Canada and Métis Nation of Ontario sign updated Métis self-government agreement
February 24, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Métis Nation of Ontario
Today, Canada and the Métis Nation of Ontario announced that the parties have signed a Métis Government Recognition and Self Government Implementation Agreement (the “Agreement”). This Agreement builds on a self-government agreement previously signed in 2019 and formal negotiations between the parties that began in 2017.
Upon signing this Agreement, Canada officially recognizes that the Métis Nation of Ontario is the Indigenous government representing its citizens and Métis communities within Ontario, and that this Métis collectivity has an inherent right to self-government recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
The Agreement recognizes that the Métis Nation of Ontario, as a Métis government, has jurisdiction over its internal and core governance matters such as citizenship, elections, and administration matters. The jurisdiction recognized in the Agreement touches upon core governance issues that are viewed as key facets of the Indigenous right to self-determination and self-government. The Agreement also recognizes that the Métis Nation of Ontario is an Indigenous governing body for the purposes of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.
In keeping with the longstanding goal of the Métis Nation of Ontario for recognition of their unique identity, culture, and governance on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government basis, the Agreement commits the parties to ongoing negotiations towards a core self-government treaty within the next two years.
Federal implementation legislation will be introduced as soon as possible following the signing of today’s Agreement and is a priority for the parties.
This Agreement, along with other such agreements signed with Métis governments, is a key part of Canada’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“2023 marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of R. v. Powley, which is the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision on Métis rights. Powley was advanced by Ontario Métis to ensure we were no longer the ‘forgotten people’. It is a testament to the hard work of our citizens and communities that we now have formal recognition of our Métis government by Canada, including a clear pathway to finally put into place our nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship with the federal Crown through a modern day treaty.”
President of the Métis Nation of Ontario
“The Agreement we have signed today will revitalize and transform our government-to-government relationship with the Métis Nation of Ontario. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Métis Nation of Ontario to co-develop approaches that deliver on our shared priorities for reconciliation and support their vision of a better future for the citizens and communities the Métis government represents.”
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
- The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples recognized in section 35 of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982.
- In 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada first recognized the rights of the Sault Ste. Marie Métis community in R. v. Powley and set out the criteria for establishing Métis rights.
- Following the Powley decision, Canada has taken steps to recognize its outstanding legal and constitutional obligation to acknowledge and respect Métis rights, including the inherent right of self-government.
- Today’s Agreement is the culmination of over seven years of collaboration, co-development and negotiations between Canada and the Métis Nation of Ontario.
- The results of these efforts have included a MNO-Crown Consultation Agreement signed in 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding, a Framework Agreement, and the Northwestern Ontario Métis Community Agreement signed in 2017, and a Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement signed in 2019.
- Negotiations to update the terms of the 2019 self-government agreement began in 2021 and have recently concluded, resulting in the Agreement signed today.
- The parties look forward to continuing their collaborative work at the negotiating table on all of their shared priorities for achieving a lasting reconciliation for the benefit of Métis Nation of Ontario citizens and all Canadians.
For more information, media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Métis Nation of Ontario