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 represents Métis citizens internationally, including at the United Nations, as well as at other international forums to advance Métis priorities. Through work at international forums and events, the MNC advances the following priorities:
A distinctions-based approach
- The Métis National Council is the national and international representative of the Métis Nation. As one of the three federally recognized Section 35 Rights Holders in Canada, work on the international stage must reflect the unique priorities of the Métis Nation.
Nation-to-Nation, Government-to-Government relationships
- The Canada-Métis Nation Accord and the Permanent Bilateral Mechanism provide the foundation for the relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation. These Nation-to-Nation, Government-to-Government relationships are based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership, including in international activities which impact Métis citizens
- Canada must invest in the Métis Nation's international efforts through a fiscal relationship premised on sufficient, predictable, and sustained long-term funding
Within international fora, states work together towards different goals they can achieve domestically. Some of the benefits of the MNC engaging in international advocacy include:
- Engaging in international forums presents an additional avenue for raising awareness of issues directly impacting Métis citizens, such as inequities in health, education and economic development.
- Additionally, the Métis Nation has the opportunity to showcase its unique identity, culture, and history, and its successes in affirming its rights
- A primary goal of international engagement is to achieve collective cooperation to solve global economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems. Empowered by international human rights legal frameworks and perspectives, decisions taken at the international level have an impact on Métis living in Canada.
- For example, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007 and the UNDA Act received Royal Assent in Canada in 2021. The UNDA Act has the potential to change the way the Métis Nation works with Canada and presents opportunities to hold Canada accountable and to ensure to recognition of the Métis Nations inalienable rights.
- The MNC’s work internationally on human rights, climate change and economic development ensures that the Métis Nation is participating in finding solutions to global issues.
- The Métis Nation aims to build relationships with other Indigenous Peoples, Non-Government Organizations, and states and entities to advance the rights and interests of the Métis Nation and Indigenous Peoples globally.