In advance of Batoche Days, the Métis Nation General Assembly convened in Saskatoon on July 19-20 to discuss reconciliation and the implementation of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord which was signed with the Prime Minister at the Crown-Métis Nation Summit on April 13, 2017. Panels comprising ministers and specialists from the MNC and Governing Members led discussions with the Assembly on three of the Accord’s first year priorities- housing, employment and training, and early learning and child care.
It had been agreed at the Summit that Métis Nation-specific components of the new federal ASETS (employment and training) program, the National Housing Strategy and the National Early Learning and Child Care Framework would be developed in time for Budget 2018. MNC and Governing Members have been meeting throughout July to identify and elaborate on key elements of Métis Nation strategies in these areas, setting out principles, priorities, delivery mechanisms, and accountabilities. The General Assembly adopted a number of resolutions on the second day to guide the work on the strategies including setting out the asks for Budget 2018.
Delegates also addressed the recent decision of the MNC not to participate in the meeting with the Premiers on July 17, 2017 in advance of the Council of the Federation meeting. They unanimously adoped a resolution that nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationships between the Crown and the Métis Nation, First Nations and Inuit should govern the intergovernmental process involving Indigenous peoples and shape the principles and terms of reference of this process. They also resolved that the Métis Nation shall not participate in intergovernmental meetings that do not respect nation-to-nation, government-to-government engagement with the Métis Nation, First Nations and Inuit.
President Chartier briefed the Assembly on a number of breaking developments in Canadian and international law that directly impact Métis rights. These include the Working Group of federal Ministers headed by Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould that is reviewing laws and policies related to Indigenous peoples, federal Indigenous Languages Legislation and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which is similar to UNDRIP, the UN declaration, but is coming from the Organization of American States, that is the nation-states of the Americas.
The Assembly also adopted a resolution to ensure that the Governing Members were in full compliance with their obligations as part of the Métis Nation governance structure to maintain the integrity of the registry system for Métis Nation citizenship and adhere to democratic practices and procedures.
Download resolution on Citizenship (PDF)
In keeping with the theme of reconciliation, delegates watched a video on the announcement by the Prime Minister of the transfer of 100 Wellington Street, the former U.S. Embassy site across from Parliament, to the Indigenous peoples in a historic ceremony in Ottawa on June 21, 2017 (see video).
MNC President Clément Chartier providing Opening Remarks
Download Opening Remarks – President Clément Chartier’s Overview of the Special Sitting of the General Assembly (PDF)