MÉTIS NATION-SASKATCHEWAN FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT – FAQ – JULY 17, 2018
Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation – what does that even mean!
Read on to find out
Also it’s between Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and Government of Canada
Q: Who came up with the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation?
A: The Agreement was developed jointly by the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada in an historic step for the two governments. It’s the start of a process, a process that requires input from Métis Nation membership.
Q: What is Framework Agreement for?
A: The Framework Agreement sets up an effective forum for engagement and dialogue to work through the long-standing issues of Métis rights as Indigenous peoples under Section 35. Examples include land claims, land related issues, governance, protection of culture, and redress of past wrongs such as the residential school as well as working in collaboration to develop programming for Métis people. It’s about willing partners talking about tough issues and coming up with solutions TOGETHER.
Q: Why do we need the Framework Agreement?
A: We know our history, we often end up in court more than we need to. Métis have had to fight in the court system on an individual basis or on a Nation basis, for example the right to hunt and gather on Crown lands. This has been an extremely expensive process in both money and time. The Framework Agreement is intended to provide a collaborative forum to finally work together to resolve these matters.
Q: Who will pay for this?
A: Under the Framework Agreement, the Government of Canada will provide funding specifically for this nation-to-nation initiative. This includes engagement with each other – within our governing members, with our members – its going to be about talking in a good way about our history, our experience and our knowledge, listening to each other and hearing each other will lead to common solutions for all. There will be no discussion about us without us and the same goes for our Nation. The money for this Agreement will not come out of the operating budget and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan will not be financially burdened in this arrangement.
Q: When will the Framework Agreement be implemented?
A: Work on implementing the Agreement begins immediately upon signing. The work is ongoing and there are clauses in the Framework Agreement that allow both sides to stop and do a check in. Métis people at the Region and Local level will see the first engagement actions as early as autumn 2018.
Q: Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns?
A: Broad engagement with Métis is necessary for the Agreement, so events will be held across the province and widely advertised at the Provincial, District and Local levels. Plans are underway to allow input and feedback through other channels such as online forums. Métis citizens can always reach out to their representatives or Provincial Métis Council
Q: Why wasn’t I consulted on this Framework Agreement?
A: This is just the start. We needed a starting point and we negotiated priorities which are listed on the Framework Agreement and now we start the work of addressing them with your voice and your experience and solutions.
Q: What is Section 35? And why is it mentioned so much?
A: In 1982, leaders for the Métis Nation stood up to Canada and made it clear we are a founding part of this country and our rights need to be protected. Section 35 refers to the following Section in the Canadian Charter:
35.1 The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.
35.2 In this Act, “aboriginal peoples of Canada” includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
35.3 For greater certainty, in subsection (1) “treaty rights” includes rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.
35.4 Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.
Q: I keep hearing there is gag orders and non disclosure agreements and citizens are being kept in the dark and our rights are being sold out, is this true?
A: Our rights are not being sold out, the process has just been started. In fact this framework acknowledges that the Métis have rights and provides a framework to talk about what those rights are. MN-S will talk to you and get your feedback and experience before anything is negotiated. There are a lot of checks and balances in the Framework for both parties. The confidentiality that preceded the document was about protecting the dialogue so that discussions about setting up the framework could take place. It was not about selling out our rights.
Q. NorthWest Métis Settlement is mentioned in the Agreement? How come? What about the others?
A: The NWMS is an important land claims case in which a Statement of Claim was issued in 1994! It is significant and involves the Métis homeland and is critical to acknowledge. The framework also acknowledges the need to have discussions on any other land claims as well.
Q: Is this the Prime Minister’s Rights and Recognition Framework, because I heard it’s a sell out?
A: This is our process, and it prioritizes the most important matters that must be discussed with our citizens and the government. It is where we want to move as a Nation.
Q: I don’t know, seems suspicious.
A: We have come a long way in one year – from a Nation that wasn’t functioning to one that is putting strong governance in place and that has negotiated an historic Framework agreement which lays the ground work for future discussions on important issues that will benefit our people. Our Nation – our government has also negotiated other MOU’s in health and education for example that will benefit Métis people in Saskatchewan. It is now very important that you provide us with your thoughts, experience and solutions throughout the engagement process. We will only succeed if we have your help. We are a nation and the more we pull together the stronger we will be.