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Métis Nation of Ontario and Canada sign agreement to advance Métis rights

The two parties agree to establish discussion framework by September, which will make way for formal discussions.
Margaret Froh, president of the Métis Nation of Ontario, lauded a new memorandum of understanding with the federal government that outlines measures to move toward reconciliation. Photo supplied

The Métis Nation of Ontario and the Government of Canada have signed an agreement that outlines how the two can advance reconciliation.

The memorandum of understanding is the first step in setting up a framework for discussion, which the two parties have agreed to complete by September 2017. The framework will then establish a formal negotiations process around such issues as Métis self-government, lands, rights, and outstanding claims against the Crown.

“Today, we celebrate this new relationship — one based on respect and recognition,” said Margaret Froh, president of the Métis Nation of Ontario, in a Feb. 3 release.

“I thank the minister and the Government of Canada for their strong leadership on advancing reconciliation with the Métis Nation of Ontario through this nation-to-nation, government-to-government agreement that further solidifies a strengthened relationship with Canada.”

The MNO said the agreement follows recent positive political and legal developments for Ontario Métis, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s November 2015 mandate letter to Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett providing direction for her to advance a nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship with the Métis Nation, the release of the Isaac Report, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada's landmark decision in Daniels v. Canada that was released in April 2016.

“Congratulations to the Métis Nation of Ontario on signing a Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Reconciliation,” Bennett said in the release.

“This is an historic step forward in achieving lasting and meaningful reconciliation on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government basis for the benefit of the Métis Nation of Ontario and all Canadians.”