MNO releases results of its Registry Review
Today, Powley remains the only Supreme Court of Canada decision to confirm the existence of Métis rights protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Based on Powley as well as other developments within the Métis Nation–including, the adoption of a National Definition for Métis Nation Citizenship in 2002 and the adoption of the MNO Registry Policy in 2009 (interim) and 2014 (final)–the MNO’s citizenship requirements have evolved over its 28-year history.
- assessing the “completeness” of all citizenship files based on the MNO’s current definition of Métis and the requirements of the MNO Registry Policy first adopted in 2014;
- providing the MNO with a clear understanding of “who” it represents for the purposes of self-government negotiations and Métis rights claims as well as the number of its citizenship who descend from Ontario Métis communities or other Métis communities in the Métis Nation Homeland from Ontario westward; and
- ensuring that MNO citizens who hold elected leadership roles and represent Métis communities with respect to Métis rights, have completed citizenship files and are rights-holders themselves.
- “Complete”: These files included all necessary documentation required to meet the MNO’s current definition for citizenship and the MNO Registry Policy;
- “Missing Documentation”: These files included an identified Métis Ancestor pursuant to the MNO’s current definition for citizenship and the MNO Registry Policy, but were missing supporting genealogical documents linking the MNO citizen to that Métis Ancestor and/or was missing a signed Oath of Allegiance; or
- “Incomplete”: These files did not include an identified Métis Ancestor pursuant to the MNO’s current definition for citizenship and the MNO Registry Policy.
Following the completion of the assessment of an MNO citizen’s file, the individual was sent a letter informing them of the status of their file. If a file was determined to be “Missing Documentation” or “Incomplete”, this letter also included information and potential solutions to help the MNO citizen “Complete” their citizenship file. Individuals with “Complete” files were issued a new MNO citizenship card verifying their status as a Métis rights-holder.
- A total of 71% of all MNO citizenship files (17,014 MNO citizens) were confirmed as having “Complete” citizenship files (i.e., their file included all the necessary documentation required to meet the MNO’s current definition for citizenship and the MNO Registry Policy).
- Another 1.4% of MNO citizenship files (330 MNO citizens) could “Complete” their file if they signed the MNO’s required Oath of Allegiance, and another 4.7% (1,132 MNO citizens) could “Complete” their file simply by providing missing genealogical documents. If these outstanding requirements were met, a total of 77% of MNO citizenship files (18,476 MNO citizens) would be confirmed as “Complete”.
- A total of 22.5% of current MNO citizenship files (5,402 MNO citizens) were determined to have “Incomplete” files. In addition, as a part of the review, 1,061 MNO citizens’ files were determined to be inactive because of death, suspension, or withdrawal and were removed from the MNO Registry. At the end of the review, less than 1% of files reviewed remained “In Process”.
- Of the MNO citizenship files that are “Complete” (17,014 MNO citizens), based on the primary documents provided to the MNO Registry, these files demonstrate the following:
- A total of 23% of the MNO’s citizenship (3,904 MNO citizens) ancestrally connect to Métis communities in western Canada through Métis Scrip (2,470 MNO citizens), Métis land grants issued under the Manitoba Act, 1870 (768 MNO citizens), or other historical documentation from 1901 or earlier (666 MNO citizens).
- A total of 9% of the MNO’s citizenship (1,522 MNO citizens) ancestrally connect to the historic Métis community in Northwestern Ontario, with 884 MNO citizens being descendants of the “Halfbreeds of Rainy Lake and River” who collectively adhered as a Métis community to Treaty 3 in 1875 and another 638 MNO citizens ancestrally connecting to other historic Métis families and settlements in the region.
- A total of 49% of the MNO’s citizenship (8,332 MNO citizens) ancestrally connect to the Great Lakes Métis community that was recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in Powley. This community includes well-known Métis populations and settlements at Fort William (present-day Thunder Bay), Michipicoten, Sault Ste. Marie, Killarney, and Georgian Bay/Penetanguishene.
- A total of 6% of the MNO’s citizenship (1,045 MNO citizens) ancestrally connect to the historic Métis community in the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region.
- A total of 13% of the MNO’s citizenship (2,211 MNO citizens) ancestrally connect to the historic Métis community in the Mattawa region.
- Collectively, the MNO’s current citizenship with “Complete” files can be broken down as having a Métis Ancestor from Western Canada (23%), Northwestern Ontario (9%), the Upper Great Lakes Region (49%), and Northeastern Ontario (19%).
- In addition, many of the MNO’s citizens with “Complete” files have Métis Ancestors from two or more Métis communities within Ontario. For example, of the 17,014 MNO citizens with “Complete” citizenship files, 13,110 trace to one Ontario Métis community, with approximately 39% (5,082 MNO citizens) of that number ancestrally connecting to two or more historic Métis communities in Ontario.
- Additional research will be undertaken in the future in order to assess further ancestral connections between historic Métis communities in Ontario as well as with those in Western Canada.
- Develop and release a series of communication tools in order to engage with MNO citizens on the outcomes of the Registry Review;
- Undertake province-wide consultations with all MNO citizens through a series of virtual Town Hall meetings open to all MNO citizens during the summer of 2021;
- Develop a “What We Heard” report based on the province-wide consultations to be publicly released following review and consideration by the PCMNO; and
- Based on the “What We Heard” report, look towards a province-wide vote (in Fall/Winter 2021) and/or Special Assembly on MNO citizenship (in Fall/Winter 2021 or early 2022, subject to public health and safety requirements) to guide further decision-making on next steps related to the Registry Review final report and/or potential amendments needed to the MNO Bylaws and MNO Registry Policy.
VIDEO: A Case Study in Excellence
- PCMNO Resolution (October 2017)
- MNO launches Registry and Self-Government Readiness Process
- Update on Registry and Self-Government Readiness Process (2018)
- Evidence and Key Findings in Powley
- Identification of Historic Métis Communities in Ontario
- Implementation of National Definition of Métis within Ontario
- The facts about the history of the MNO
- MNO Registry Review Process Upheld: Court Strikes Legal Claim Filed by Citizens with “Incomplete” Files – Green v. Métis Nation of Ontario