The Métis Nation of Ontario
Founded in the early 1990’s, by the will of Ontario Métis, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) represents the collective aspirations, rights and interests of Métis people and communities throughout Ontario. The MNO has a democratic, province-wide governance structure. Every four years Métis citizens have the opportunity to choose their provincial and regional leadership, by voting in province-wide ballot box elections.
In addition, MNO Community Councils have been established throughout the province. They get their mandate to support local governance from the MNO through signed Community Charter agreements, and work collaboratively with the MNO and other Community Councils to represent the rights and interests of regional rights-bearing Métis communities throughout the province.
As the only recognized provincial Métis governance structure in Ontario, the MNO has advanced the Métis rights agenda through the precedent setting Powley case. The MNO has established bilateral and tripartite processes with the federal and provincial governments and in November, 2008 signed an MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement with the Government of Ontario. The MNO also has a negotiated accommodation agreement with the provincial government on Métis harvesting rights.
On June 27, 2019 history was made when the MNO and the Government of Canada signed a ground-breaking Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement that set a new government-to-government relationship between Canada and Ontario Métis. The Agreement provides the MNO with long-sought-after federal recognition of its self-government by immediately recognizing that the Métis communities represented by the MNO have the right of self-government.
This upfront rights recognition is unique among self-government agreements that Canada has negotiated with other Indigenous communities. The MNO, through its province-wide infrastructure delivers a range of programs and services in the areas of health, labour market development, education and housing to Ontario Métis and other Indigenous people. More than 220 people work for the MNO in 30 offices throughout the province.