Harvesting FAQs

We’ve put all the answers to commonly asked harvesting rights questions here.

All FAQs

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?

Approved harvesters can harvest year-round; however, there are yearly fishing closures, most of which are April 1 to May 14 annually. Stay informed by regularly checking the current Domestic Fishing Licence regulations [pdf].

As with traditional Métis harvesting practices, we encourage you to consider sustainable and responsible harvesting and fishing methods for future generations. This includes not harvesting any females (cow or doe) and young between the months of January through July.

Where do I find the Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy?

The Government of Alberta’s policy on Métis Harvesting can be viewed online.

If you have questions not listed in the FAQs section, please contact the Harvesting team by email at harvesting@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?

Similar to the MNA citizenship application process, the Métis Harvester Identification Card application process will be based out of the provincial office in Edmonton. Our Registry and Harvesting teams will also 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.

Harvesting Information

Our 2019 Harvesting brochure [pdf] contains harvesting details and answers to questions like “who can or how can I apply?” or “when and where can I harvest?” in one convenient place.


The Harvesting policy allows you to exercise your Section 35 rights and engage in traditional Métis ways of life. Once your Harvester Card is issued you may hunt any game in Alberta (excluding: endangered, threatened or at-risk species). You no longer need to apply for tags or a hunting license with
Fish & Wildlife.

Jump down to Fishing Information

Harvesting Areas

Keeping it Riel with Craig Letendre

Our Harvesting Coordinator and harvesting expert Craig Letendre shares stories about his life and expertise on the Keeping it Riel podcast. Craig talks about how to apply for your harvesting rights as well as the detailed nature of the harvesting agreement.

Listen to the episode on Buzzsprout

Fishing Information

Free Fishing Licences for Harvesters through Alberta RELM

Our Harvesting Team works with Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) to better serve our harvesters. We can process and update Alberta RELM accounts of our approved harvesters!

Update your Alberta RELM account to “Recognized Métis Harvester” and get your free Domestic Fishing License (DFL) with your Wildlife Identification Number (WiN).

Think you have an account and WiN, but can’t remember password or number? Call the RELM Help Desk at 1-888-944-5494 for assistance. They will give your existing number and reset your password.

Domestic fishing rules, regulations, and conditions [pdf]
Please follow these regulations until further notice, as Environment and Parks within the Government of Alberta has not made an update since the 2022/23 season.

If you have any questions, please email harvesting@metis.org with “Domestic Fishing License” in the subject line.

Get a free Domestic Fishing License

  1. Sign in to your Alberta RELM account (don’t have one? Follow the instructions)
  2. Hover over the “Purchase” tab at the top of the page and select “Fishing Licences
  3. Select “Domestic Fishing License (Métis)” and add to cart
  4. Click “Check Out” to print off your fishing licence

Note: DFLs expire annually on March 31st and must be renewed.

Create an Alberta RELM account

Need a RELM account or a Wildlife Identification Number (WiN)?

  1. Go to albertarelm.com and create an account to get your WiN
  2. Once an account is set up, please send an email to harvesting@metis.org with ‘Domestic Fishing License’ in the subject line, and provide the following:

Please allow 1-3 business days for your status to be updated in Alberta RELM and then follow the instructions to print off your DFL.