A newly elected Metis local in northern Saskatchewan is appealing for a greater relationship with its provincial body.

The A La Baie Métis Local 21, home to the Sakitawak Metis, in the historic Metis community of Ile a la Crosse, wants a better relationship with the Metis Nation-Saskatchewan, seeking an agreement regarding governance, self-determination and local autonomy. 

“We heard a message loud and clear from our membership and across a voting membership, that we need to have a better relationship with Metis Nation-Saskatchewan. We’re moving towards that, and also that we believe in self-government, and we believe in local autonomy, and we push for a land base for the Metis,” said A La Baie Métis Local 21 President Louis Gardiner.

“I think to reach some of our outcomes and some of our goals and objectives, and to hold us both accountable that we deliver these programs and services.”

Gardiner and his local board members were recently elected. He admits that the relationship of the MNS is not strong, but he sees room for improvement.

“We have to look at new ways of how to start building up our communities, and we strongly believe that this is one way,” Gardiner explained. “I think the relationship with them previously, I don’t believe was there, and we just want to rebuild that relationship.”

As the Ile a la Crosse Metis prepares for its 250-year celebration in 2026, Gardiner said he wants the region to build capacity, strengthen program delivery, settle a land claim, increase economic development and obtain federal recognition for the residential school.