Métis Rights & Governance

How do I learn more about Métis self-government in Alberta?

The Métis Nation within Alberta has a long history of organizing and political participation. Since the end of the 19th century, Métis in Alberta have stood together and pressed governments to respect our Métis rights and treat our claims fairly. Learn more about this ongoing fight and the milestones we’ve reached on our Self-Government website.

Why does the Métis Nation of Alberta need a constitution?

A constitution is an essential tool for self-government. A constitution acts as a rule book, clearly defining how any government, Aboriginal or otherwise, will operate and what powers it has. When the constitutions of Aboriginal governments are recognized by other levels of government—federal and provincial—they provide the legitimacy and legal tools we need to respond to our citizens’ needs and provide appropriate services. Learn more about constitutions and why it is important for the Métis Nation of Alberta to create and adopt our own.

Why is self-government important for the Métis Nation within Alberta?

Self-determination and self-government are inherent rights of all Indigenous people. Prior to Canada’s westward expansion into the Métis Nation Homeland, we governed ourselves in keeping with our own traditions. Collectively, we asserted ourselves as a nation—the Métis Nation. But Canada’s colonial policies and institutions denied our nationhood, uprooted us from our lands, and restricted many of the practices that are fundamental to our Métis culture. The Métis Nation of Alberta has struggled for decades to have our right to self-government recognized and respected. By finally achieving this sovereignty, we will regain control over matters directly affecting us and ensure Métis culture flourishes for generations. We will be empowered to remedy the effects of colonialism in our community. The time has come for the full recognition of the Métis Nation within Alberta’s right to govern. Learn more.

What is the National definition of Métis?

Definition: “Métis means a person who self-identifies as Metis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation”

Historical Proof: refers to evidence of an ancestor who received a land grant or a scrip granted under the Manitoba Act or the Dominion Lands Act, or who was recognized as Métis in other government, church or community records.

Historic Métis Nation: refers to the Aboriginal people then known as Métis or half-breeds who resided in the Historic Métis Nation Homeland.

Historic Métis Nation Homeland: the area of land in west-central North America used and occupied as the traditional territory of the Métis or Half-breeds as they were then known.

Métis Nation: means Aboriginal people descended from the Historic Métis Nation, which is now comprised of all Métis Nation peoples and is one of the “aboriginal peoples of Canada” within the meaning of s.35 of the Constitution Act 1982.

Distinct from other Aboriginal peoples: means distinct for cultural and nationhood purpose.

What are Métis rights?

All Métis and Indigenous people are born with inherent rights. An inherent right is a collective right of all Métis that stems from the community’s connection to the land. These rights cannot be taken away, although they are often unrecognized by other levels of government.

Inherent rights include:

  • rights to the land
  • rights to subsistence resources and activities
  • the right to self-determination and self-government
  • the right to practice one’s own culture and customs, including language and religion.

QuitCore

What is QuitCore?

QuitCore is a free group support program that provides Métis individuals with the tools, strategies, and skills they need to reduce or quit their tobacco use. It also provides an opportunity to share and connect with other MNA citizens who are trying to achieve similar tobacco-related goals. QuitCore consists of six sessions, occurring once a week for about 90 minutes. Topics covered include: tobacco cessation techniques, stress management, nutrition and physical exercise, individual goal planning, and relapse prevention. Our Community Prevention Practitioner (CPP) and an AHS co-facilitator facilitate these sessions of up to 20 individuals.

What is the difference between the MNA’s QuitCore and the Alberta Health Services (AHS) QuitCore program?

Our QuitCore is based on AHS’ QuitCore program. It has been adapted to be culturally safe and relevant to the Métis community, and is only offered to Métis Albertans.

What do I need to use Zoom?

To use Zoom, you will need:

  • Video camera, either built into your device or a separate webcam (most modern computers, smartphones, and tablets have this built in)
  • Microphone, either built into your device or in the webcam (most modern computers, smartphones, and tablets have this built in), or a phone
  • A broadband internet connection.

If I already reduced my tobacco use, will I still get something out of this program?

Certainly. The nice thing about QuitCore is that it covers a variety of topics, not just tobacco. QuitCore recognizes that tobacco use is a complex behaviour that involves many factors. For example, we learn about nutrition and diet, physical activity and exercise, and stress management, which are all areas that may help you achieve your tobacco-related health goals with greater long-term success.

What will I be asked to do?

If you choose to register for the MNA Virtual QuitCore program, you will be asked to:

  • Join a group of Métis Albertans who are interested in making a change related to their tobacco use
  • Voluntarily contribute to group discussions or talking circles
  • Attend six 90-minute virtual (online) sessions over the course of six weeks. However, it is not mandatory to attend every session, and you can cancel your registration at any time
  • Take reasonable measures to respect the confidentiality and privacy of other participants

Compassionate Care: Cancer Transportation

Why only Cancer-related appointments? What is in place for people with other medical needs?

As this program is funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC), only those travelling to a cancer-related appointment will be eligible to receive this benefit. For a different service that may help alleviate some of the financial burdens of being away from home for medical appointments, please visit our page on the Medically Necessary Accommodations Program.

What can I be reimbursed for, other than transportation costs?

Parking costs associated with travel to a medical appointment can be reimbursed with  receipts up to a maximum of $40 per appointment. This rate was based on the average cost to purchase a weeklong parking pass at most Alberta medical hospitals.

How long does it take to get reimbursed?

Cheques can sometimes take up to a month or more to be processed and mailed by the MNA.

Medically Necessary Accommodations

Why only Edmonton? Why isn’t there an ”MNA House” in each region?

This program is offered in Edmonton because the Renaissance Tower is owned and operated by Métis Capital Housing Corporation, an affiliate of the Métis Nation of Alberta. The MNA Health Department is continuously looking for funding opportunities to extend similar services to other MNA regions.

I paid out of pocket for accommodations. Can you reimburse me?

No, for this program we cannot cover personal accommodation expenditures.

Can you pay for my hotel instead?

No, we cannot cover privately booked hotel costs through this program. Due to COVID-19, the MNA will book eligible participants to stay at the Chateau Louis hotel in Edmonton. Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, only the residential suites at Renaissance Tower in Edmonton will be used for this program.

Application Information

How do I register as a Métis citizen?

In addition to meeting the National definition of Métis,
you must also submit the following documents:

  1. Family Tree
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. Identification
  4. Proof of Residency

Find the application form here.

Do you need to be a resident of Alberta to apply for MNA citizenship?

  • Yes, applicants must be a permanent resident of Alberta (minimum 90 consecutive days).
  • You will need to prove permanent residency in Alberta with one (1) of the following:
    • Alberta driver’s license;
    • Three (3) months of utility bills (mobile phone records will not be accepted);
    • Vehicle insurance and;
    • Mortgage or rental lease agreement.

What happens during the application process?

  1. Applicant (This is You)
    Brings completed forms to intake.
  2. Intake Officer
    Ensures forms are complete and sends them to the Registry Agent
  3. Registry Agent
    Prepares documents and family tree to send to Genealogist
  4. Genealogist
    Reviews family tree and sends to Registrar
  5. Registrar
    Authorizes citizenship card
  6. You’re Now a Citizen
    When application is successful you will receive your citizenship card

Where do I request birth documents from?

You can request birth documents from the Vital Statistics Department of the province you were born in. Please ensure requested documents show parentage. Click here for online resources.

Where can I access application packages to become a Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Citizen?

I have completed my application package. Now what?

Before your application is processed, it needs to be commissioned.

  1. I live in Edmonton
    Bring all completed forms and required documents to the MNA Provincial Head Office in Edmonton to get your application commissioned.
  2. I don’t live in Edmonton
    Bring all completed forms and required documents to your nearest regional office to get your application commissioned.
    Once all forms have been commissioned at your nearest regional office, completed application packages can be mailed to head office on your behalf, or dropped off in-person to Métis Nation of Alberta
    ATTN: Registry
    #100, 11738 Kingsway NW
    Edmonton, AB T5G 0X5

I am having trouble filling out my family tree. Where can I go for help?

The Genealogy Research Centre is located at the MNA Provincial Head Office. Our Genealogy Research Centre has an extensive collection of resources available to assist Métis individuals in completing their family trees.

  • Hours:
    • Monday – Tuesday & Thursday – Friday;
      Self-guided research. By appointment only: 8:30am-11:30am, 1:00pm-3:30pm
    • Wednesdays: 8:30am-3:30pm;
      One-on-one support. No appointment required.
  • To book an appointment or for more information on your family tree and ancestry,
    please call:

    • Phone: (780) 455-2200
    • Toll-Free: 1-800-252-7553

Can I reference the genealogical information of a family member for my application purposes?

If the family member gave consent during their application process you can reference their genealogical information. You still must complete your family tree to the ancestor you both have in common. Please include the full name of the family member you are referencing as well as their relationship to you, on the bottom of your family tree.

If I am a Settlement member can I also apply for an MNA card?

Anyone who is a resident of Alberta can apply. This includes Settlement members.

Can I get my forms commissioned somewhere other than the Métis Nation of Alberta?

You can get your forms commissioned at any of the following places:

  1. Registries
  2. Insurance Agencies
  3. Lawyers
    Please note, fees may apply for the above.

My Métis card was lost or stolen, how do I get a replacement card?

  • To request a replacement card, please call the head office at 780-455-2200.
  • The cost of a replacement card is $40.00 (cash, debit or money order accepted).
  • Depending on your original application, there may be forms that need to be re-signed.
  • You can choose to take a new photo at this time.
  • It can take up to six weeks to receive a replacement card

How do I update my address with the MNA?

  • Fill out the Change of Address Form
  • You may be contacted by a registry agent for more information.
  • Mail your completed change of address form to:
    • Métis Nation of Alberta
      ATTN: Registry
      #100, 11738 Kingsway NW
      Edmonton, AB T5G 0X5

OR

OR

  • Visit the head office and complete your change of address form with a registry agent.

Harvesting

Where am I able to harvest?

Through your application process, you will have to show historical (pre-1900s) and contemporary connection to a defined Métis Harvesting Area. Please click here to see the Métis Harvesting Area 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

When can I start harvesting?

The effective date for Alberta’s new Métis harvesting policy will be September 1, 2019. The MNA staff are working hard to make sure we have the systems, processes, and people in place to have this happen.

The actual date of being able to harvest will depend on successfully completing the applications process and receiving your Métis Harvester Identification Sticker.

Where do I find the Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy?

The policy can be viewed here.

If you have questions not listed in the FAQs section, please contact Craig Letendre by email at cletendre@metis.org

When can I apply for my Métis Harvester Identification Card?

The effective date for this new system started on September 1, 2019. You can apply now for you harvesting card.

How long is the Métis Harvester Identification Card valid?

The Métis Harvester Identification Card is valid for the life of the Métis citizen.

I am not currently a citizen of the MNA, what does the harvesting policy mean for me?

This Métis Harvesting Agreement only applies to citizens of the Métis Nation of Alberta. If you self-identify as Métis and have historical Métis ancestry, you can apply to become an MNA citizen.

What if I already applied for a Harvester Identification Card but am waiting for my MNA citizenship card?

Until each current applicant is accepted as an MNA citizen, the MNA cannot process your application to be identified as a Métis Harvester under the Métis Harvesting Agreement. You will have to apply for your Métis Harvester Identification Sticker after receiving your MNA citizenship card.

How long is my harvesting letter from the Government of Alberta valid?

All questions regarding Alberta’s harvesting letters should be directed to the Government of Alberta.

If I have a harvesting letter from the Government of Alberta, do I pre-qualify for the Métis Harvester Identification Card?

No. You will have to apply for a Métis Harvester Identification Card with the MNA.

What if I live on a Métis Settlement, but I am not a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta?

This implementation process relates only to the citizens of the Métis Nation of Alberta. You will need to contact the Métis Settlement General Council to find out about their process or contact the Government of Alberta.

Is there a limit to the amount of harvesting areas I can have a connection to?

No. However, you need to show both historical and contemporary connection to each harvesting area. Through the MNA Harvester Identification Card application process, one must show pre-1900 family roots as well as a contemporary connection in the respective harvesting area(s). Potentially, an MNA citizen can connect to two, three, or all harvesting areas, if they can prove the area connection requirements.

Can family members (e.g. partner) who are not Métis harvest under my harvesting rights?

No, the Métis Harvesting Agreement and Policy solely applies to approved harvesters who are citizens of the Métis Nation of Alberta.

Where do I get my Métis Harvester Identification Card? Can I apply at my MNA Local or Regional office?

Similar to the MNA citizenship application process, the Métis Harvester Identification Card application process will be based out of the provincial office in Edmonton. Once current provincial health measures ease, our Registry and Harvesting teams will once again travel the province to help with applications and provide information.

If you are about to apply for MNA Citizenship, you will be able to apply for the Métis Harvester Identification Card simultaneously.

How do I show historical and contemporary connection to a harvesting area?

To show the connection to a harvesting area, through the MNA harvester application process, one must show a pre-1900 ancestral connection to the Métis Harvesting Area(s) in the Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy (2018). Potentially, an MNA citizen can connect to two, three, or all harvesting areas.

How to show historical and contemporary connections to harvesting areas:

  • Pre-1900 ancestral connection must be shown by genealogical history, including where ancestors lived and when they lived there. The MNA is currently enhancing our database and registration process to assist MNA Citizens with establishing their ancestral connection to the Métis Harvesting Areas.
  • Contemporary connection to the same Métis Harvesting Area must be shown through compliance with the MNA’s policy on contemporary community acceptance.

Southern Alberta is not included in the updated policy, why not? What is the plan?

A previous court decision has found that Métis do not have harvesting rights in the Cypress Hills area. Alberta feels bound by these decisions and unable to recognize Métis harvesting rights in the Treaty 7 area at this time. The MNA strongly disagrees and continues to fight for the recognition of Métis harvesting rights in the south.

The Métis Harvesting Agreement includes several wins for MNA Region 3:

  • For the first time, Alberta recognizes Métis harvesting rights in the north of Region 3, particularly around Rocky Mountain House;
  • MNA members living in Region 3 will be able to harvest in central and northern Alberta if they can show a historical and contemporary connect there; and
  • Alberta has committed to further discussions regarding the recognition of Métis harvesting rights in the south. Until now, Alberta had refused to discuss Métis harvesting in southern Alberta. With this agreement, that has changed.