The Government of Canada is introducing a Bill enabling Self Government recognition for several Métis Nations, including the Métis Nation of Alberta.
Bill C-53 called “An Act respecting the recognition of certain Métis governments in Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan” delivers on commitments made towards Self-Government Recognition and implementation signed with the Métis Governments in February.
When passed, it will recognize each of its governments as distinct collectives under the Constitution Act of 1982.
“This Bill is a critical step forward in our collaborative work with Métis Nation of Ontario, Métis Nation–Saskatchewan and the Métis Nation of Alberta,” says The Honourable Marc Miller Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.
“These self-government agreements set the foundation for renewed relationships between Canada and each of these Métis Governments and will create new opportunities to build a brighter future for their citizens, however they see fit.”
The Government considers Bill C-53 a key part of Canada’s commitment to work with Métis partners to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In the 2023 federal budget, the Government of Canada committed to concluding self-government Treaties with the Métis.
Crown-Indigenous Relations believes this is a key step to realizing their visions for self-determination and a better future for the citizens and communities they represent.
“For almost a century, our citizens and Métis communities in Alberta have come together, with the vision of Louis Riel in their hearts, to build the Métis Nation of Alberta as their Métis government,” says Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta.
“With the recent ratification of our Otipemisiwak Métis Government Constitution and the formal recognition of our Métis government by Canada, this legislation is vital to putting in place an enduring nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship with the federal Crown through a modern-day Treaty.”
There will be three self-government Treaties in total, one with each Métis Government, which would be protected under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Once all steps are completed, a future effective date for their self-government Treaty must be agreed to by the parties and set by an Order in Council.