Should I apply for MNO Citizenship?
Prior to applying to be a citizen of the MNO, it is important for all prospective applicants to learn about the MNO, as the government of the Métis Nation in Ontario. This knowledge will be helpful to you in making the determination on whether you are actually eligible to be a MNO citizen, whether you agree with the goals and aspirations of the MNO, and whether you want the MNO to represent you.
The MNO was founded in 1993 on the collective will of Métis citizens and rights-bearing communities in Ontario wanting to: (1) support Métis individuals, families and communities culturally, socially and economically, (2) ensure the aboriginal and treaty rights of Ontario Métis were recognized and respected in the province, and, (3) advance Métis self-determination and self-government in Ontario.
In order to achieve these goals, Métis citizens and rights-bearing communities recognized that they needed to move past having pan-aboriginal, membership-based associations represent them. The Métis citizens and Métis communities who formed the MNO created a Métis-specific governance structure to advance the Métis Nation’s agenda in this province.
As a part of this Métis movement in Ontario, the MNO unanimously adopted the Statement of Prime Purpose as the defining document for its existence and development. It sets out the foundation for the MNO by identifying who the MNO represents, what the MNO’s aspirations and goals are, and how it will move forward in achieving these goals and aspirations.
Importantly, the Statement of Prime Purpose affirms that the MNO was created to represents Ontario Métis who are a part of a historic Métis people - the Métis Nation – that has communities throughout the Métis Nation Homeland. This Homeland is generally described as follows:
We, the Métis are a people of the lands which gave rise to our history and tradition and culture. We call these lands the Métis Homelands. The Homelands stretch from the lakes and rivers of Ontario; cross the wide prairies; traverse the mountains into British Columbia and into the far reaches of the Northwest Territories. They include the hills and valleys of the north-central American States. These are our lands. They are Métis lands. They are the lands of our past which nurture us today and which we value as the precious foundation of our future.
A full copy of the Statement of Prime Purpose is included in this Guide. It is also available via the MNO’s website at www.metisnation.org. All prospective applicants to the MNO are encouraged to review this document prior to making an application to the MNO Registry. After reading it, an individual needs to make the determination on whether they are actually part of the distinct Métis people the MNO represents, and whether they want to mandate the MNO to represent them.
It is important to highlight for new applicants that based on the Statement of Prime Purpose, the MNO was not created to represent all individuals who identify as “Métis”. It was created to represent the citizens of the Métis Nation living in Ontario, and the Métis communities in Ontario that are part of the Métis Nation. These are issues applicants should consider prior to deciding to make application to the MNO Registry.