A new report on Metis identity says the federal government must try to start a more comprehensive dialogue between themselves and the Metis community.
Vernon White heads up the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, the group that tabled the report.
For months, White and his colleagues traveled across the country to hear from Metis citizens directly.
White says they heard many different interpretations from residents on what Metis identity meant to them.
He says some of the definitions were quite unique.
At the same time he was always impressed with how impassioned people became when discussing the issue.
He thinks it would be helpful if Ottawa and the Metis could come to an understanding on who qualifies to be Metis:
“I think it is going to take the Metis themselves to actually get to that point. I think right now a number of them have started mini-registries or registries within the groups they represent, but I think a national registry would be spectacular and a great start to an acceptance and an understanding by Canadians of what ‘Metis’ means.”
He says the report’s recommendations will now be sent on to the Aboriginal Affairs department for further study.
He expects to get a response in a year’s time.