It’s being called a great moment for the Metis and Canada, as the federal government has tabled legislation to begin the creation of self-government for the Metis Nations of Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta.
Bill C-53, An Act respecting the recognition of certain Métis governments in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, to give effect to treaties with those governments and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, recognizes that each Metis government has the inherent right to self government, but also leadership selection, citizenship and internal matters.
“The introduction of this Bill shows the support we have with elected leaders in Canada, to recognize our people, establish a nation-to-nation relationship we have been seeking for generations,” said Metis Nation-Saskatchewan Vice President Michelle LeClair.
She mentioned that past leaders such as Harry Daniels and others have fought for decades for a path to self-government that has now come to fruition.
“This Bill is a critical step forward in our collaborative work with Métis Nation of Ontario, Métis Nation–Saskatchewan and the Métis Nation of Alberta, to support and recognize their inherent right to self-government. These self-government agreements set the foundation for renewed relationships between Canada and each of these Métis Governments and will create new opportunities to build a brighter future for their citizens, however they see fit,” Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations said.
Once the Bill clears Parliament, Canada will negotiate with each Metis government a self-governing Treaty, which would need to be ratified before coming into effect.