemed to have accepted the oath and do not need to sign the oath.

Simply put, Special Resolutions #1 and #2—as adopted by the 2016 Annual Assembly—are in full force and effect without qualification.
As a result of the actions of this individual and his lawyer, he must now pay over $22,000.00 in costs to the MNA and the Alberta Government before he can file any additional documents related to his lawsuit. At this time, no hearing is scheduled for this matter, and the court has indicated that it is unlikely that it could be heard before 2019. In the meantime, the MNA is fully able to act on the direction from its citizens with respect to the above-noted special resolutions.

I hope this update is informative and addresses the questions some MNA citizens have raised. For those who would like additional information, copies of the court’s decisions on these issues are available at the following website: https://www.justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/courts/Pages/decisions.aspx

A New Chapter Begins in Canada’s Relationship with the Métis Nation of Alberta

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Every November, we celebrate Métis Week.  It is a chance to reflect on who we are as a distinct Indigenous people.  November 16 is always an important date in our commemorations.  This year, it marked exactly 132 years since Canada executed Louis Riel.  This year, however, it also marked something far more positive—the signing of a new agreement between Canada and the MNA meant to renew our nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship and advance reconciliation between us.

It should be no secret that the Métis Nation’s relationship with Canada has often been troubled.   Immediately following confederation, Canada began its colonial expansion westward into our homeland. Our leaders were concerned that Canada would not respect our rights, either to our lands or to govern ourselves.  Historically, and still to this day, many choose not to see us as a distinct Indigenous people with collectively-held rights to land, self-determination, and self-government.

The Métis Nation was initially born of the fur trade, but we quickly developed our own language, culture, and identity, distinct from our forebears.  We are not simply “mixed blooded.”   We are a people with all the rights that peoples hold.  We have always been staunchly independent.  We are Otipemisiwak—the free people, the ones who own themselves.  In response to Canadian colonialism, we twice established our own independent governments and took up arms to defend our lands and right to exist.  First in 1870 in the Red River and then in 1885 at Batoche.

In reaction to our resistance, Canada hanged Riel.  Our leaders and people were branded as traitors, simply for defending their homeland.  After 1885, to quell dissent and to secure access to our homeland, Canada offered scrip (essentially a coupon to be traded for land or money) to Métis residing in the Northwest Territories, including present day Alberta, in exchange for the supposed extinguishment of Métis rights.  Instead of dealing with us as a people with collective rights, Canada contrived to divide us, dealing with us as individuals. 

Scrip had a devastating effect on the Métis Nation.  Scrip was nearly impossible for Métis to redeem for actual land, and the scrip system was rife with fraud and abuse.  Overwhelmingly, scrip ended up in the hands of land speculators; our ancestors received next to nothing for it.  Scrip dispossessed us of our land and dismembered our communities.  By the end of the 19th century, the sight of Métis shanties crowding Crown land on the edge of prairie towns was so common that we became known as “the road allowance people.”

But we kept fighting.  We fought to keep our people together.  In 1928, Alberta Métis created the Métis Nation of Alberta to be our collective voice in this province.  Through dedication and sacrifice, we have built the Métis Nation of Alberta into our modern, Métis self-government in the province—even as others continue to diminish our accomplishments.  In recent years, the Métis Nation has won increasing recognition of our nationhood, rights, and claims in the courts.  We have improved the health, education, and housing of Métis in Alberta, but we still have much to do. 

This week, our determination started to bear fruit.  On Thursday, I had the honour of signing a Framework Agreement with Carolyn Bennett, Canada’s Minister of Crown-Indigenous relations.  This agreement sets a new course for us and Canada.  It establishes formal negotiations to finally have our Métis self-government recognized.  It commits to dealing with priorities our citizens have identified, like health, housing, and our rights.  Most importantly, it establishes a process to acknowledge and address the sorry legacy of Métis scrip.

We know that significant work lies ahead, but we have never shied away from that.  Our people are ready for change.  We are ready to write a new chapter in Canada and the Métis Nation’s shared story, one that I hope even Louis Riel would be proud of.

 

– Audrey Poitras

President, Métis Nation of Alberta

 

To view a copy of the signed framework agreement, click here.

Special Meeting: December 16, 2017

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A Special Meeting of the Members of the Métis Nation of Alberta will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2017 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 can be found on the bylaws page of this website or by visiting any of the six Regional Offices or the Provincial Head Office.
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.

To download a copy of the Special Meeting poster, click 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

 

Métis Week in Alberta

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Mark your Calendar!

We are pleased to share all events happening throughout the province in celebration of Métis Week.

To download the full PDF schedule click here.

The full list of events will also appear in the upcoming issue of our Otipemisiwak Magazine, out November 6th.

Métis Week Events: Region 3

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The Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3 Office is hosting a series of events from Monday November 13th to Saturday November 18th. To download the schedule of events click the image below.

Contact

1415 28th Street NE
Calgary, AB
T2A 2P6

Phone: 403-569-8800

Métis Week Events: Region 2

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Métis Week, 2017 celebrations in Region 2 will take place on November 16th with food, dancing, and entertainment. This event promises to be fun for the whole family and are a great opportunity to gather with community.

Open House at Region 2 Office

  • Stew and Bannock served at 12:00pm, along with other platters.
  • Entertainment including fidler and guitarist following lunch.
  • Unveiling of Elders and Members wall. Wall includes photos of some Members and Elders and photos will be added over time.

Contact

5102 – 51 Street
Box 6497
Bonnyville, AB
T9H 2H1

Phone: 780-826-7483

Métis Week in Edmonton 2017

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November 13th – 18th 2017

The Métis Nation of Alberta is pleased to announce the schedule of events for Métis Week 2017! We have planned six days of celebrations to commemorate the outstanding contributions of Métis people to Canada. Beginning with the Louis Riel Commemorative Walk on Monday, November 13th, there is something for everyone, including; City Hall flag raising, Louis Riel Commemorative Ceremony at the Alberta Legislature, MNA open house, Métis Urban Housing 35th Anniversary Gala, senior’s and veterans tea, and much more.

Download the digital Métis Week 2017 calendar

Download the detailed list of events

 

 

Métis Nation of Alberta Responds to ’60’s Scoop Announcement

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For Immediate Release

 

Métis Nation of Alberta responds to ‘60s Scoop Settlement Announcement

by Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett

 

Edmonton, AB October 17, 2017 – Citizens of the Métis Nation of Alberta, The Métis Nation of Alberta is very disappointed in the Federal government’s omission of Métis people from the recently announced compensation program for survivors of the “60’s Scoop.”

Working with the Métis National Council, who have already responded to Minister Bennett, the Federal Minister of Indigenous Relations, MNA is calling for the fair and equitable treatment of Métis Nation citizens who were victimized by this horrendous Government program.

Minister, I truly believed Canada was on the path of doing what is right for Métis people. Don’t let us down.

Throughout everything we do, we will always have one foot firmly rooted in the past, acknowledging the work and the struggles of those who have come before us. Our other foot will always be moving forward, pushing for a better future of Métis pride, Métis rights, and a strong Métis Nation.

In solidarity,

Audrey Poitras
President
Métis Nation of Alberta

 

For more information, contact:

Rolando Inzunza

Director of Communications and Citizen Engagement

Metis Nation of Alberta

780-455-2200 ext. 395

rinzunza@metis.org

Family and Community Gather to Honour Children of Red Deer Industrial School

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Richard Lightning and his daughter Kaia Lamothe pay their respects at Red Deer Cemetery. September 28th, 2017.

On Wednesday September 29th, Indigenous leaders and community members gathered in Red Deer for the unveiling of a memorial stone acknowledging the previously unmarked graves of four Aboriginal students who died at the Red Deer Industrial School. The names of the children buried at the Red Deer Cemetery are: David Lightning, Georgina House, Sarah Soosay, and Jane Baptiste.  They are believed to be from Samson Cree Nation and perhaps from Paul Nation.

The day’s schedule included community stories, a remembering the children prayer led by Shannon McCarthy (Executive Secretary, Alberta and Northwest Conference, The United Church of Canada), and an address from MNA Committee Member and Vice President of the Remembering the Children Society, Muriel Stanley Venne. The day culminated at Red Deer Cemetery where emotional family and community members gathered around the stone to pay their respects.

Creation of the monument was led by the Remembering the Children Society. Its President, Richard Lightning, is the only known relative of any of the children who perished in 1918. He is David Lightning’s nephew.

 

Remembering the Children Society Contact:

Vice President, Muriel Stanley-Venne, 780-479-3634, murielv@shaw.ca

Secretary, Rev. Cecile Fausak. 780-675-7753, cecilefausak@telus.net

 

 

Developing a Métis Consultation Policy: Key highlights from meeting with Métis Nation of Alberta and Minister of Indigenous Relations

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October 5, 2017 Leaders of the Métis Nation of Alberta meet with Minister Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations, and his staff for an initial discussion on a Métis Consultation Policy and a Harvesting Policy for Alberta.

 

Edmonton, AB October 6, 2017 – Leaders from the Government of Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) met to begin discussions for an Alberta Métis Consultation Policy. “The meeting is a significant milestone forging a strengthened Nation to Nation relationship” stated the President of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Audrey Poitras.

She continued, “It has been a long time coming. We are excited to get the discussions officially started and begin developing a consultation policy for the Métis Nation and the Province. Crown consultation is about respecting and protecting rights and for far too long the Métis in Alberta have not been consulted. Jointly developing this policy will mark a new era of Crown-Métis relations in the province.”

The MNA has advocated for policy requiring consultation with Métis people for decades. The development of this policy was identified in the Métis Nation of Alberta – Government of Alberta Framework Agreement signed on February 1, 2017. The Framework Agreement outlines how the MNA and Government of Alberta will work together to facilitate the recognition and respect of Métis rights in Alberta, uphold the honour of the Crown, and advance reconciliation.

In his presentation, the Minister of Indigenous Relations, Honourable Richard Feehan, focused on Alberta’s priority initiatives related to Métis consultation. Specifically, launching a dialogue on potential legislation on Indigenous Consultation and a policy on Métis Harvesting. The Minister further outlined his intent to conduct consultation, understand barriers experienced by Métis citizens, and understand Métis peoples’ connection to the land and their role protecting it. Minister Feehan also highlighted the importance of creating a mechanism to provide legislative feedback.

A Métis consultation policy that works for both the Government of Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta is crucial for the province’s future. The policy will allow Alberta’s lands and resources to be developed ensuring the Métis Nation, as a distinct Indigenous people, can flourish creating prosperity for the Métis Nation and all Albertans for generations to come.

About the Métis Nation of Alberta
The Métis Nation of Alberta (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. The mandate of the MNA is to be a representative voice on behalf of Métis people in Alberta, provide Métis people an opportunity to participate in government’s policy and decision-making process and, most importantly, promote and facilitate the advancement of Métis people through the pursuit of self-reliance, self-determination and self-management. The MNA has been in operations since 1928.

The Métis have an intimate relationship with Alberta’s lands and resources. Métis culture has been shaped by the opportunities Alberta’s forest, rivers, lakes, and prairies provide. Many Métis people still rely on the land and its resources for food and cultural survival.
The MNA looks forward to working with Alberta to develop an Alberta Métis Consultation Policy allowing the Métis to have a say in how land is used and developed, ensuring Métis rights are respected and accommodated.

For more information, contact:
Rolando Inzunza
Director of Communications and Citizen Engagement
Metis Nation of Alberta
780-880-8545
rinzunza@metis.org

Métis Week Events: Region 5

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Métis Week, 2017 celebrations in Region 5 will take place on November 17th with food, games, dancing, and entertainment. The events promise to be fun for the whole family and are a great opportunity to gather with community.

Schedule

12-1:30pm: Stew & Bannock at the Region 5 Office

1:30-4pm: Crib Tournament

9pm-2am: Dance at Faust Métis Centre (previously Northern Lakes College, Faust Campus) with entertainment by Nathan Cunningham

Region 5 Office

353 Main Street North
Slave Lake, AB
T0G 2A3

For more information or to volunteer please contact Emma at (780) 849 4654

Loss of a former Senator and Leader of the Métis Community: Thelma Chalifoux

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The Métis Nation of Alberta was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Thelma Chalifoux. Thelma was a champion for Métis rights and a valued member of the Métis community.

Among her many accomplishments, Thelma was a founding member of the Michif Cultural Institute in St. Albert. She was also the first Métis woman to be appointed to the Senate of Canada and was a recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Thelma was very active within the Métis Nation of Alberta; she sat on our Elders Senate and was an elected Zone 4 official.  She leaves behind a legacy of activism and culture.

The MNA would like to extend our deepest condolences to Thelma’s family and friends.

A Traditional Métis Wake will be held Wednesday, September 27, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am at the Connelly-McKinley, St. Albert Funeral Home in St. Albert.

Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 11:00am at the Holy Family Catholic Parish, 75 Poirier Avenue, in St. Albert.

Cancelled: Region 4 Annual General Meeting

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The Region 4 Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Saturday, September 30, has been cancelled.

For more information, please contact the Region 4 offices at (780) 944 9288

Click here to view the PDF notice.

Press Release: Métis Nation of Alberta Response to the Conklin Métis Culture Camp Fish Seizure

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Friday, September 22, 2017 – For immediate Release

On Friday, September 15, 2017, an Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officer entered a Conklin Métis Community Culture Camp and seized a number of fish being prepared as a learning experience for Métis youth. The fish were taken off the smoking rack and thrown into garbage bags. The Métis Nation of Alberta is appalled by these events.

Teaching Métis cultural values and practices to our young people is crucial to the future of the Métis Nation. Métis cultural camps are designed to be a safe environment in which we can do this. We had hoped that the time had come when Alberta’s enforcement officers would encourage and support our efforts to preserve and transmit Métis culture. Unfortunately, as these events show, we are not there yet.

The Métis Nation of Alberta fully supports all Métis people in Alberta who exercise their right to hunt, fish, trap, and gather for food and cultural purposes. We have reached out to Conklin Métis Local #193 and the harvesters involved in this incident. We will work with them to address the issue, including providing legal support as needed.

The Métis Nation of Alberta has always maintained its opposition to the current Government of Alberta Métis Harvesting Policy, unilaterally imposed on rights bearing Métis citizens and this incident is a prime example of why we remain opposed.

Honorable Richard Feehan, Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations, has apologized for the seizure of the fish at the Conklin Métis Culture Camp and we are encouraged by his words. The Métis Nation of Alberta has committed to working collaboratively with Alberta to review the province’s Métis harvesting policy and to facilitate recognition and respect for Métis rights. This incident, however, again highlights the need for serious improvements in the way the province deals with Métis harvesters. Métis people in Alberta must be allowed to exercise our rights and express our culture without fear of harassment or recrimination.

For more information, please contact Amy Quintal – MNA Harvesting Liaison:

aquintal@metis.org or (780) 455 – 2200

Notice: Powerline Construction in Fort McMurray

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Construction on the ATCO/Alberta Powerline West Fort McMurray 500 kV project is scheduled to begin on September 25 2017, in various locations between Highway 2 and Martin Hills Road (Townships 72 to 75). Vegetation removal will begin first, followed by foundation installations, tower assembly, and stringing. Following completion of construction, reclamation work will begin. Initial construction work is scheduled to be complete by March 2018.

For safety reasons, traditional land use activities including harvesting will be restricted in and around the immediate areas of active construction.

For more information please contact Bruce Gladue.

bgladue@metis.org

(780) 455 2200 ext. 206

Click here to view the construction rout map.

Garneau Tree Commemorative Ceremony

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Friday, September 15th
University of Alberta

An important mark of Métis heritage in Edmonton, a 140-year-old Manitoba Maple, has sadly reached the end of its life cycle. On the grounds of the University of Alberta stands this historic tree; planted by prominent Métis figure Laurent Garneau and his wife Eleanor, shortly after their move to Edmonton in 1874. The MNA, in collaboration with the University of Alberta,
Garneau descendants, and community members are planning Commemorative Events to celebrate Laurent Garneau’s legacy and the history of the neighbourhood named in his honour.
A ceremony is to be held at the site of the Garneau Tree on September 15th, 2017. The event will include opening and closing prayers by Métis elders, fiddling, and speeches from MNA
President Audrey Poitras, Garneau descendants Duane Zaraska (Minister of Culture, MNA) and David Garneau, and a community member. A kitchen Party, hosted by David Garneau will follow at the Main Gym in Van Vliet Centre (behind the Butterdome).

Click here for more details on the Kitchen Party.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the ceremony invite.

 

Prime Minister Trudeau dismantles INAC & Introduces Two New Departments

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September 1, 2017

On Monday, August 28, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the dissolution of INAC with the creation of two new departments; the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and the Department of Indigenous Services.

Carolyn Bennett will now serve as the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and former Health Minister Jane Philpott will become Minister of Indigenous Services.

A statement on Prime Minister Trudeau’s website details the ministerial changes:

“The new Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs will guide the Government’s forward-looking and transformative work to create a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples…The Minister will also be tasked with better whole-of-government coordination on our nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationships. The new Minister of Indigenous Services will continue the important work of improving the quality of services delivered to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.”

In a personal message to INAC employees, Trudeau explains that, “We need to shed the administrative structures and legislation that were conceived in another time for a different kind of relationship.”

The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is optimistic about the changes as they are modelled on recommendations from the 1996 Royal Commission on Indigenous Peoples which included a chapter on the Métis. It is also important to note that while this recent announcement is a positive start, much more work is needed to build a successful nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship between the Métis and the Canadian Government.

 

Click here to read Prime Minister Trudeau’s full statement.

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.

 

Cancer Focus Groups

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Are you a Métis cancer patient, survivor, or a family member of someone with cancer? Share your stories and experiences in a supportive, small group environment as part of a research study that will help Métis Albertans on their cancer journeys. We will be creating a Métis-specific resource to be given to newly diagnosed cancer patients.

Details
Date: 
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Time: 
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: 
MNA Provincial Head Office, #100-11738 Kingsway NW, Edmonton AB

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. All registered participants will be reimbursed for mileage & receive an honorarium. If travelling from out of town, accommodations will be provided. Citizen ID, name, & contact information MUST be provided to register and receive reimbursement.

Limited spots are available. To register, please contact Heather Curtis at hcurtis@metis.org or call 780-455-2200 Ext. 326.

For more details, download our poster.

Non-restricted Firearms Safety

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Be safe and learn about non-restricted firearms safety!

MNA Region 3 is offering the Non-Restricted Certified Canadian Firearms Safety Course, taught by instructor Dave Shields Sr., on August 18. This course is required to apply for a Possession & Acquisition Licence (PAL) to own firearms and ammunition for harvesting purposes. Participation is free for Métis citizens, but is limited to citizens ages 12 and up.

Details
Date: 
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Time: 
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: 
MNA Region 3 Office, 1415 28th Street NE, Calgary, AB

Please bring one piece of government-issued photo ID. For more details, download our poster.

To apply, provide your Citizen ID, name, birth date, address and contact info to the Region 3 Office at 1-800-267-5844.

Back to Batoche Days

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Take a trip to Batoche, Saskatchewan on July 19 – 22 for a cultural weekend celebrating Métis heritage. Enjoy exciting events at the Back to Batoche Festival Grounds like chuckwagon and chariot races; jigging, horseshoe, and bannock competitions; as well as a variety of artisan goods and crafts.

Special activities will be available at both the Batoche National Historic Site, and the Back to Batoche Festival Grounds located 1 kilometre north of Batoche.

Details
Date: 
Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, July 22, 2018
Location: 
Batoche National Historic Site and Batoche Festival Grounds, one hour north of Saskatoon or one hour south of Prince Albert, located on Highway 225, Batoche, SK, S0K 3R0 

For further details, go to Back To Batoche Festival, phone +1-306-423-6227 or email batoche.info@pc.gc.ca

Community Health Night: FASD 101

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Join us for an educational evening about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This presentation is for everyone, including individuals with FASD, caregivers, and people interested in learning more about FASD. 

The FASD workshop will provide you with:

  • A basic understanding of FASD
  • Tools for prevention
  • Strategies to manage FASD stigma
  • Available community resources
  • Ways to support individuals living with FASD
  • Opportunities to connect

Details
Date: 
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Time: 
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: 
MNA Provincial Head Office, #100-11738 Kingsway NW, Edmonton AB

To register, visit mnaASD101.eventbrite.com or contact Amber Yarmuch at 780-455-2200 Ext. 408
by Tuesday, June 26. 
Unable to join us in person? Watch us live on facebook.com/ABMetis/

Download our poster for more details.

National Indigenous Peoples Day

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 Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day at Métis Crossing. Experience voyageur canoe rides, jigging contests, vendors & artisans, and entertainment by the Métis Child and Family Dancers and Nicely Put Together Band.

Details
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018
Time: 11 am – 6 pm 
Location: Métis Crossing, 17339 Victoria Trail, Smoky Lake AB

For more information, call 780-656-2229 or email metiscrossing@metis.org
For more event details, download our poster.