Notice to Members – 2016
NOTICE TO MEMBERS ON CHANGES TO MNA BYLAWS
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 Twitter and Facebook page. Please note that this notice replaces the previously issued notice on this issue dated December 6, 2016.
December 14, 2016
2016 MNA AGA SPECIAL RESOLUTION #1
RESOLUTION ON NEGOTIATING A MODERN DAY TREATY WITH THE CROWN
WHEREAS it has been the longstanding goal of the MNA to advance the Métis Nation’s inherent right of self-government and self-determination within Alberta through negotiating a modern day treaty relationship with the Crown, which recognizes the MNA’s unique self-government, respects Métis rights throughout Alberta and addresses outstanding Métis land claims;
AND WHEREAS through the strong political organization and efforts of the MNA and Métis leaders like Harry Daniels, section 35 of the Constitution Act 1982 includes the Métis Nation and states,
(1) The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed;
(2) In this Act, “aboriginal peoples of Canada” includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada
(3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) “treaty rights” includes rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.
AND WHEREAS the Supreme Court of Canada has recently confirmed in the Daniels case that the Federal Government has the jurisdiction and responsibility pursuant to section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 to establish a meaningful relationship with the Métis Nation that advances reconciliation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the following objective of the MNA be added to Article 1 of the MNA Bylaws as Article 1.8:
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.
MOVED BY: Bev New
SECONDED BY: Karen Collins
Special Resolution Passed
2016 MNA AGA SPECIAL RESOLUTION #2
RESOLUTION ON OATH OF MEMBERSHIP
WHEREAS Article 1.3 of the MNA Bylaws sets out that it is an objective of MNA “to promote, pursue, and defend the Aboriginal, legal, constitutional, and other rights of Métis in Alberta,” which includes asserting and advancing Métis rights that are protected within section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 including dealing with the Crown’s constitutional duties and obligations owing to Métis in Alberta and addressing outstanding Métis land claims in Alberta;
AND WHEREAS Articles 10.7 and 10.8 state:
10.7 Any Métis who has been accepted as a Member must sign and take an oath of membership to the Métis Nation.
10.8 The oath of membership shall be attached to Schedule “A” to these Bylaws and shall form a part of the Bylaws.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following oath of membership be attached to the MNA Bylaws as Schedule “A”:
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.
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT this oath of membership be a requirement for all future individuals to sign as part of their application for membership in the MNA;
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT all existing members be provided notice of this new oath of membership.
MOVED BY: Bev New
SECONDED BY: Karen Collins
Special Resolution Passed
Click here to download the PDF notice.