Our Moment

 

Welcome to ourmoment.ca. It’s an exciting time for the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan! We’ll keep you updated as our journey to self-government unfolds. Keep an eye on this space for more information!

 

 

Métis Nation–Saskatchewan takes historic step on the path to self-government through official launch of Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif 

 

Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) announced its path for the pursuit of self-government through Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif – the Sacred Document from the Michif. This self-government agreement is a modern treaty being negotiated with Canada and will constitutionally protect the right of self-government of the Metis in Saskatchewan, recognizing its jurisdiction over core governance matters.

Following its withdrawal from Bill C-53 on April 17, 2024, MN–S committed to forging its own path forward. Self-government negotiations have been occurring for more than five years as part of a concerted effort by the Metis government to advance the recognition of its inherent right to self-government and self-determination. On February 24th, 2023 the Metis Nation Saskatchewan Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement was signed and committed Canada and the MN–S to reaching a final, constitutionally protected deal.

Since that time, negotiations have progressed positively. MN–S is excited to discuss with its citizens and communities what a Saskatchewan-Métis-made nation-to-nation agreement with Canada looks like, that respects and reflects Métis identity, culture, values, and language. This process that will occur over several months, led by the Provincial Métis Council and community leaders across the province.

“This is our moment,” said Glen McCallum, President of the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan. “Our Nation has been fighting for Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif  for 150 years. Today, we are one very important step closer to fully realizing our inherent right to self-government.”

“As we embark on this new path to self-determination, our Nation’s values and priorities remain unchanged,” said Michelle LeClair, Vice President of the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan. “Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif places our citizens at the centre of our Nation’s success. By exercising our right to self-determination, we are enhancing our government’s ability to support a healthy, vibrant, and prosperous Métis Nation in Saskatchewan for this generation and the next.”

MN–S will call on citizens to ratify the Sacred Document in Fall of 2024 in anticipation of federal implementation legislation in early 2025.

 

 

 

Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif FAQs

  1. What is a Treaty?
  • In Canada, a treaty is a formal agreement between the Canadian government and an Indigenous government or between the Canadian government and other countries. It is a “nation to nation” agreement. These treaties are legally binding agreements that establish the rights, responsibilities, and relationships between Indigenous nations and the Canadian government. They are considered foundational documents in Canada’s legal and constitutional framework, recognizing Indigenous rights and sovereignty within the Canadian federation.
  1. What is the difference between a historic treaty and a modern treaty?
  • Historic Treaties:
    • Historic treaties, also known as “Numbered Treaties,” were negotiated between the Canadian government and Indigenous peoples in the 18th and 19th centuries.
    • These treaties were primarily focused on the cession of Indigenous lands to the Crown in exchange for certain rights, benefits, and reserves, such as hunting, fishing, and land provisions.
    • Historic treaties often involved large land areas and were negotiated through formal treaty-making processes, often involving oral agreements that were later written down.
    • The terms of historic treaties have been subject to interpretation and legal disputes over the years, with Indigenous peoples often arguing that the agreements were not fully understood or fairly negotiated.
  • Modern Treaties:
    • Modern treaties are negotiated in more recent times, typically from the late 20th century onwards.
    • Unlike historic treaties, modern treaties are negotiated based on contemporary legal frameworks and principles, including constitutional rights and international standards such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
    • Modern treaties are often more comprehensive and detailed than historic treaties, addressing a wide range of issues, such as self-government, resource management, economic development, cultural preservation, and social programs.
    • The negotiation process for modern treaties is often more collaborative and participatory, involving multiple parties, including Indigenous nations, federal and provincial governments, and sometimes territorial or municipal governments.
    • Modern treaties aim to reconcile Indigenous rights and interests with broader societal interests, promoting self-determination and Indigenous governance while also fostering economic development and resource management in a way that benefits all parties involved.
    • Overall, while historic treaties laid the foundation for Indigenous-Crown relations in Canada, modern treaties represent a more contemporary and inclusive approach to Indigenous self-determination, reflecting evolving legal and political realities.
  1. What is the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan Treaty?
  • The MN-S treaty with Canada will be a modern treaty.
  • Our Elders have named it Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif, which means “the sacred document of the Métis”.
  • It will be a nation-to-nation agreement, bound by the honour of the Crown, that recognizes our inherent right to self-government in Saskatchewan and entrenches that right in the Canadian Constitution.
  • The Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif recognizes Métis Nation – Saskatchewan as our government and obligates the Federal Government to recognize our right to self-determination regardless of any extenuating factors such as a change in political power.
  1. What are the steps for Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif?
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif must be negotiated by the MN-S under the direction of the MN-S Minister of Justice.
  • MN-S staff, regional reps, and community leads will be travelling throughout the province to discuss what a modern Treaty means for the Nation and how it will impact citizens and communities.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif must then be supported by the MN-S Provincial Métis Council.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif is then “initialed” by both Canada and MN-S, but isn’t signed yet. Initialing means the document can now be shared publicly.
  • At this point, MN-S staff, regional reps, and community leads will share the document with citizens for closer review.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif must then be passed by the Metis Nation Legislative Assembly.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif must then be ratified by MN-S citizens. 75% of citizens who vote (16 years and +) must vote yes to ratify.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif must then go through the federal parliamentary process to be ratified by Canada.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif is then signed by Canada and the MN-S.
  1. As a citizen, when will I get to see Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif?
  • The documents drafted during self-government negotiations are confidential until they are initialed.
  • MN-S staff, regional reps, and community leads will be present throughout the province this summer to discuss what a modern treaty means for the Nation and how it will impact citizens and communities.
  • Once a draft of Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif has been initialed, we will be sharing it widely with citizens. We expect this to happen in the coming months. Until then, we will regularly be providing information, explanation, and updates.
  1. Is Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif finalized?
    • The document is still being drafted.
    • Engagement sessions will be on the draft, not a finalized version.
    • The Sacred Document will not be finalized until engagements have taken place and citizen feedback has been received.
  1. What does having Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif do for the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan?
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif will recognize MN-S’ jurisdiction over three key areas: our citizenship, our own elections, and our core governance. Currently MN-S is already doing these things, however the Sacred Document means that our government laws can’t be overruled and must be respected.
  • It will allow us to create, manage and control our own institutions, under our own laws.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michifalso guarantees stable funding in our recognized areas of jurisdiction allowing MN-S to be a strong, secure government for future generations.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif will ensure that our funding cannot be cut off or reduced by any sitting federal government.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif will entrench our rights andprovide a pathway for negotiation of future areas of jurisdiction (such as health, child and family services, education and more.)
  • Although Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michifdoes not contemplate land at this point, it commits Canada to working with us to develop a transparent, legal, and thorough path to addressing historic land claims.
  1. How will things change?
  • For years, we have been the forgotten people and gone unrecognized. Our rights have been ignored, our people have been left on the outside, and other governments have denied any obligation or responsibility to deal with us.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif is about our right to self government and self determination and making sure we have the resources to do this the right way. It will then be up to our citizens, our communities, and our government to chart our own path forward based on our own laws, culture, values, identity and language.
  • This will start by strengthening our ability to have a strong, accountable government. MN-S will continue to provide services and supports to citizens while seeking to expand our jurisdiction in critical areas.

 

  1. How does Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif impact the rights and interests of the Métis citizens in Saskatchewan?
  • Under sec. 35 of the Canadian constitution, Metis people in Saskatchewan have collective rights but have historically been ignored. Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif will acknowledge MN-S as the governing body representing our collective rights and MN-S can then negotiate and advocate on our behalf to ensure Métis culture, language, values, and identity are protected and preserved.
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif will not modify, surrender, or extinguish any existing, or future rights for Métis people.
  • It will give MN-S the ability to meet the needs of our citizens without interference. The federal government will no longer dictate our priorities, we will determine them for ourselves by listening to our citizens and advance our programming and services accordingly.
  1. Why now?
  • Our people have been fighting for this recognition for over 150 years and we will not wait any longer.
  • We have been involved in this negotiation process for more than five years. Between 2018 and 2023 we have signed a series of agreements with Canada in pursuit of self-government.
  • The current political reality dictates that now is a crucial time to make this happen for our people and for our future generations. This opportunity may not come around again.
  1. Why is it called Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif?
  • Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif translates to “sacred document from the Michif”
  • Our Elders wanted us to have a way to refer to this important agreement that reflected our unique identity, culture, values, and language as Métis people.
  • Our Elders and Knowledge Keepers were consulted numerous times to discuss the agreement and what it means for our people.
  • Our Elders come from all backgrounds and speak a variety of languages and dialects. They were unanimous in their choice and feel strongly that not only will Kishchi Mashinaayikun Ooshchi Michif be a historic opportunity, its name reflects that importance.
  • On May 14th, 2024, the MN-S PMC voted unanimously to accept the name gifted to us by the Elders.
  1. What led to MN-S’ decision to leave Bill C-53?
  • We are committed to fulfilling Louis Riel’s dream and the dream of generations of Métis people for a self-governing Métis Nation.
  • After more than a year of working in good faith with Canada to pass our self-government legislation, it became clear that the one-size-fits-all approach proposed by the federal government was fundamentally flawed.
  • Louis Riel fought and died for Métis to achieve self-government and it is because of this that we pulled our support for Bill C-53.
  • Instead, we decided to pursue our own agreement that achieves Métis self-government in Saskatchewan on our own terms and in a way that recognizes the unique history and reality of Métis Nation—Saskatchewan and our citizens.

 

For media inquiries:
Rena Montgomerie – MN–S Senior Communications Officer
r.montgomerie@mns.work or 306-250-1092

 

June Consultation Sessions on the Kwayaskastasowin Judiciary Act

It’s an exciting time for Métis rights holders in Saskatchewan as our government comes into its own, realizing Louis Riel’s dream of self-determination. The Métis Judiciary embraces Kwayaskastasowin—setting things right—and we want our laws to reflect this spirit.

Join MN–S Vice President Michelle LeClair at one of three online consultation sessions on the newly proposed Kwayaskastasowin Judiciary Act. Tune in on June 5, 12, or 19 from 6 pm to 8 pm to learn about the Act, ask questions, and provide feedback. To join, simply click the meeting link provided below.

We value your input and look forward to having you at the upcoming online engagement sessions, where your insights will help shape the future of Métis Nation–Saskatchewan.

Zoom links:

June 5, 2024
6 pm to 8 pm
To join the Zoom meeting, click the link below:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88181748437

June 12, 2024
6 pm to 8 pm
To join the Zoom meeting, click the link below:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89931785844

June 19, 2024
6 pm to 8 pm
To join the Zoom meeting, click the link below:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88077211218

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan
310 20th Street East, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0A7
306-343-8285