The health and well-being of Métis children, youth, and families in Alberta has always been a priority for the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) and continues to be so in the newly formed Otipemisiwak Métis Government.

Background

An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth, and families (the “Act”), entered into force on January 1, 2020. The Act explicitly affirms that the “inherent right of self-government recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 includes jurisdiction in relation to child and family services, including legislative authority in relation to those services and authority to administer and enforce laws made under that legislative authority” (Act, sections 8(a) and 18(1)). The Act also recognizes numerous rights, opportunities, and responsibilities of Indigenous governing bodies in the provision of child and family services to their Citizens.

 

Negotiated Crown Agreements

February 1, 2017, the MNA and Alberta signed a 10-year Framework Agreement, evidencing the provincial government’s commitment to advance Métis rights and promote reconciliation within the province.

November 16, 2017, the MNA and Canada signed the Framework Agreement for advancing reconciliation, opening the door for the MNA to continue government-to-government negotiations with the federal government in an effort to advance Métis governance, rights, and claims.

June 27, 2019, the MNA signed a historic Métis Government Recognition and Self Government Agreement (MGRSA). The MGRSA’s overall purpose is to support and advance the inherent right of self-determination and self-government of the Métis Nation within Alberta.

February 24, 2023, Canada and the Métis Nation of Alberta signed a Métis Nation within Alberta Government Recognition and Self-Government Implementation agreement. This agreement recognizes the Métis Nation of Alberta is an indigenous governing body for the purpose of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth and families.

MNA Resolutions Regarding Act C-92

December 6, 2019– Métis Nation of Alberta Provincial Council Resolution RE: An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families resolved that;

  • the MNA, on behalf of the Métis Nation within Alberta, intends to exercise its legislative authority in relation to child and family services;
  • the MNA is authorized to give notice to the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada and the Alberta Minister of Children Services of the MNA intention to exercise its legislative authority in relation to child and family services; and
  • the MNA is authorized to request that the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada and the Alberta Minister of Children Services enter into a coordination Agreement with the MNA regarding any and all matters related to its legislative authority in relation to Child and Family Services and/or covered by the Act.

August 21, 2021 – 93rd Annual General Assembly Ordinary Resolution RE: Exercising child and family services jurisdiction under An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families:

  • The MNA is authorized to exercise the Métis Nation within Alberta’s inherent jurisdiction over child and family services, including through the development of a Métis law related to child and family services, the negotiation of related interim agreements, and/or any other necessary or related actions required to advance or exercise that jurisdiction.

Path Forward

 Since the passing of the resolution, the MNA has:

  • Completed a community-based action plan for exercising child and family services jurisdiction in Alberta
  • Established an MNA CFS Advisory Committee whose purpose is to explore and develop MNA service models and associated capacity needs related to the Métis Nation of Alberta’s readiness to exercise its inherent jurisdiction over child and family services”.
  • The Métis Nation within Alberta has been identified as an Indigenous Governing Body.
  • An extensive Environmental Scan of existing Indigenous Laws and Programming supporting for Métis Families has been submitted and is in the process of being refreshed.
  • Has published “Reclaiming our Children: Exercising Métis Child and Family Services Jurisdiction Under Act C-92Booklet in partnership with Rupertsland Center for Métis Research (RCMR).
  • The Métis Nation within Alberta Child and Family Services department has partnered with RCMR MNA Presented during a Métis Talk” showcasing the work that we are doing in correlation with C.92.
  • The Métis Nation within Alberta has refreshed the Children and Family Services section of the MNA Website to include the work we are doing in relation to C-92. An MNA-CFS C-92 specific section was established and soft launch occurred on July 21, 2023.
  • Three Youtube videos from the 2023 engagement sessions have been finalized and are available on the MNA-CFS: C-92 website. COMING SOON
  • Four Métis Nation within Alberta Child and family Services Advisory Committee members have expressed their support of the exercising Métis child and family services jurisdiction Under Act C.92- the video’s are available on the MNA website.
  • The Métis Nation within Alberta has developed a draft MNA Service Plan model of Care for C-92.
  • November 17, 2021 – letter from President Poitras announcing the Métis Nation of Alberta Child and family Services Advisory Committee – “the Métis Nation of Alberta will be moving forward on designing our Métis Children’s Authority by forming a Child and Family Services Advisory Committee.”
  • September 19, 2023 – a letter from President Poitras to the Honourable Patty Hajdu – Minister of Indigenous Services and the Honourable Searle Turton – Minister of Children and Family Services – preliminary notice of intent to exercise jurisdiction under section 20 (1) of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.
  • February 24, 2023 – Métis Nation within Alberta Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement RE: Child and Family Services:
    • Canada recognizes that the Métis Government is an Indigenous Governing Body for the purposes of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families having jurisdiction, including legislative authority, in relation to child and family services to administer and enforce laws made under that legislative authority.

MNA-CFS COMMITTEE

VISION

Thriving Métis communities that support Métis children, youth and families.

MISSION

To empower and build on the strengths of Métis children, youth, and families by creating safe spaces in community

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

We value, believe, and are committed to supporting “Our children, our way” by being:

  1. Committed to Culture
  2. Connected
  3. Empowering
  4. Holistic
  5. Respectful
  6. Restorative
  7. Strength-based

Next Steps

  • The Otipemisiwak Métis Government held community engagement sessions across Alberta from June to August of 2023 to hear and understand Citizen experiences and perspectives on the development of an Otipemisiwak Métis Government specific child and family services law, and the Otipemisiwak Métis Government’s role in creating a distinctly Métis CFS model of care. The questions asked were:  While we are developing our Métis CFS model, what is important to consider?  And What would the Métis Nation within Alberta CFS model look like in your community?
  • A Draft a report that summarizes the findings of the 2023 community engagement sessions, and the classifying program and service descriptions that have been recommended by Citizens as considerations into an Otipemisiwak Métis Government CFS model of care, will be published soon.
  • As a next step, the Children and Family Services Department is preparing to host territorial engagement sessions, on the topic of Children’s Services with a focus on the verification of the Children and Family Services C-92, 2023  “What we heard” report potential programs and services that Métis children, youth and families can benefit from under Bill C-92 An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.
  • For those who are more comfortable or prefer an on-line response, a survey is in development. This will provide Citizens the opportunity to further express their rights as Métis Citizens.

Contact Us

Request your copies of the Reclaiming Our Children booklet, the What Act C-92 Means to Me handbills, and the Act C-92: What You Need to Know information sheet.

Carol Carifelle-Brzezicki
Strategic Development Advisor
Phone: 780-455-2200

Email: CCarifelle-Brzezicki@metis.org