Métis Nation of Ontario moves into the Next Phase of the Registry Review Process

February 24, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) — Today, the Métis Nation of Ontario (“MNO”) announced it is moving into the next phase of consultations and engagements on the results of its multi-year review of its centralized Métis citizenship registration system, known as the “MNO Registry and Self-Government Readiness Review” (“RSRP” or “Registry Review”).

In 2017, the MNO initiated the Registry Review based on the MNO’s foundational goal to secure the recognition of the MNO’s self-government from Canada, consistent with the MNO’s aims and objectives as outlined in the Statement of Prime Purpose. Additional information on the Registry Review, including a copy of the final report, is available here.

As of September 2021, of the 26,710 MNO citizenship files reviewed, 80% (21,222) citizenship files were deemed as “Complete”—meaning they satisfy the requirements for MNO citizenship as outlined in the MNO Bylaws and MNO Registry Policy—or could easily be confirmed as “Complete” upon the receipt of certain documentation (e.g., an Oath of Allegiance). A total of 20% (5,390) files were deemed as “Incomplete,” meaning the MNO is not able to verify an ancestral connection to a Métis ancestor for these citizens based on the currently-available historic record.

Beginning in Summer 2021, at the direction of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (“PCMNO”), the MNO held a series of province-wide town halls, as well as targeted meetings with MNO constituencies, to engage deeply about the results of the Registry Review. Throughout this process, the MNO has been gathering citizens’ views on how to implement the findings to further advance self-government and Métis rights.

As of December 2021, a total of seven province-wide consultation sessions have been held and attended by over 400 MNO citizens, who had the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments and feedback. In addition to these consultation sessions, the MNO has also provided additional updates and information to citizens through direct correspondence and the Métis Voyageur, as well as set up a designated webpage specific to the Registry Review.

“The MNO has always fought to protect and advance Métis rights and has tirelessly worked to move toward full self-government for its people. The Registry Review is just one example of that continued forward progress,” stated MNO President Margaret Froh. “We have come a long way, and we’ve reached a point in our journey where we can consolidate and secure our achievements in advancing Métis rights for the benefit of future generations of MNO citizens.”

Continuing the Dialogue:
Launch of Online Feedback Portal (now closed)

Based on the feedback received from citizens to date, the PCMNO has directed the MNO to move into the next phase of the Registry Review consultation process. As part of this next phase, the MNO launched an online feedback portal to provide all MNO citizens with an additional opportunity to provide feedback on and have their voices heard in relation to the Registry Review. The online feedback portal was open from February 24, 2022 to April 4, 2022. 

The results of the seven consultation sessions and feedback received through the online portal, will be compiled into a “What We Heard Report” that will be publicly posted on the MNO’s website in the future.

Responding to Citizen Feedback:
Release of Supplemental Registry Review Report & Policies

In response to citizens’ requests for further information and details related to “Incomplete” citizenship files, the MNO is publicly releasing a Supplement Registry Review Report (“Supplemental Report”) as part of this next phase of engagement. In particular, the Supplemental Report includes updated statistics, as well as a breakdown of the rationale for why certain citizenship files have been deemed as “Incomplete” (e.g., missing documentation evidencing a connection to a Métis ancestor, missing a completed genealogical chart, etc.). A copy of the Supplemental Registry Review Report can be downloaded here.

Based on preliminary feedback from citizens regarding the need to limit certain programs and services, appointments, and awards or other benefits to citizens with “Complete” MNO citizenship files (i.e., verified Métis rights-holders), as well as questions raised by other governments and third parties regarding the MNO’s new citizenship cards, the PCMNO is concurrently working on implementing and considering a series of related interim policies. Further information related to these policies will be made available on the MNO’s website in the future.

Other Potential Steps:
Province-Wide Plebiscite & Special Resolution

Further to the PCMNO’s direction, and pending the findings of the “What We Heard Report,” the MNO is also considering the possibility of holding a province-wide plebiscite vote in Spring 2022, which would give all MNO citizens an opportunity to provide direction as to what, if anything, the MNO should do to implement the results of the Registry Review. Pending the results of the potential plebiscite, the MNO is also considering potential process options that may be needed to implement citizens’ direction through Special Resolution. Further information related to these potential options will be made available if and when pursued.