The MNA and the Metis Settlements have a long, proud, shared history. As a part of this resistance, our leaders, with only one typewriter between them, began organizing and lobbying the provincial government to get our lands back. Felix Calliou, Joseph Dion, Jim Brady, Malcolm Norris, and Peter Tomkins — known as “the Big 5” — pushed the Alberta government to recognize our rights. Their efforts, along with the hard work and determination of many Métis, secured the eight Alberta Metis settlements, which today are the only collectively held Métis land base in Canada.
Our communities remain deeply connected and the MNA respects Metis Settlements lands. For generations, important Métis leaders have been citizens of both the MNA and the Metis Settlements. Today, thousands of MNA citizens remain connected to the Metis Settlements.
In practical terms, the MNA, as a Métis government, provides many important services to Métis people across Alberta, including health, education, and housing. Eligible Settlement members are encouraged to register as MNA citizens to share in these benefits. The MNA’ Otipemisiwak Métis Government Constitution allows for future cooperation between the Metis Settlements and the future Otipemisiwak Métis Government on mutually agreeable terms.
The Constitution is a once in a generation opportunity for Alberta Métis to express their desire for self-determination as Otipemisiwak—people who own themselves. That’s why we are ensuring that all registered MNA citizens have an opportunity to vote and have their voice heard, including those who are Settlement members.
It is also important to note that neither the MGRSA nor the Constitution affects the rights and authority of the eight Metis Settlements, and it does not change the provincial legislation that created them. The Metis Settlements General Council (MSGC) is engaged in its own negotiations with Canada but, as of Fall 2022, the MSGC and Canada have not signed a self-government agreement.
Nothing prevents members of the Metis Settlements from registering as MNA citizens, provided they meet the definition of citizenship in the MNA’s current bylaws. The MNA will represent the needs and interests of all its citizens when negotiating with Canada, whether or not they are Settlement members. The MGRSA is clear that the MNA is mandated to represent all citizens of the Métis Nation within Alberta in asserting our inherent right to self-government.