Harvesting Rights


Harvesting Update

As of October 31st, 2019, we have received nearly 2,500 applications from citizens registering for harvesting in Alberta. This is amazing news and we are excited so many want to connect with this traditional way of life! As a result of this uptake, our Harvesting Team is experiencing a backlog in processing applications.

Please note this can add up to three weeks before some citizens receive their updated card.

We apologize to those citizens whose processing time frame has been pushed beyond the original four to six weeks. We hear your frustration and ask for your patience, as we work hard to process all applications in a timely manner.

Our team members are happy to answer any questions you have. You can contact us at 780-455-2200 or at harvesting@metis.org.

Download the PDF Application Form


Harvester Quote

“I received my Métis harvesting card, and I wanted to extend my gratitude. This is something my family and I will never take for granted, and we feel very fortunate to be included in. I would like to personally thank you and everyone at the MNA for all the hard work and effort in making this become a reality.”

Proud Métis Harvester: J.R. Brown 


How to Apply

  1. Fill out and sign the PDF application form online and submit using the following methods.
    • Mailing it to the MNA Provincial Office in Edmonton;
      Att: Harvesting Department
      11738 Kingsway NW
      Delia Gray Building
      Edmonton, AB
      T5G 0X5
    • Email it to harvesting@metis.org; or
    • In person to the MNA Provincial Office or to any MNA Regional Office.
  2. Print and complete the PDF application form, scan the pages and submit using the above methods.
  3. During the MNA citizenship card application process.
    If you’re in the process of applying, you can ask for a harvester application to be added to your citizenship card application.
    To learn more about this process, please contact our registry department on 780 455 2200 or registry@metis.org

Processing Times

For those with existing MNA citizenship cards, the wait time from application to approval is 4-6 weeks.
Once approved, you will receive a new card with your identified harvesting areas and your signature. Your citizen ID number will be the same.
*Note: During this time, we are processing many applications, we apologize for any delay, and we thank you for your patience.
If you have not received anything after six weeks, please contact us at harvesting@metis.org, and we will look into your application.

If you are also applying for an MNA citizenship card, the wait time is currently 6-8 months.

Need Help?

Our Métis Rights and Accommodation staff will be hosting registration events throughout the province in September to help you through the harvester application process. Keep an eye on our events page for dates and locations as they’re announced.

For more information, contact the MNA Harvesting Coordinator by calling
780 455 2200 Ext 436 or emailing cletendre@metis.org

Please note: The Harvesting Coordinator email is for inquiries only. Please send your application to harvesting@metis.org


Métis Harvesting Rights Update – March 2019

The Métis Nation of Alberta is very excited to announce the new Métis Harvesting Agreement and Policy.

The new Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy replaces the 2010 policy and recognizes the rights of eligible MNA citizens to hunt, fish, and trap for food in five large regional Métis Harvesting Areas in central and northern Alberta (as opposed to the much smaller 25 local Métis harvesting areas provided for in the 2010 policy).

For more information, please see the following:

  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  2. Media Release – Métis Harvesting Agreement
  3. Métis Harvesting Signed Agreement (March 2019)
  4. Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy (2019)
  5. Maps:
    1. Harvesting Area Mosaic
    2. Harvesting Area A
    3. Harvesting Area B
    4. Harvesting Area C
    5. Harvesting Area D
    6. All Harvesting Areas

Métis Harvesting Rights Update – November 2018

With the 2018 hunting season upon us, we want to share the progress of our Harvesting Agreement negotiations with the Government of Alberta (GoA). While we have had some positive dialogue with GoA, we are still negotiating some final details prior to accepting the terms of the agreement.
We assure all current and prospective MNA harvesters we are doing everything we can to secure a policy that will be beneficial to our citizens now and for the future.

What We Heard

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

Click here to read the What We Heard report.

Click here for a printable copy of the What We Heard report.

 

Métis Harvesting Rights Update – July 2018

Over the past year, the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) has collaborated with the Government of Alberta (GoA) to evaluate and redefine Métis harvesting rights.
As part of this collaborative work, the MNA hosted a series of engagement sessions across Alberta. We had 800 attendees and received 757 paper and online surveys.
With this feedback, we are negotiating a new Métis harvesting policy with the GoA. Our findings have been submitted to the GoA Cabinet, and we expect a decision very soon.

Background

The MNA has never supported the current harvesting policy, Métis Harvesting in Alberta, unilaterally implemented by the GoA in 2007. This year, we were finally able to have meaningful discussions about this policy’s deficiencies.

On February 1, 2017, the GoA signed a framework agreement committing to recognize and respect Métis rights in Alberta. This progress was further bolstered by another agreement, signed August 2017, A Way Forward: Métis Harvesting in Alberta.  It was the A Way Forward agreement which identified the need for collaborative engagement sessions with the people most affected by the province’s harvesting policy — the harvesters.

If you’d like to learn more about the collaborative work the GoA and the MNA are undertaking with respect to Métis harvesting, read A Way Forward: Métis Harvesting in Alberta.

If you would like clarification of your current harvesting rights, please contact the MNA Harvesting Manager:

Craig Letendre
Harvesting Coordinator
Tel: (780) 455-2200 Ext. 436
Email: cletendre@metis.org

Helpful Links

As hunting season approaches, the MNA is taking measures to ensure Harvesters have access to useful information.

In May of this year, the MNA released a memo on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and its potential to be transferred to humans. To date, there are no known human cases of CWD.

The below links provide further information on CWD.

CWD Update: December 20, 2017

CWD Wildlife Management Units Map

CWD Information & Testing

CWD Freezer Locations Map

For further information on Provincial regulations and Fish and Wildlife contact details, get in touch with your local office.

Fish & Wildlife Area Offices

 

Federal Firearms Legislation

All harvesters should be aware of federal laws surrounding the acquisition, possession, transportation and use of weapons and ammunition. For further information contact your local police service or the Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000 or visit the Centre’s website.

Extract: Memo from President Poitras on Métis Rights Agenda

TO: MNA Members, Locals, Regions and Provincial Council

FROM: Audrey Poitras, MNA President

DATE: August 1, 2017

RE: Update on Métis Rights

Métis Harvesting Rights

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

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

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

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

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

Download the full Métis Rights Memo here.

 

Métis Harvesting Rights Update – August 2015

During August of 2015, a Métis rights update document was prepared by Pape Salter Teillet LLP. This legal document contains an overview of current harvesting rights, which reads as follows:

“While we were not ultimately successful in our appeal in the Hirsekorn case before the Alberta Court of Appeal and may not agree with the court’s conclusion, we must live with the result of the case for the time being. We must also remember that case only dealt with the area in and around Cypress Hills.

The Hirsekorn case does not mean that there are no Métis harvesting rights in all of southern Alberta. Nor does it mean that Alberta does not need to negotiate with the MNA on this issue or that Alberta’s current Métis Harvesting Policy should be maintained.

For example, it is important to highlight that the courts did make some helpful findings with respect to Métis rights in Alberta in Hirsekorn. Firstly, the Alberta Court of Appeal rejected Alberta’s arguments that Métis communities are “dots on a map” or limited to “settlements”. Specifically, the court wrote,

[63] I conclude that the historical rights bearing communities of the plains Métis are best considered as regional in nature, as opposed to settlement-based.

Secondly, the trial judge found there was a large regional Métis community that extends throughout parts of southern, central and northern Alberta, along the North Saskatchewan river system. Specifically, the court wrote,

[115] The evidence has shown that an historical Métis community existed in the region of what is present day Edmonton and district. This group of North Saskatchewan Métis included the settlements of Fort Edmonton, St. Albert, Lac St. Anne, Victoria, Lac La Biche, and Rocky Mountain House. The Métis people in this region had a distinctive collective identity, lived together in the same geographical area and shared a common way of life.

Since the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision, Alberta has not modified its Métis Harvesting Policy. Its current policy of identifying Métis communities “settlement-by-settlement” does not square with the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision. It also does not recognize Métis harvesting rights in areas around Rocky Mountain House, Tail Creek and Edmonton.

More importantly, Alberta’s current approach to granting “letters” to Métis harvesters still leaves the identification of eligible Métis harvesters in the hands of government bureaucrats, not the Métis Nation. This is wrong in law and is inconsistent with the UN Declaration. This policy must change. The MNA, as the representative government of the Métis people, must play a role in the identification of legitimate Métis rights-holders.”

Please click here for the Métis Rights Update document in its entirety.