THE MÉTIS NATIONAL COUNCIL EXPRESSED CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR BILL C-53, PROVIDES UPDATE ON WORK OF EXPERT PANEL
The Métis National Council (MNC) continues to publicly support Bill C-53, An Act respecting the recognition of certain Métis governments in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan. MNC President Cassidy Caron reiterates her support for this Bill as it reaches the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs for discussion. President Caron will continue to support the Métis governments’ pursuit of Riel’s vision of self-government.
Bill C-53 affirms the self-government agreements the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Metis Nation of Alberta, and the Metis Nation of Ontario signed with Canada in 2019 and 2023, which recognize Métis self-determination. This bill lays the path for Section 35 based Treaties providing jurisdiction over internal matters of Métis governance, such as Métis citizenship, Métis elections, Métis government structures, and Métis child and family services.
President Caron has spoken at length with Members of Parliament and expressed her support of the Bill during its tabling in June, throughout the summer, and this past week during MNC’s Advocacy Week. During these discussions, President Caron emphasized that, “The role of the MNC is to protect and uphold the rights of Métis citizens across the Homeland. This includes supporting C-53, establishing the expert panel, and ensuring that Métis rights, including the right to self-determination, are advanced and respected.”
In 2021, the MNC General Assembly directed the establishment of an Expert Panel to protect the territorial integrity of the historic and modern day Métis Nation. The Expert Panel has a mandate to review the history of six Ontario Métis communities recognized by the Metis Nation of Ontario in 2017 through the lens of the National Definition and contemporary Métis governance. This process, which acknowledges and respects the Métis Nation’s right to make these determinations as a Nation, has begun and the Panel will provide updates to the General Assembly later this year.
Bill C-53 will ensure that even as federal and provincial governments come and go, the recognition of Métis self-government will not be subject to political whims. Bill C-53 fulfills the promise made to the Métis through Section 35 by establishing a process to conclude constitutionally protected Treaties. Its passage is reconciliation in action, it advances the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and puts to rest Canada’s 150 years long denial of the Metis as self-governing people.
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.