Self-Government Update: All Citizen Town Hall
March 25, 2021
On March 25, 2021 Métis Citizens from across Ontario joined leadership for a virtual All Citizens Town Hall. During the virtual assembly, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Froh provided an update on recent community events and milestones, a brief recap of March PCMNO meetings, and the MNO’s Covid-19 vaccination plans. President Froh also provided an update on Métis self-government, its significance and next steps for community engagement.
To keep Citizens informed, the MNO All Citizen Town Hall Self-Government update has been reproduced in full below:
Why are we talking about self-government?
The signing of the 2019 Self-Government Agreement was a massive victory for the MNO for several reasons. First, it provides Canada’s acknowledgment—for the first time in history—that the Métis Communities represented by the MNO, hold the inherent right of self-government and self-determination. While this is something that these Communities have always known, Canada has never before recognized it.
Flowing from this fundamental recognition, the Self-Government Agreement sets out a process that the MNO can use to move from a “Secretariat” (i.e., using a corporation to advance Métis self-government within the constraints of corporate law) to a “Métis Government” (i.e., a public Indigenous government that is fully recognized in Canadian law). The Self-Government Agreement provides the “means or process” by which Métis Government Laws will be recognized by Canadian law.
In other words, while the MNO has always viewed itself as a government, once the Self-Government Agreement is fully implemented, the independence, freedom and right of self-determination that Métis Communities and Citizens have always aspired toward will be fully realized. The Self-Government Agreement “sets the table” on how MNO will realize this dream.
Why is the 2019 Agreement Significant to Ontario Métis Citizens?
When the Self-Government Agreement is implemented, the MNO will be able to achieve even more than it has to date, including:
- stable funding for governance as well as programs and services;
- delivering programs and services for Citizens that are directly grounded in the needs and priorities of Communities and Citizens (e.g., post-secondary funding, childcare funding, COVID programs, etc.);
- passing laws in relation to areas of recognized Métis Government Jurisdiction Courts and governments will be bound to respect the decision-making and laws of the future Métis Government.
- negotiating further areas of Jurisdiction with other governments on a government to government basis;
- having recognition, funding, or ability to access negotiations processes that will not be subject to the whims of changing governments; and
- will no longer be restricted by provincial corporate law.
What is the Self-Government process?
How will your voice be included in the Self-Government process?
- Your right to be consulted during the self-government process is written into Ontario’s Métis Self-Government Agreement, and is safeguarded within MNO Terms of Reference for Implementing the MNO Self-Government Agreement
- Your regional leaders are negotiating how the consultation process will look in your region
- In addition a comprehensive province wide engagement process will take place offering many opportunities to raise your voice and engage and which will further compliment any regional specific conversations
- The Constitution and Self-Government Agreement must be ratified by Electors (Métis rights-holders)
- The future of the MNO is entirely in the hands of its Citizens and communities
Get ready to join the conversation
Regional Town Halls for Self-Government will be starting in April. You will also be receiving ongoing communications on many topics. All Métis Citizens will have a chance to share, listen to, consider, and honour different perspectives.
There is exciting work to be done to build a durable, accountable, innovative, transparent and representative Métis Government for future generations of Métis Citizens in Ontario. This will be a Métis Government that can harness all of the advantages of being recognized by its own Citizens as well as in Canadian law. This work matters to all of us it will take all of us at the provincial, regional, and local levels of governance within the MNO working together. In order to achieve ratification it will require the active engagement and participation of as many MNO Citizens as possible that are willing to bring their views and raise their voice in this incredible journey .
Regardless of where we live, we are all in this together… paddling in the same canoe. Together, we’ve got this!