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Historic agreement advances recognition of Métis rights in Ontario and builds on MNO's proven and successful consultation model
Ottawa, ON (August 4, 2015)--Today, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski announced that the MNO and the Government of Canada have signed a historic Crown-Métis Consultation Agreement. This agreement is the ‘first-of-its-kind’ to be finalized between Canada and a Métis group anywhere in the country.
The agreement sets out a preferred process for Crown consultation between the parties, which relies on the MNO’s Lands, Resources and Consultation (LRC) Branch as a ‘single MNO signs agreement with Ontario Power Generation.window’ for consultation notices. In turn, the MNO’s LRC Branch works with the MNO’s 9 Regional Consultation Committees who ensure meaningful consultation is undertaken with MNO citizens and regional rights-bearing Métis communities. These Committees are made up of Métis leaders who are elected at the local and regional levels, as well as the regional Captain of the Hunt in an ex-officio capacity.
President Lipinski said, “This agreement represents an important step in Canada’s recognition of rights-bearing Métis communities outside of the Sault Ste. Marie region, where the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed Métis rights in the landmark Powley litigation in 2003. The agreement acknowledges that based on credible rights assertions and claims, the Crown’sMembers of the Lakehead/Nipigon/Michipicoten Region 2
Consultation Committee visit Barrick Gold-Williams Mine. duty to consult Métis communities is triggered in locations throughout Ontario. This is a significant and positive change from past federal policies of denial.”
“This agreement also demonstrates the success and credibility of the MNO’s unique consultation model, which has been built by Métis for Métis over the last 8 years. With the support and solidarity of MNO citizens and leaders, we have gone from having a system that was ignored by governments and industry to one that is recognized and the envy of other Aboriginal governments. I want to acknowledge the efforts of all the MNO citizens, leaders and staff who have made this happen. It demonstrates what we can do when we work--together.” added President Lipinski.
President Lipinski also acknowledged the Ontario Government’s significant financial investment, through the New Relationship Fund, in assisting the MNO in developing and implementing its consultation model since 2008. The MNO-Canada Consultation Agreement now commits Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to financially contribute to the MNO’s consultation model, which is largely supported by the New Relationship Fund.
President Lipinski concluded, “I am optimistic that this agreement signals that the Government of Canada is beginning to realize that it must do more to advance reconciliation with Ontario Métis communities. From the recent Eyford report that made specific recommendations on dealing with Métis rights and claims to the appointment of a Ministerial Special Representative on Métis rights to the upcoming appeal in the Daniels case at the Supreme Court of Canada, it is clear that the status quo is not an option. This agreement shows progress can be made on these important issues, when there is political will.”
More information on the MNO’s consultation model or the agreement is available at www.metisnation.org. A copy of the MNO-Canada press release is available at http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1014139&tp=1.
MNO Director of Communications