Yesterday afternoon, the Métis National Council joined Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Assembly of First Nations, and the Government of Canada at the release of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UN Declaration Act) Action Plan. The Métis National Council, along with its Governing Members worked collaboratively with Canada on Métis specific measures which have been incorporated into the Action Plan, along with approving several of the measures in the Action Plan common to Métis, Inuit, and First Nations, which contains commitments by Canada to achieve the objectives of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) which Canada endorsed in 2016.
The UN Declaration affirms a range of collective and individual Indigenous rights at a minimum standard. The Action Plan provides contains specific measures that Canada commits to taking with Indigenous peoples including to uphold and advance Indigenous human rights and advance their inherent right to self-determination and self-government.
The release of the Action Plan by Canada is encouraging, and efforts were made to fulfill the Prime Minister’s mandate to co-develop the plan with Indigenous peoples. Canada’s progress towards fulfilling its obligation to co-develop the Action Plan indicates a significant step forward for future work with Indigenous governments and representative institutions.
“Today’s release by Canada of the Action Plan to advance Métis rights and needs indicates the potential for reconciliation and better days moving forward. While the Action Plan is not perfect, the Métis National Council recognizes the work Canada has done to draft the Action Plan working with Indigenous governments and representative institutions. The Métis National Council looks forward to working with Canada and our Inuit and First Nations partners to ensure meaningful and timely implementation of the commitments made in the Action Plan," shared President Cassidy Caron.
The Action Plan is a “living document” and the Métis National Council (MNC) will continue to work with Canada to implement the measures set out in the Action Plan. The MNC sees the potential of the Action Plan to inspire action not just by the federal government but by Canadians and Métis across the Homeland.
As MNC recognizes the potential of the commitments in the Action Plan to affirm and advance Métis rights and interests, there remains much work to be done. The MNC continues to articulate and advocate the priorities of Métis governments and citizens across the Métis Homeland. This includes working with Canada to implement the Action Plan and hold Canada to account for its commitments.
Since 1983, the Métis National Council has been the national and international voice of the Métis Nation within Canada. Through the Canada-Métis Nation Accord, the MNC advocates on behalf of its Governing Members—the democratically elected Métis Governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia—to advance Métis rights and interests within their respective jurisdictions, including the implementation of the Métis Nation’s inherent right to self-determination and self-government. The MNC is committed to accountability and transparency within its operations, and to its relationships with MNC Governing Members. Cassidy Caron is the President of the Métis National Council.