In the fighting spirit of Cuthbert Grant and his Métis defence force who defeated the Selkirk setters and the Hudson’s Bay Company at the Battle of Seven Oaks on June 19, 1816, the Métis Nation took some important steps on the road to reconciliation with the Trudeau government. On June 16, the Métis Nation Constitution Convention developed a plan and timetable for completing the work on a Métis Nation Constitution. That plan was forwarded to the MNC General Assembly that adopted the plan in a resolution today.
The plan envisages the adoption of a Declaration of Rights and Principles of the Métis Nation in the fall of 2016 that will capture the aspirational components of the constitution such as a preamble, objectives, and principles. Further work will be undertaken to complete the other sections of the final draft of the constitution that will be brought to the 2017 MNC General Assembly for adoption. The constitutional work is seen as strengthening the Métis Nation as it heads into reconciliation talks with the federal government based on Métis section 35 rights including the inherent right to self-government.
The Ministerial Special Representative (MSR) on engaging the Métis Nation on section 35 rights, Mr. Tom Isaac, addressed the Constitution Convention and provided an overview of the section 35 reconciliation principles that will be included in his report that is expected imminently. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, the keynote speaker at the dinner banquet of the General Assembly on June 17, spoke to the developing nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation.
MNC President Chartier expressed his appreciation for the outcome of the Constitution Convention and the Assembly.
“MSR Tom Isaac was quite right in challenging the Métis Nation to make sure our governance house was in order as we head into the reconciliation process,” stated Chartier. “ And I believe the members of the Convention and General Assembly rose to that challenge.”