Current Affairs

Notice for Meeting and for Special Resolutions for the 89th Annual General Assembly

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In accordance with the bylaws of Métis Nation of Alberta, notice is hereby given for our next Annual General Assembly. The Assembly will be held on August 12 & 13, 2017 in Peace River, Alberta. 

NOTICE-FOR-MEETING

NOTICE-FOR-SPECIAL-RESOLUTIONS

To download the PDF AGA poster, please click here

For more information, contact Marilyn Lizee at mlizee@metis.org or by calling (780) 455-2200. 

 

Métis National Council Board of Governors Sign Historic Accord with Canadian Government

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Thursday, April 13, 2017 was a historic day for Métis rights in Canada. Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President Audrey Poitras and other Members of the Métis National Council Board of Governors joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and key members of his cabinet in Ottawa for the inaugural meeting of the Crown-Métis Nation Summit. At the meeting, both parties signed a groundbreaking accord, Canada- Métis Nation Accord, which establishes important mandates to foster the nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation. An important mandate of the Accord is increased meetings with policy makers, including annual meetings with the Prime Minister, semi-annual meetings with the Minister of Indigenous Affairs (and key Cabinet Ministers), and quarterly meetings with various Assistant Deputy Ministers on issues of concern to the Métis Nation.

The Accord was signed by Métis National Council (MNC) President Clément Chartier, and each of the Governing Members, including President Poitras. President Poitras is excited to start a new relationship with the federal government based on respect and recognition, stating:

The Accord is another important milestone for Métis rights; I am highly encouraged to see the steps the federal government is taking under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. With the unprecedented access to policy makers that the Accord ensures, I am confident my fellow Métis leaders and myself will seek positive outcomes for Métis people of Alberta in significant and lasting ways.

In reference to the Accord, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated:

Last December, I made the promise that federal ministers and Métis Nation leaders would work together to solve important challenges. We did not take that commitment lightly. Today, we are proud to announce our joint signing of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. While there is still much that needs to be done if we are to address the unique social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues faced by the Métis, we now have a solid foundation upon which to move forward with a respectful, renewed Métis Nation-Crown relationship, for the benefit of all Canadians.

The federal government was represented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and key members of his cabinet, including Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould; President of the Treasury Board, Scott Brison; Minister of Health, Jane Philpot; Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patricia Hajdu; and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos.

Find a copy of the Accord here:
English Version Canada-Métis-Nation-AccordEn
French Version Canada-Métis-Nation-Accord

 

Media Contact:
Jasmine Breti 
Communications Assistant 
(780) 455-2200
jbreti@metis.org

89th MNA Annual General Assembly: Celebrating 150+ Years of Métis History in Canada

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The 89th Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Annual General Assembly, Celebrating 150+ Years of Métis History in Canada, will be hosted by Region 6 of the MNA from Thursday, August 10th – Sunday, August 13th. The AGA will take place at the Belle Petroleum Centre in Peace River, Alberta. For more information, please contact Marilyn Lizee at 780-455-2200 ext. 392, or email mlizee@metis.org

Click here to download the PDF poster. 

 

Climate Change Workshops: Challenges and Opportunities

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Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) invites community members to join us for a series of province-wide workshops on climate change. The gathered feedback will aim to inform policy and program development, and ensure that Métis interests and concerns are heard and addressed.

Specifically, these workshops will cover:

  • Science and Data of Climate Change;
  • Truths and Myths about Climate Change;
  • Alberta Climate Change Leadership Plan;
  • Carbon Levy and Carbon Rebates;
  • Alternative Energy Basics: Solar, Wind, Biofuels;
  • Cost/Benefit of Solar and Energy Efficiency;
  • Tips on Energy Efficiency for Homes;
  • How to Save Money with Energy Efficiency;
  • Job and Training Opportunities; and 
  • How to Benefit from Available Programs

Currently, details for the MNA Region 4 workshops have been decided and are posted on this page. Details for all workshops will be posted on this page at the earliest possible time. Register online at albertametis.limequery.com, or register with Katie Suvanto at ksuvanto@metis.org, or 780-455-2200 ext. 235. If you have any questions or concerns related to climate change, please contact Andres Filella, Climate Change Consultant at the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), at afilella@metis.org,or at 780-455-2200 ext. 220.

 

File Downloads:

 

MNA Region 4 Workshops: 

Location

Date

Location

Edmonton Wednesday, April 19 Chateau Louis 11727 Kingsway NW, Edmonton AB
Stony Plain Thursday, April 20 Ramada Stony Plain Hotels & Suites 3301 43 Ave, Stony Plain AB

 

Full Workshop List: 

Please note that workshop details are currently being determined. This webpage will be updated with new information as details are confirmed. We thank you for your patience. 

Location

Date

Edmonton Wednesday, April 19
Stony Plain Thursday, April 20
Calgary Tuesday, May 02
Lethbridge Wednesday, May 03
Medicine Hat Thursday, May 04
Lloydminster Tuesday, May 16
Cold Lake Wednesday, May 17
St. Paul Thursday, May 18
Wabasca-Demarais Tuesday, June 06
Slave Lake Wednesday, June 07
High Prairie Thursday, June 08
Athabasca Tuesday, June 27
Fort McMurray Wednesday, June 28
Lac La Biche Thursday, June 29
Valleyview Tuesday, May 30
Peace River Wednesday, May 31
Grande Prairie Thursday, June 01

 

 

MNA President Poitras Applauds Precedent-Setting Federal Budget for Métis Nation

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Today, Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”) President Audrey Poitras commended Prime Minister Trudeau and his government for the Métis Nation specific commitments in the 2017 Federal Budget as well as for the Budget’s more inclusive approach to dealing with all Indigenous peoples.

“This type of explicit inclusion of the Métis Nation in a Federal Budget has been a long time coming for Alberta Métis. For far too long, our Métis governments have been relegated to being treated as mere program and service delivery organizations. This Budget is precedent-setting by finally making an express commitment to supporting Métis self-government and self-determination in the same way that First Nation and Inuit governments have been supported for generations,” said President Poitras.

Specifically, the Budget commits to investing “$84.9 million over the next five years, and $28.3 million per year ongoing, to build the governance capacity of the Métis National Council and its five provincial Governing Members [the MNA is the Métis National Council’s provincial Governing Member in Alberta]. This will lay the foundation for a new relationship with Métis Peoples and support collaborative work with the federal government on moving toward Métis self-government and self-determination. Funding will also support Métis identification registries and the review of existing programs and services.”

In addition, the 2017 Federal Budget provides opportunities for Métis Nation specific approaches and investments in the areas of housing, early childhood development, health, labour market training, the preservation of the Michif language as well as for the resolution of outstanding Métis claims against the federal Crown, which builds on the MNA’s recently signed Memorandum of Understanding on Advancing Reconciliation with the Government of Canada.

President Poitras added, “While we have much more work to do and additional investments are going to be needed to close the gap between Alberta Métis and other Albertans, today represents a monumental shift from historic Federal Budgets that have largely only focused on the needs of First Nations and Inuit. I want to thank the Prime Minister and his government for making this happen.”

“Today’s Federal Budget is an important step in making progress on implementing the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision in the Daniels v. Canada as well as advancing the recommendations in the report of Canada’s Ministerial Special Representative on Métis Section 35 Rights, which was issued in July 2016. The MNA looks forward to working with the Federal Government on implementing the commitments in the 2017 Federal Budget.”

Media Contact:
Sonia Millman, Executive Assistant to the President
Métis Nation of Alberta
Phone: 780-455-2200 ext. 281
Email: smillman@metis.org 

The Government of Alberta Launches the Indigenous Climate Leadership Survey and Request for Submissions

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The Government of Alberta has launched the Indigenous Climate Leadership Survey and Request for Written Submissions. Both the survey and submissions are to help give government direction on climate change programs for Indigenous communities and organizations.

To access the Indigenous Climate Leadership Survey, visit:
http://indigenous.alberta.ca/CL-Indigenous-Survey.cfm

To access the Request for Written Submission website and Guidebook, visit:
http://indigenous.alberta.ca/Submissions-Guidebook.cfm

The online survey is open to individual Indigenous Albertans 18 or older. Indigenous communities and organizations are also invited to provide submissions online. For information on the submission process, including discussion questions to help guide input, please read the Submission Guidebook. The survey and written submissions are part of the government’s engagement of Indigenous leadership, communities and individuals for input on the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan.

For any questions or comments regarding the submission or survey, please contact the Government of Alberta Indigenous Relations at IR.ClimateLeadership@gov.ab.ca.

For questions or concerns related to climate change or energy efficiency programs, please contact Andres Filella, Climate Change Consultant at the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), at afilella@metis.org or at 780-455-2200 ext. 220.

Residential and Commercial Solar Program Announcement

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The Government of Alberta Announces Upcoming Residential and Commercial Solar Program

The Government of Alberta has announced a new Residential and Commercial Solar Program, which is expected to roll out as early as summer 2017. The program is expected to cut residential solar installation costs by up to 30 percent. Businesses and non-profits are expected to see an up to 25 percent reduction in solar installation costs. Eligibility criteria and details are to be released in the coming months.

For more information on this announcement, visit: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=463610A3269CE-0D2C-C140-6E391B3112A56664 (source)

For Energy Efficiency Alberta’s information page on this program, visit: https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/solar/

For questions or concerns related to climate change or energy efficiency programs, please contact Andres Filella, Climate Change Consultant at the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), at afilella@metis.org or at 780-455-2200 ext. 220.

Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program Registrations

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Energy Efficiency Alberta opens registrations for free install of energy efficient products in Alberta households

Energy Efficiency Alberta has announced that registrations are now open for its Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program. All Alberta households are eligible to register. The program will provide free installation of energy efficient products, including:

  • LED products to replace existing incandescent nightlights, light bulbs and exit signs
  • High-efficiency shower heads
  • Faucet aerators if no aerator is present
  • Advanced power bars
  • Smart (self-adjusting) thermostat to replace non-programmable thermostats

Registrations will be followed by a phone call to schedule a visit to the household, and to complete the installation of the equipment. Installations will begin in early April 2017.

For more information of this announcement, visit: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=463703B3DFEE3-92E3-23B1-E1D239BB3D838281 (source)

To register for the Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program, visit: https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/residential-no-charge/

For more information on Energy Efficiency Alberta and Energy Efficiency Programs, visit: https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/

For questions or concerns related to climate change or energy efficiency programs, please contact Andres Filella, Climate Change Consultant at the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), at afilella@metis.org or at 780-455-2200 ext. 220.

Métis Crossing Wins Entrepreneurship Challenge Award

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Métis Crossing—the Métis heritage site near Smoky Lake owned and operated by Métis Nation of Alberta—recently won an award for their entrepreneurial spirit. The award was granted by the Growing Rural Tourism Conference on February 14, 2017. The $6,000 dollar award will go toward funding the Métis Crossing Voyageur Experience Program in which travelers can experience the life of a Métis voyageur during the 19th century fur trade era. The experience will be made possible through strategic partnerships with Haskin Canoes and Victoria Settlement. 

Participants involved in the experience will be offered comfort camping, spending the nights under starry skies in an authentic Métis trapper’s tent. Home-cooked meals consisting of bannock, berries, and other ingredients procured from the land will be provided for breakfast and lunch. A traditional fish fry with all the fixings will be served for dinner. In the morning, partakers will visit a Métis trap line and learn about living off the land, including making and tasting locally foraged teas. Participants will additionally explore the river valley to learn about local wildlife and medicinal plants and trees. In the afternoon, participants will undertake a canoe voyage to Fort Victoria to experience life at the early Settlement when it was founded in 1860 and learn about commerce and trade during the mid-1800s fur trade era. The experience will conclude with a return trip to Métis Crossing where participants will partake in Métis jigging lessons and learn the famous Métis dance number, The Red River Jig.

A pilot run of the camp takes place on May 24, 2017. On this day, a group of approximately 40 educators will visit Métis Crossing to experience life as a Métis voyageur in 19th century Alberta. The project is currently in the preliminary stages, however, MNA will be providing further details about how to get involved going into the future.    

 

MNA President Audrey Poitras Recognized for Outstanding Leadership

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This year, Alberta Chamber of Resources (ACR) selected Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President Audrey Poitras as the Indigenous Leader of the Year. The award is designed to honour indigenous leaders dedicated to advancing the cause of their people while building bridges with the resource sector. At this year’s Alberta Chamber of Resources banquet, held on February 3, 2017, President Poitras’ lifelong dedication to Métis causes was recognized. Regarding the award, President Poitras commented, “with all the important work First Nation and Métis leaders are doing throughout the province to support their communities, I am truly honoured to be chosen as Alberta Chamber of Resources’ indigenous leader of the year.”

As the longest serving President of MNA, Audrey Poitras was first elected to leadership in 1996. For over two decades, President Poitras has been a passionate advocate for Métis rights and programs. Her leadership choice to emphasize the importance of rights and education has aided the growth of Métis communities throughout the province. Along with key stakeholders, President Poitras has negotiated partnerships with colleges and universities, ensuring Métis Endowment funds of 22 million to date. Over her time as MNA President, she has facilitated the creation of MNA’s Rupertsland Institute, Métis Centre of Excellence, which promotes education, training, and research. These programs have enriched the lives of countless Métis people across Alberta.

With the help of the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s Daniels Decision, President Poitras continues to negotiate landmark political agreements. Earlier this year, President Poitras negotiated the first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Canada and the most comprehensive Provincial Framework Agreement in MNA history. With these federal and provincial agreements, President Poitras has additionally participated in promising discussions with governments about Métis harvesting rights and a Métis Nation Health Clinic.

As an ardent supporter of Métis culture, history, and language, President Poitras played a critical role in the development of Métis Crossing, a multi-million dollar cultural interpretive site, atop the banks of the North Saskatchewan River near Smoky Lake, Alberta. Following a funding pledge from the Federal Government in 2016, Métis Crossing is poised to become Alberta’s premiere Métis cultural centre.

Throughout her leadership, President Poitras has been honoured with numerous awards and recognitions, including receiving the National Indigenous Achievement Award, being named in CBC’s The Alberta 100, and Alberta’s 50 most influential people by Alberta Venture magazine in 2005.

Memorandum re: Summaries on Recent Court Cases on Métis Consultation

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Today, MNA President Audrey Poitras released a memorandum pertaining to recent Alberta court cases on Métis consultation. Please scroll down to read more about these cases. PDF summary documents were provided by MNA legal counsel, Pape Salter Teillet. To download the documents, please click the below links. 

File Downloads:

 

Memorandum 

TO: All MNA Members
FROM: Audrey Poitras, MNA President
DATE: March 7, 2017
RE: Summaries on Recent Court Cases on Métis Consultation

In December 2016, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench released two decisions dealing with Métis consultation issues. As we have always done when important cases dealing with Métis rights are released by the courts, the MNA asked its legal counsel to prepare summaries on these two cases to share with members. These two summaries are attached to this memo and are also available on the MNA website at: www.albertametis.com.

It is important to note that neither the MNA or MNA Region 1 were involved in these two court cases. These cases were solely advanced by the Fort Chipewyan and Fort McMurray Locals. In particular, in the Fort Chipewyan case, the Local advanced an argument that it was a rights-bearing Métis community and that it was owed Crown consultation. As outlined in the attached summary, the court rejected those arguments based on the facts in that case.

Overall, these two court cases re-affirm the need for the MNA, its Regions and its Locals to work—together—to ensure our collectively-held Métis rights are respected and protected throughout Alberta. It is very clear from the court’s decision that all three levels of Métis government must arrive at a mutually agreeable way forward to effectively deal with Crown-Métis consultation issues. MNA Locals cannot do it alone, any more than one Regional Council or the Provincial Council could unilaterally dictate or impose an approach.

Simply put, we must work—together—to develop and implement consensus-based solutions or we run the risk of governments using our internal divisions against us as a way to continue to deny rights-based Métis consultation in Alberta. With that said, I believe we are well placed to make consensus-based progress over the next few months in implementing our Statement of Principles for Métis Consultation and Accommodation, which were adopted by the 2016 MNA Annual General Assembly. In the interim, I wanted to provide these case summaries, which will need to inform our strategies and approaches going forward.

If you have any questions about the attached summaries or would like more information on the status of the MNA’s ongoing work in relation to consultation issues as well as our discussions with Alberta, please contact the MNA’s Co- Ministers for Métis Rights (Karen Collins or Bev New) or Bruce Gladue, the MNA’s Director of Sustainable Development and Industry Relations, through the MNA Head Office in Edmonton.

I am optimistic that—together—we will be able to make progress on this important Métis rights-related work over the next few months!

 

MNA President Pleased about Federal Funding for Fort Edmonton Indigenous Peoples Experience

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Today, Métis Nation of Alberta President (MNA), Audrey Poitras, and dignitaries from all levels of government joined the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, for an important announcement regarding federal funding that will expand the historical living museum, Fort Edmonton Park. Participating dignitaries included the Honourable Brian Mason, Minister of Infrastructure; His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of the City of Edmonton; Lyndon Decore, Chair of the Fort Edmonton Foundation; Bill Demchuk, Executive Director of the Fort Edmonton Management Company; and Chief Billy Morin, Chief of Enoch Cree Nation.

The Government of Canada pledged up to $47,794,500 for the expansion of Fort Edmonton Park, which includes the Indigenous Peoples Experience. Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, states that the “funding will support Fort Edmonton Park in celebrating this city—and Canada’s—diverse heritage and creativity, including the experiences of local First Nations and Métis people.” Métis people have a rich heritage in the Edmonton region and have played a significant role in the development of the city as intrepid entrepreneurs, fur traders, merchants, craftsman, voyageurs, and diplomatic intermediaries. The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is optimistic that the increased funding for the program will help showcase the distinct Métis culture.

MNA President Audrey Poitras said, “in the past few years, Métis Nation of Alberta has been greatly encouraged by the efforts of Fort Edmonton and the City of Edmonton in ensuring the gaps in their representations of Métis history is filled with accurate and comprehensive information. With this new commitment from the federal government, I am positive that the park will become a very important site in facilitating understanding about Métis culture and the history of Fort Edmonton.”

The Fort Edmonton Park expansion has a total estimated cost of $165,353,500. In addition to federal funding, the park expansion is being financially bolstered by the Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton, and Fort Edmonton Foundation. On behalf of the Provincial government, The Honourable Brian Mason states “The Alberta government is proud to support this project, which will honour our past and entertain and educate generations to come.” His Worship Don Iveson feels that the strong commitment from leadership across governments will “allow [Edmonton] to move a project forward that honours Edmonton’s past, present, and future, including our journey in reconciliation.”

The project will focus on three key sections of the park: an expansion of the Indigenous Peoples Experience, encompassing a new facility to showcase the First Nations and Métis Nation cultural heritage, along with camps, trails, classrooms, and an outdoor amphitheater. The 1920’s Johnny J Jones Midway will add several new attractions including a roller coaster, a maze and a revue theatre. Finally, a new front admission area will allow for improved visitor services and shopping opportunities. Construction is anticipated to begin in fall 2017 with completion by 2020. Executive Director of the Fort Edmonton Management Company, Bill Demchuk, is very pleased with the funding, asserting “With the generous support of the federal government, as well as the Province and the City, we are thrilled to be able to enrich the visitor experience at Fort Edmonton Park and continue to celebrate our shared past.”

Media Contact:
Sonia Millman, Executive Assistant to the MNA President
Phone: 780-455-2200 ext. 281
Email: smillman@metis.org 

Memorandum re: Recent Agreements with Canada and Alberta

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Today, 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 hereThe 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.

 

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.

 

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: MNA Statement on the current Government of Alberta Métis Harvesting Policy

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To: MNA Members – Harvesters
CC: Members of the Provincial Council of the Métis Nation of Alberta
From: Karen Collins and Bev New; Co-Ministers of Métis Rights and Accommodation
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017

The current Government of Alberta Métis Harvesting Policy was adopted unilaterally by the Government of Alberta (GoA) in 2007 to replace the Interim Métis Harvesting Agreement which had been mutually negotiated between the GoA and MNA. This policy was later amended in 2010, again without the involvement of the MNA. 

For certainty, the MNA does not support the GoA Harvesting policy.

In the meantime, the MNA is actively negotiating with the GoA to develop an agreement on harvesting that is consistent with the law and relevant to the Métis communities in Alberta. We ask for your patience and continued trust to allow for the time needed to finalize a Harvesting agreement for all Métis in Alberta.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact Tyler Fetch at tfetch@metis.org or 780-455-2200.

Download the printer-friendly PDF Memorandum here

 

Métis Nation of Alberta Signs Historic Framework Agreement with Provincial Government

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Today Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President Audrey Poitras has signed a groundbreaking ten-year Framework Agreement with the Government of Alberta. This agreement is not only the longest in MNA history, but is also the most comprehensive. Deriving many of its mandates from the Supreme Court of Canada’s Daniels Decision, section 35 of the Constitution, and United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the collaborative agreement sets a promising precedent for the development of Métis rights, including harvesting. Premier Rachel Notley stated “This agreement is an important step in the journey of reconciliation. Métis people have a long and proud history in Alberta, and we look forward to continuing to build our strong relationship.”

As an important step towards reconciliation, the Framework Agreement stipulates MNA’s right to participate and collaborate with the Government of Alberta on decisions that will affect the well-being of its members. Some of those priority actions are:

  • Renewing and strengthening the Nation to Nation relationship
  • Facilitating the recognition and respect of Métis Rights in Alberta that upholds the Honour of the Crown and advances reconciliation
  • Develop a “whole of government” approach to Métis issues
  • Increase economic opportunities for Alberta Métis

in areas like environment, climate change, harvesting, health and wellness, housing, education, culture and heritage, employment, and women’s issues.

President Poitras is particularly pleased to sign a framework that not only establishes a promising working relationship with the Government of Alberta for ten years,  but symbolizes decades of hard work by all leaders, past and present.

For further information contact:

Marilyn Lizee
Office of the President
Metis Nation of Alberta
780.732.3381 or via email mlizee@metis.org

Métis Nation of Alberta and Canada Sign Agreement to Advance Métis Rights and Outstanding Claims in Alberta

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The Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”) has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Reconciliation with the Government of Canada (the “MOU”).  The MOU was signed yesterday on Parliament Hill by MNA President Audrey Poitras, Bev New, MNA Co-Minister for Métis Rights and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.  Members of the MNA Provincial Council were also in attendance at the signing.

The MOU establishes a time-limited exploratory discussions table between the MNA and Canada with the goal of arriving at a mutually-agreeable framework agreement by September 2017.  The anticipated framework agreement would establish a formal negotiations process based on mutually agreeable subject matters, including Métis self-government, lands, rights and outstanding claims against the Crown.

The MOU comes on the heels of recent positive political and legal developments for Alberta Métis, including the Prime Minister’s November 2015 mandate letter to Minister Bennett providing direction for her to advance a nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship with the Métis Nation as well as the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision in Daniels v. Canada that was released in April 2016. 

“This MOU has been a long-time coming for Alberta Métis.  For many years at the federal level, we have been on the outside looking in.  This MOU opens the door for us to finally put in place the government-to-government relationship with Canada our people have sought for generations as well as begin to address the pressing issues of our citizens and communities in Alberta, including dealing with Métis rights, lands and self-government,” said President Poitras.

Below is a copy of the MOU, along with background materials. For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Sonia Millman at (780) 445-9956 or via email at smillman@metis.org.

MOU Between MNA and Canada

Background and FAQs regarding MNA Canada MOU

President Poitras endorses reconciliation advancements announced during meeting with Federal Government

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The future is looking bright for the Métis Nation! On December 15th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made some groundbreaking declarations during a meeting with Indigenous leadership from across the nation. The meeting is the second time the Federal Government has met with Indigenous leaders in the past two weeks—the first meeting being a forum on growth and climate change hosted in Ottawa on December 9th.

The meeting was attended by many Federal Government officials, including Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett. Also in attendance were leaders from the Métis National Council (MNC) Board of Governors, including MNC Vice-President David Chartrand, Métis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Ontario President Margaret Froh, and Métis Nation British Columbia President Clara Morin Dal Col. 

During the meeting, the Prime Minister made three announcements with regard to advancing reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation. In a statement released on December 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced:

First, we will create permanent bilateral mechanisms with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the four Inuit Nunangat Regions, and the Métis National Council and its governing members. In this Kelowna-like process, every year, we will meet to develop policy on shared priorities, and monitor our progress going forward. Similar meetings with key Cabinet Ministers will take place at least twice each year. Second, we will establish an Interim Board of Directors to make recommendations on the creation of a National Council for Reconciliation. The Interim Board will begin an engagement process to develop recommendations on the scope and mandate of the National Council. Third, we will provide $10 million to support the important work of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation located at the University of Manitoba, as recommended in Call to Action 78. This contribution will help to ensure that the history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system is remembered.1

MNA President Audrey Poitras fully supports the push toward reconciliation. “For too long, Métis people have been on the outside looking in,” said President Poitras, “this announcement bodes well for the inclusion of Métis in an important political arena where key decisions are made. We are very pleased to witness such commitment from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Federal Government. I am optimistic that these promises will open new doors for the Métis Nation of Alberta as we move closer toward the ultimate goal of advancing Section 35 Métis rights, reconciliation, and establishing a new relationship with Canada.”

Media Contact:
April Magee
Métis Nation of Alberta
tel: 780-455-2200
email: amagee@metis.org

  1. Trudeau, Justin “Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.” 15 December 2016, http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/12/15/statement-prime-minister-canada-advancing-reconciliation-indigenous-peoples

Notice to Members on Changes to MNA Bylaws

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Based on the longstanding direction from members and successive legal victories on Métis rights and related issues, including the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Daniels v. Canada in April 2016, the Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”)—which includes its Provincial, Regional, and Local Councils—will be attempting to pursue negotiations with the Crown aimed at ensuring Métis rights and self-government are recognized in Alberta. This includes dealing with Métis harvesting rights, the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate as well as addressing outstanding Métis claims against the Crown related to Métis lands and scrip.

With this in mind, all MNA members were given advance notice, as required by the MNA Bylaws, back in the summer of 2016 that a series of Special Resolutions would be considered by the 88th MNA Annual General Assembly (“AGA”) on Métis rights issues. The AGA was held on August 6th & 7th, 2016 at Métis Crossing near Smoky Lake. At the AGA, two of these Special Resolutions were passed by the required majority to amend the MNA Bylaws. Copies of the two Special Resolutions that were passed are attached to this notice. A copy of the updated MNA Bylaws are available at www.albertametis.com for your review.

Specifically, these two Special Resolutions amended the MNA Bylaws to add the following objective for the MNA to pursue: “to negotiate, on behalf of the Métis in Alberta, a modern day treaty relationship with the Crown through a “land claims agreement” or other arrangement as called for and contemplated within the meaning of section 35(3) of the Constitution Act, 1982.” The AGA also approved the following Oath of Membership, which all new applicants for MNA membership will be required to affirm:

I agree to the Métis Nation’s Bylaws and policies, as amended from time to time, and, voluntarily authorize the Métis Nation to assert and advance collectively-held Métis rights, interests, and claims on behalf of myself, my community and the Métis in Alberta, including negotiating and arriving at agreements that advance, determine, recognize, and respect Métis rights. In signing this oath, I also recognize that I have the right to end this authorization, at any time, by terminating my membership within the Métis Nation.

This Oath of Membership makes clear that, in applying for membership in the MNA, individuals voluntarily authorize the MNA to pursue on their behalf the objectives of the MNA. These objectives include to “promote, pursue, and defend the Aboriginal, legal, constitutional, and other rights of Métis in Alberta.” This mandates the MNA to advance the collectively-held Métis rights, interests and claims of its members in negotiations. Through the MNA’s democratic governance structures and the AGA, the MNA receives ongoing mandates and direction from its members. The Supreme Court of Canada has also recognized that Aboriginal peoples may authorize a “group or organization” to advance their collectively-held Aboriginal rights, interests and claims.

Members of the MNA who wish to end the MNA’s authorization to advance their collectively-held Métis rights, interests, and claims through negotiations may withdraw their membership by sending or delivering a written notice to the MNA. All MNA members who have not asked for their membership to be cancelled will be deemed to have authorized the MNA to advance their collectively-held rights, interests and claims as set out in the Oath of Membership.

The MNA is committed to building a strong Métis Nation based on Métis rights. In order to receive updates on our progress please visit our webpage, ask to be added to our electronic mailing list or follow our Facebook page. Please note that this notice replaces the previously issued notice on this issue dated December 6, 2016.

Audrey Poitras
MNA President
December 14, 2016

 

Click here to download the full PDF notice. 

 

 

Full Statement of Principles on Crown Consultation and Accommodation with Métis in Alberta

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Background

The Statement of Principles on Crown Consultation and Accommodation with Métis in Alberta (“Statement of Principles”) was unanimously adopted by the 88th Annual General Assembly on August 6th and 7th, 2016.

The Statement of Principles was developed over a period of 6 months by the MNA Consultation Policy Technical Working Group (“TWG”), the members of which are volunteers appointed to represent each of the MNA’s 6 Regions. Karen Collins and Bev New, the MNA’s Provincial Council Ministers of Métis Rights and Accommodation, were also active participants in the TWG’s work.

The Statement of Principles is not meant to be an enforceable document that establishes the consultation process. Rather, it is meant to guide further work that must now be done to develop an enforceable consultation process to which the MNA’s Provincial, Regional, and Local Councils can consent.

CLICK HERE to download the full Statement of Principles on Crown Consultation and Accommodation with Métis in Alberta document. For more information, please contact Tyler Fetch at tfetch@metis.org or 780-455-2200 Ext. 325.

Ministerial Special Representative on Section 35 Métis Rights Key Findings Summary Document

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MSR Report_Cover

Métis Nation of Alberta Legal Counsel have provided a summary document of the Ministerial Special Representative Report on Section 35 Métis Rights. The summary offers an overview of key findings of the report. The summary report is available online here: http://albertametis.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/M%C3%A9tis-Nation-of-Alberta-MSR-Report-on-Metis-Rights-Short-Summary.pdf

Métis Nation of Alberta Commends Work of Ministerial Special Representative on Métis Section 35 Rights

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MSR Report_Cover

Report Sets Stage for Nation-to-Nation Discussions with the Federal Government

(July 21, 2016) — Today, Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”) President Audrey Poitras offered her thanks and appreciation to Mr. Thomas Isaac—Canada’s Ministerial Special Representative (“MSR”) on Métis Section 35 Rights—for his helpful and thorough report on how to advance reconciliation with the Métis Nation.

Mr. Isaac’s report, entitled, “A Matter of National and Constitutional Import” was publicly released today and comes after he was appointed in June 2015 to meet with the MNA, other Métis Nation governments, provinces, territories and other interested parties in order to assess the current state of affairs and provide independent advice and recommendations on a “way forward” on Métis Section 35 Rights. A copy of the report is available at http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1467641790303/1467641835266.

Mr. Isaac’s report makes 17 recommendations and includes key findings that should guide future federal action on Métis Section 35 Rights issues, including, the need for:

  • the development of a Section 35 Métis Rights Framework that will be implemented with Métis governments such as the MNA who represent Métis rights-holders that meet the legal framework set out in the Supreme Court of Canada’s Powley (Recommendation #16)
  • Métis inclusion within existing federal claims processes available to other Aboriginal peoples or the development of a new Métis-specific claims process to address unresolved Métis claims flowing the “the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range and its effects on Métis harvesting activities, … the implementation of Dominion Lands Act [Métis] scrip commissions … and various claims against governments for the failure of the Crown to consult with Métis” (Recommendation #9 and MSR Report at p. 30)
  • a ‘whole-of-government’ approach for improved information and knowledge about the Métis Nation and Métis Section 35 Rights amongst federal officials and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada regional offices, including improving federal Crown-Métis consultation processes through negotiated agreements. (Recommendations #1, 4, 5, 10, 11)
  • timely, stable and long-term federal funding to support Métis governments like the MNA, including permanent support for the MNA’s centralized Registry that has registered over 35,000 Métis citizens and Section 35 Métis Rights-Holders throughout Alberta since 2004. (Recommendations #2, 6)
  • a comprehensive review of existing federal programs and services available to Indigenous peoples as well as all future federal initiatives to ensure they deal with the Métis distinctly and equitably, including avoiding lumping the Métis in with non-status Indians or dealing with Métis through pan-Aboriginal or urban Aboriginal policies. (Recommendation #3)

In addition to his recommendations to the Government of Canada, Mr. Isaac noted the ongoing “irritation” the previous Alberta Government’s policy on Métis harvesting rights continues to have on Crown-Métis relations.  Specifically, Mr. Isaac wrote:

The 2004 interim Métis Harvesting Agreement (2004 Agreement) between Alberta and the MNA recognized the Métis right to harvest for food by members of the MNA at all times of the year on all unoccupied Crown lands throughout Alberta without a licence. In 2007 this agreement was terminated by Alberta and replaced unilaterally with a policy that recognized 17 Métis communities north of Edmonton to harvest generally within a 160km radius of the community. The termination of the 2004 Agreement is a significant irritant for the Métis in Alberta. This in turn affects who Alberta consults with regarding potential adverse effects to Métis harvesting rights.  Alberta, the MNA and the Métis Settlements General Council should discuss and attempt to resolve the termination of the 2004 Agreement so that the ultimate framework to manage Métis harvesting rights in Alberta is based on Mutual agreement, as the 2004 Agreement contemplated.” (MNR Report, p. 23)

President Poitras commented, “I am very pleased that Mr. Isaac’s report, which recognizes the MNA’s ‘comprehensive citizenship registration system’ as well as our ‘well-developed program and service delivery systems’ for all Alberta Métis.  What is apparent in his report, however, is the need for progress with the MNA on Métis rights, Crown consultation and self-government issues.  We look forward to working with the Government of Canada as well as the Alberta Government to advance these issues of fundamental importance to Alberta Métis.”

The MNA is the representative government of Métis Nation citizens and Métis in Alberta. For more information, visit www.albertametis.com.

For more information contact:

Sonia Millman
Phone: 780-455-2200 ext. 281
Email smillman@metis.org

 

Related Links

  • Click HERE for the Isaac Report.
  • Click HERE for the Métis Nation of Alberta Summary Document of the Isaac Report. 
  • Click HERE for Minister’s News Release: Minister Bennett Welcomes Thomas Isaac Report on Reconciliation with Métis.

 

MNA 4th Annual Business Mixer Seminar: Imagining the Future of Energy in Alberta

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Métis Nation of Alberta invites our members, friends, and industry partners to join us for an exciting seminar on the morning of our 4th Annual Provincial Business Mixer. The seminar will feature presentations by 3D Energy and Solaré.

Alberta is at a crossroads regarding the future of energy production and these two dynamic presenters will help illustrate the way forward. All are invited to take part in the seminar, however, due to limited seating, participants are asked to RSVP by March 20th.

 

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Place: The Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre
11834 Kingsway Ave NW, Edmonton, AB
Time: 9 AM – 11:30 AM
RSVP to Katie Suvanto at ksuvanto@metis.org or 780-455-2200 ext. 235

 

3D ENERGY

Presentation: The value of energy efficiency assessments for businesses

Energy efficiency can be a hidden source of revenue through cost savings. This presentation will focus on the steps taken to conduct an energy efficiency assessment for a business. Specific examples of energy efficiency and renewable energy applications will be covered with a specific focus on their economic justification.

More about 3D Energy: 3D Energy is an engineering consulting firm with a specific focus on energy audits, modeling, and energy-code compliance. 3D Energy staff is made up of Professional Engineers, Certified Energy Managers, LEED experts, Certified Engineering Technologists, and a growing amount of energy engineers. Services offered include: Energy modeling, energy auditing, energy code compliance, green building certification, energy education and training, TAME+ funding, virtual design and construction, and AICEP/AISP funding programs. 3D has partnered with over 14 municipalities and counties, completing over 25 projects.  3D also has longstanding partnerships with Lakeland College, NAIT, and the University of Alberta. Recently, 3D Energy has begun energy audits with Fishing Lake Métis Settlement. 

 

 

SOLARÉ DISTRIBUTORS

Presentation: Making the Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewables.

Solaré was a venture born out of the ashes of an oilfield company sale in  2013, when Brothers Rik and Jay Kaminsky, still wanting to be involved in the energy industry, turned their focus on renewable energy in the form of Solar PV. With the addition of other opportunities in LED lighting technologies, energy bill auditing, and energy retailing, Solaré became much more than a solar company in a very short time. This presentation will focus on the transition of this former oil and gas business into a business based on opportunities in solar PV and energy efficiency. 

More about Solaré: Located in Spruce Grove, and servicing Western Canada, Solaré Distributors is a distributor of LED lighting and solar PV equipment. Solaré effectively reduces high energy costs by fixing power bills by performing power bill audits, changing out your inefficient lighting with LED Lighting, and adding solar PV Solutions to harness free energy. Solaré is currently working with several First Nations and Métis Settlements for both energy Audits and community solar projects.