Canada and the Manitoba Métis Federation sign historic Memorandum of Understanding on reconciliation

MNO President Froh offers congratulations on behalf of Ontario Métis

Manitoba Metis Federation MOU
MMF President David Chartrand and Dr. Carolyn Bennett, 
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs sign the 
Memorandum of Understanding. (Photo source: Manitoba
Métis Federation Facebook page.) Click here to view a
larger
 version.

On behalf of Ontario Métis, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh offered congratulations to the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) on signing a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Canada last Friday. The MOU sets out a process for ultimately arriving at a negotiated settlement between Canada and the MMF to address the Manitoba Métis community’s outstanding constitutional claim against federal Crown, which was recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada back in 2013. 

In the Manitoba Métis Federation v. Canada, the Supreme Court held that the federal Crown’s 1870 promise to provide 5,565 square kilometres of land to the children of the Métis families living in the Red River Settlement was not met. As a result, the Supreme Court declared that “the federal Crown failed to implement the land grant provision set out in s.31 of The Manitoba Act, 1870, in accordance with the honour of the Crown."  The Supreme Court also recognized that remedying this breach of the federal Crown’s constitutional duty owing to the Manitoba Métis was “unfinished business” between Canada and the MMF.

Specially, the MOU provides for time-limited exploratory discussions process to permit and MMF and Canada to find the common ground to move in order to move into formal negotiations. At the signing, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett stated: "The court decided there needed to be a relationship, and so today we have agreed that we will sit down and develop a framework for what that actually will mean in breathing life into the rights of the Métis people that are in section 35 of the Constitution." MMF President David Chartrand added that he hopes to have a framework agreement in place by the fall and that any future settlement is “going to change the very lives of our nation forever.”

MNO President Froh said, “This MOU is a very important step in advancing reconciliation between the Crown and the Manitoba Métis community. I applaud MMF President Chartrand and his Cabinet on their unwavering determination to advance see justice for their people. From our experience with the Powley case, the MNO knows very well just how much time and energy goes into advancing a case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. We wish the MMF well in its negotiations and are optimistic their success provide a framework for other Métis communities to advance our own negotiations with governments based on other outstanding claims that exist throughout the Métis Nation.”

For additional information about the MOU, including an interview with Métis lawyer and MNO citizen Jason Madden, please visit:

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/potential-billion-dollar-deal-for-metis-as-feds-address-historic-land-dispute-1.2921150

Published on: May 30, 2016

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