On April 13, 2017, Prime Minister Trudeau, Métis Nation President Chartier, and the Presidents of the MNC Governing Members signed the Canada-Métis Nation Accord during the first Métis Nation-Crown Summit in Ottawa.
The Accord marks a significant step towards a renewed government-to-government relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. It outlines the ways in which the Government of Canada and the Métis National Council and its Governing Members will work together to set priorities and develop policy in areas of shared interest. Under the Accord, priorities for the first year will be employment and training, education, early learning and child care, housing, health and new fiscal relations.
Joining the Prime Minister at the Summit were Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Health Jane Philpot, President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patricia Hajdu, and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos.
President Chartier provided a historical background to the section 35 rights issues which are the subject of regional exploratory tables involving the MNC Governing Members and the federal government. Métis Nation Finance Minister David Chartrand and President Melanie Omeniho of Women of the Métis Nation critiqued the recent federal budget and its impact on the Métis Nation. The Presidents of the Governing Members focused on the priority issues in their respective provinces.
The federal Ministers at the table reported on policy initiatives that would be utilized in addressing Métis Nation concerns. These included Métis Nation-specific components of the skills development (ASETS) program which is undergoing renewal, the national housing strategy and the national Early Learning and Child Care Framework.
The permanent bilateral process established in the Canada-Métis Nation Accord includes annual meetings of Métis Nation leaders with the Prime Minister, semi-annual meetings with the Minister of Indigenous Affairs and key Cabinet Ministers, and quarterly meetings with various Assistant Deputy Ministers and other senior officials on priority issues.
In a joint news release with President Chartier, Prime Minister Trudeau stated:
“Last December, I made the promise that federal ministers and Métis Nation leaders would work together to solve important challenges. We did not take that commitment lightly. Today, we are proud to announce our joint signing of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. While there is still much that needs to be done if we are to address the unique social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues faced by the Métis, we now have a solid foundation upon which to move forward with a respectful, renewed Métis Nation-Crown relationship, for the benefit of all Canadians.”
President Chartier stated: “We are greatly encouraged by entering into a government-to-government, nation-to nation process of engagement with the government of Canada under Prime Minister Trudeau. It offers the opportunity to advance the interests and rights of the citizens of the Métis Nation.”
Download President Chartier’s speech (PDF)
Download Canada-Métis Nation Accord (En)
Download Canada-Métis Nation Accord (Fr)
Press Release from Prime Minister : http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/releases
Press Release from Métis National Council: