Feds sign self­gov­ern­ment deals with Metis na­tions

The Prince George Citizen - - News -

OT­TAWA (CP) — The fed­eral gov­ern­ment signed his­toric self-gov­ern­ment agree­ments Thurs­day with the Metis na­tions of Alberta, On­tario and Saskatchew­an. The agree­ments af­firm the Metis right of self-gov­ern­ment and for­mally rec­og­nize the man­dates of the Metis na­tions in the three prov­inces.

They fur­ther rec­og­nize the Metis gov­ern­ments’ ju­ris­dic­tion in the ar­eas of ci­ti­zen­ship, lead­er­ship selec­tion and gov­ern­ment op­er­a­tions and set out pro­cesses for ne­go­ti­at­ing more ar­eas of ju­ris­dic­tion in fu­ture.

The agree­ments also spell out the next steps to­ward for­mally rec­og­niz­ing Metis gov­ern­ments in Cana­dian law.

Au­drey Poitras, pres­i­dent of the Metis Na­tion of Alberta, said the agree­ments mark the be­gin­ning of “a true gov­ern­ment-to­gov­ern­ment re­la­tion­ship with Canada based on rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and a recog­ni­tion of our place in Con­fed­er­a­tion.”

“This his­toric agree­ment is a ma­jor step to­ward guar­an­tee­ing our rights to our land, our re­sources, our ed­u­ca­tion and our cul­ture,” said Greg McCal­lum, pres­i­dent of the Metis Na­tion of Saskatchew­an. “It is real progress for our peo­ple.”

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