The Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN-S) fully supports the federal government and its move to work with Métis people to develop legislation that recognizes and embeds Métis rights in the Canadian constitution. The move to draft legislation comes after months of nation-to-nation dialogue on what should be included from coast to coast to coast.
“We are satisfied that the legislation to be brought forward will recognize and reflect our needs,” said Métis Nation–Saskatchewan President Glen McCallum. “We are eager to be part of its drafting and any dialogue rooted in the recognition, protection and affirmation of Métis rights.”
McCallum explained that inter-nation talks have been ongoing since his election in May 2017 with officials representing the office of the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett. The underlying goal is to secure recognition and protection of Métis rights and ensure future generations do not experience the historic struggles of previous generations.
“Since my election, we have been engaged in dialogue with Minister Bennett’s office on how best to serve the needs of the citizens of the Métis Nation and how best to protect the autonomy of our traditional governance system,” he said.
Open and trusting relationships between Métis and other governments are vital in advancing reconciliation of Métis rights, interests and aspirations. McCallum said negotiation and collaboration are preferred to the contentious and expensive litigation that has marred previous nation-to-nation relationships.
“When we reflect on our history advocating for our rights at the court level, and the millions of dollars and hours of effort spent, it is time to move forward and formally recognize our Métis rights in legislation. we have proper recognition. It will create a foundation for self-determination by our Nation, at our own pace.”