Joint Statement from the Métis Nation of Alberta and Métis Nation of Ontario on Bill C-53

The Métis Nation of Alberta (Otipemisiwak Métis Government) and the Métis Nation of Ontario respect the choice of each of the democratically elected governments of the Métis Nation to choose their own pathway to advance and implement their own vision for self-determination and self-government. As such, our governments wish the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan well as it embarks on its continuing journey to have its self-government fully recognized.

For the past 10 months, our Métis governments, citizens and communities have endured a legislative process—not of our own making— that was often unfair, delayed, disrespectful and demoralizing. This process enabled, and at times encouraged, misunderstandings and division between ourselves and other Métis and First Nation communities. We have seen Métis youth, citizens and Elders insulted, denied, and harassed based on misinformation and misconceptions. It has allowed opponents to deny our very existence and rights, and even the attempted erasure of our lived experiences, history and identity.

We would not be in this position today if Canada had historically and honourably recognized our people, communities, and governments. Reconciliation with us is a constitutional imperative and our self-government agreements, legislative recognition, and the treaties we are negotiating with Canada are the only way forward.

Given the overwhelming support we have from our citizens and communities to finally have our governments recognized, we will continue to work with the federal government and ensure the Crown as well as the Parliament of Canada lives up its commitments made to us in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

The self-government agreements we signed with Canada in February 2023 set out a clear path to finally put in place nation-to-nation, government-to-government treaties with us as well as ensure our treaties are legislatively recognized and constitutionally-protected. We will hold Canada to these legally binding promises. We will ultimately overcome the denial of our rights that our ancestors have fought for across generations, and we will continue to aggressively pursue those discussions on a government-to-government basis.

Nothing has ever come easy to the Métis, and this journey to self-government is no different. Finally securing our rightful place in the Canadian federation means too much to our citizens and communities to allow for this colonial process – that has been filled with misinformation and harm – to deter us from achieving the dreams of our ancestors and aspirations of future generations of Métis people.

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