Statement from Métis Nation of Ontario following the “Indigenous Identity Fraud Summit”

May 15, 2024 (Ottawa, ON) — The MNO supports all efforts to strengthen legitimate Indigenous citizenship and self-determination. Over the last two days, however, the so called “Indigenous Identity Fraud Summit” organized by the leadership of the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) and the Chiefs of Ontario (COO), did the exact opposite.

This event deliberately excluded Métis Nation governments which represent the overwhelmingly majority of Métis Nation citizens. It was used to distort the truth about Métis Nation history and identity, and to further the MMF’s political agenda to appropriate Métis communities, stories, and families in an effort to rebrand the entire Métis Nation as the “Red River Métis.” This continued pattern of revisionist history, without providing any opportunity for face-to-face conversation with Métis Nation governments, is entirely unproductive, dangerous, and must not be allowed to continue.

As the recognized Métis Government within Ontario, it is regretful that despite explicitly asking to attend this event to present on the history, existence, and relationship between the Métis communities in Ontario and the broader Métis Nation, both historically and contemporarily, we were ignored. This “Summit” was instead used to spread misinformation about the Métis communities and citizens which we represent. This misinformation has gone unchecked for far too long and is causing deep hurt amongst our citizenship.

“It is deeply disappointing that we have reached a point where once firm allies cannot sit down and discuss the issues currently affecting our peoples,” said MNO President Margaret Froh. “Despite the MMF’s best efforts to confuse and distract people from our achievements and rights recognition, and to undermine every Métis government, we stand strong in who we are and are singularly focused on supporting our citizens as their democratically elected Métis government.”

Among the MNO’s primary objectives are to encourage the full participation of all Métis in the Métis Nation, and to act in a spirit of cooperation with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. This is fundamental to our mandate.

The MNO remains committed to fostering a climate where we can have difficult but very important conversations, based in facts. To kick these conversations off, we are proud to launch Ontario Métis Facts, a website designed to share the stories, histories, and facts about rights-bearing Métis communities in Ontario.

Our hope is this website will serve as an easy-to-access source of information and launching point for further exploration. We also hope it will help First Nations and Métis communities in Ontario to come back to the table to start the necessary work of bringing our peoples back to a place of mutual respect.

We watched the Summit. We heard the concerns of First Nations leaders in Ontario. Our desire is to correct misinterpretation, misinformation, misstatements, and misunderstandings which were made about the MNO and our intentions. These can best be addressed in face-to-face discussions to set the record straight.

We stand by our Métis citizens, communities, and the work we have done to advance Métis rights within Ontario and across the Métis Nation homeland.

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