(Edmonton) – The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is consulting with its citizens on a draft Constitution that will modernize its approach to self-government. Following the signing of the historic Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement (MGRSA) in June 2019 with the Government of Canada, MNA embarked on a process leading to formal federal recognition of Métis Nation self-government in Alberta, including the creation of a Constitution. The MNA established a Constitution Commission to prepare a draft Constitution based on feedback from Métis citizens from consultations in 2018 leading up to the MGRSA.
“The next step on our path to federally recognized self-determination is to consult with our citizens on the draft Constitution prepared by the Commission,” said MNA President Audrey Poitras. “Fitting with Métis tradition, we will listen and answer questions and use this feedback to ensure we choose a path forward that best meets the needs of Métis citizens in Alberta.”
Métis self-determination is necessary because, for generations, educational outcomes, employment prospects, and health indicators of Métis in Alberta have fallen shamefully short of those of non-Indigenous Canadians. Métis citizens face systemic disadvantages rooted in colonialism, racism, and indifference. Only a Métis government, recognized on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government level, will be able to adequately respond to the unique needs and ambitions of its citizens.
The Commission is holding a series of roundtables throughout February with existing MNA structures including, MNA Provincial Council, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, youth, women and community members from each of the six MNA regions. Following this input, the Commission will hold public hearings open to all MNA citizens in communities across Alberta, with proper notice being given to ensure a broad consultation.
All consultations will follow public health guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants.
Once all feedback is considered, the MNA will hold an assembly for citizens to review a final draft of the Constitution. If approved, the MNA will hold a province-wide ratification process that will respect Métis customs, practices and traditions.
“Adopting our own Constitution is the realization of the dream that Louis Riel fought and died for,” said Poitras. “His vision of Métis self-government has finally been formally recognized by the Government of Canada, and our Constitution will be the framework for our self-determination. This is an historic moment for all Métis citizens.”