Métis Nation of Alberta prepares for constitution vote


The Otipemisiwak Métis Authorities Structure outlines a governance construction for the MNA in addition to a invoice of rights for members

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Members of the Métis Nation of Alberta will vote subsequent month on a brand new structure because the Nation prepares to enter into self-governance.

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The Nation’s roughly 56,000 members who’re 16 or older are set to vote throughout November on the Otipemisiwak Métis Authorities Structure, which outlines a governance construction for the MNA in addition to a invoice of rights for members.

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The ratification vote follows an settlement signed between the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Authorities of Canada in June 2019, wherein Ottawa acknowledged the Nation has the inherent proper to self-government. The federal authorities additionally inked comparable agreements with Métis Nations in different provinces.

“That settlement set out the method to actually notice the total scope of our inherent jurisdiction and to acknowledge our rights in Canadian legislation, and to verify they’re not diminished by way of colonial legislation,” stated Garrett Tomlinson, the MNA’s senior director of self-government implementation.

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“What the structure actually does is it provides us the flexibility to re-imagine our authorities throughout the spheres and methods we all know our authorities to function in the perfect pursuits of our residents.”

Voting amongst Métis residents begins Nov. 1, and can run all through the month. Tomlinson stated many votes will likely be solid by way of mail-in and on-line balloting, as a result of measurement of the Nation’s inhabitants unfold out all through Alberta, however that in-person voting stations may also be run in 38 communities.

Beforehand, the MNA has existed below Alberta’s Societies Act, laws Tomlinson stated is designed for teams like unions and non-profits, not Indigenous governance.

“One of many key parts is pulling our authorities out of that Societies Act and out of these provincially legislated areas and giving our residents the chance to begin making legal guidelines,” he stated.

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Tomlinson stated the structure in essence will create a brand new fiscal relationship with Ottawa, and can permit the MNA to supply providers to its residents instead of the federal authorities.

He added the vote follows the legacy of Métis political chief Louis Riel, who led resistance actions in opposition to the Canadian authorities to defend Métis rights; he was executed for treason in 1885.

“The historic significance of this complete course of, I can’t understate it. There hasn’t ever been a modern-day treaty or self-government settlement between Canada and the Métis Nation in any a part of the nation,” Tomlinson stated.

“This actually is the place to begin for reconciliation between Canada and the Métis Nation.”


Twitter: @jasonfherring

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