Timeline: Pre-Confederation to Self-Government

early 1800s: Distinctive Métis communities emerge around the Upper Great Lakes, and along the waterways and fur trade routes of what is now Ontario with their own cultures, identities and traditions. As settlers moved in, Métis continued to assert themselves and their rights.

1845: An Order in Council recommended “the Commissioner of Crown Lands to survey a Town Plot and Park Lots at Sault Ste. Marie, giving the occupants [Métis] a title to such lots...” While the survey occurred, official title for the Métis did not materialize.

1849: A group of Métis and Anishinaabeg protest the Québec Mining Company at Mica Bay in response to intrusion on their traditional lands. This spurred negotiations of the Robinson Huron Treaty, from which Métis were excluded.

1840-50s: Members of the historic Georgian Bay Métis community petition for lands due to increasing settler encroachments.

1850: The Métis at Sault Ste. Marie advocate for inclusion in the Robinson-Huron Treaty and for protection for Métis lands.

1875: The Halfbreed Adhesion to Treaty 3 is signed by Nicholas Chatelaine, on behalf of the “Halfbreeds of Rainy Lake and River”, the only known adhesion to a treaty negotiated and signed by a Métis community, as Métis.

1905: Several “half-breed” families at Moose Factory petition to the government for scrip to be issued to them.

Mid-late1900s: Métis in Ontario advocate for Métis rights and interests through various pan-Indigenous organizations.

1982: The Constitution Act, 1982 is adopted, including section 35 which provides that Métis rights rights, are to be “recognized and affirmed”.

1993: The Métis Nation of Ontario is founded with the Statement of Prime Purpose as its foundational document, which commits the MNO to advancing Métis rights and self-government in Ontario.

2003: The Supreme Court releases the landmark Powley decision, affirming that the Métis community in Sault Ste. Marie and environs have Métis harvesting rights in their traditional territory protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

2004: MNO and Ontario sign a Harvesting Agreement that relies on MNO’s Harvester’s Card system.

2008: MNO and Ontario sign a five-year Framework Agreement committing them to jointly pursue reconciliation in a variety of ways.

2013: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Manitoba Métis Federation decision, declared that Canada breached the honour of Crown in failing to implement the land-related promises to the Manitoba Métis Community in section 31 of the Manitoba Act, 1870.

2016: The Supreme Court of Canada releases the Daniels decision, declaring that Métis are included as “Indians” within section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. Canada can no longer justify the exclusion of Métis from federal negotiations on the basis that it lacks jurisdiction.

2017: MNO-Canada-Ontario Framework Agreement on Advancing Reconciliation sets out a negotiations process for a core self-government agreement.

2017: After an extensive and rigorous review of historical reports the MNO and Ontario announce six historic Métis communities in Ontario, in addition to the one recognized by the Supreme Court in Powley.

2018: MNO and Ontario conduct an independent review of the MNO Harvester’s Card system, which concludes that MNO has a credible system for identifying Métis rights-holders; and, MNO and Ontario sign Framework Agreement on Métis Harvesting, which relies on the MNO’s Harvester’s Cards system.

2019: MNO and Canada sign the Self-Government Agreement.

 

Métis Nation of Ontario achieves federal recognition of its self-government

Frequently Asked Questions: MNO-Canada Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement

 

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