It has been an ongoing struggle to have Métis harvesting rights recognized here in Alberta. The MNA has worked for many years to secure a sustainable harvesting agreement with the provincial government that honours our historical connection and right to this land. We will never give up on what we know to be true: the Métis Nation within Alberta have inherent harvesting rights covering every corner of our province, including the south.
Whether you’re an existing MNA Citizenship Card holder or in the process of applying, you can apply to become an approved MNA Harvester.
Recent Harvesting Updates
Alberta ReLM and Métis Harvester Update
Good News! Our Harvesting Team has been working with Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) to better serve our harvesters. We can now process and update Alberta ReLM accounts of our approved MNA harvesters!
What does this mean for MNA approved harvesters?
If you provided your Wildlife Identification Number (WiN) on your harvester application, your Alberta ReLM account has been recently updated to “Recognized Métis Harvester,” which includes your approved MNA harvesting area(s). You no longer have to go to a Fish and Wildlife office!
Learn how to create an Alberta ReLM account and get your Domestic Fishing License – click here.
Know the rules and regulations around Domestic Fishing Licenses.
Our informative brochure contains harvesting details and answers to questions like “who can or how can I apply?” or “when and where can I harvest?” Feel free to read it now, or download it and save it for later.
MNA Harvesting Coordinator and harvesting expert Craig Letendre was on the Keeping it Riel podcast sharing stories about his life and expertise.
Check out the episode on BuzzSprout or on your favourite podcast services.
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).
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Media Release – Métis Harvesting Agreement
- Métis Harvesting Signed Agreement (March 2019)
- Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy (2019)
Read the Harvesting Engagements What we Heard Report
In 2018, the MNA and the Government of Alberta (GoA) agreed to collaboratively review the GoA’s Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy. As a part of the collaborative review process, the MNA and GoA undertook a series of engagement sessions and conducted online and paper surveys as a means to gather feedback from Métis harvesters. The feedback from the engagement sessions and the survey were compiled to feed into and inform the policy review process.
Read the What We Heard report.
Looking for past updates?
We’ve moved them to their own page!
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:
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?
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.