Prior to Canada becoming a nation, the Métis people emerged out of the relations of First Nations women and European men. While the initial offspring of these unions were individuals who possessed mixed ancestry, the gradual establishment of distinct Métis communities, outside of First Nations and European cultures and settlements, as well as the subsequent inter-marriages between Métis women and Métis men, resulted in the genesis of a new Aboriginal people – the Métis.
The Métis people constitute a distinct Aboriginal nation largely based in Western Canada. The Métis Nation grounds its assertion of Aboriginal nationhood on well-recognized international principles, including a shared history, common culture (song, dance, dress, national symbols, etc.), unique language (Michif, with various regional dialects), extensive kinship connections from Ontario westward, a distinct way of life, traditional territory, and a collective consciousness. The definition of Métis as adopted by Métis Nation-Saskatchewan is: “a person who self identifies as Métis, is of historic Métis Nation ancestry, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.”
Métis Nation–Saskatchewan represents Métis citizens living in Saskatchewan. As such, the MN-S strives for the political, legal and constitutional recognition and guarantee of the rights of its People, including the right to a land and resource base, self-government and self-government institutions.
The MN-S exists in part to represent and work for Métis people in their quest for equitable, socio-economic development within the province of Saskatchewan. This includes but is not limited to:
• Advocating on behalf of Métis citizens
• Entering into agreements with industry and the federal and provincial governments
• Accessing resources to carry out projects and activities
• Acting as the administrative body for its citizenry
• Promoting health, education, and governance initiatives.
The role of Métis citizens in governance is to establish, amend and enforce the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan Constitution, to organize Métis citizens in their respective communities, and to participate in nation building in a good way.