July 21, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – President Clément Chartier of the Métis National Council welcomes the release today of “A Matter of National and Constitutional Import”, the report of Ministerial Special Representative (MSR) Tom Isaac on reconciliation of Métis constitutional rights.
“Tom Isaac has rendered a valuable service in calling for a fundamental change in the mindsets of federal and provincial governments when dealing with Métis people and the Métis Nation,” said Chartier. “The central message is that these governments and their administrations have to start respecting the Métis as section 35 rights holders and to realign their attitudes and actions with this reality.”
President Chartier stressed the importance of meeting quickly with Minister Bennett and beginning a process to address and resolve Métis section 35 rights.
“We are fortunate in having a federal government that has already committed to a reconciliation process with the Métis Nation to address Métis rights protected by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, recognize Métis self-government, and resolve outstanding Métis claims against the Crown,” said Chartier. “ I thank Minister Bennett for extending the MSR’s mandate when the Liberals came into office and according it the importance it deserves. Now it’s time to sit down with the Minister and begin working things out.”
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Métis National Council
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The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation’s homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into the contiguous parts of British Columbia, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the United States. There are approximately 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
Report of Ministerial Special Representative on Reconciliation with Métis
Download the report (PDF)
Press Release from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada:
Minister Bennett Welcomes Thomas Isaac Report on Reconciliation with Métis