SOURCE: Metis Nation of Ontario

Metis Nation of Ontario

August 04, 2015 14:00 ET

Metis Nation of Ontario and Government of Canada Finalize First Crown-Metis Consultation Agreement

Historic Agreement Advances Recognition of Metis Rights in Ontario and Builds on MNO's Proven and Successful Consultation Model

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - August 04, 2015) - Today, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski announced that the MNO and the Government of Canada have signed a historic Crown-Métis Consultation Agreement. This agreement is the 'first-of-its-kind' to be finalized between Canada and a Métis group anywhere in the country.

The agreement sets out a preferred process for Crown consultation between the parties, which relies on the MNO's Lands, Resources and Consultation (LRC) Branch as a 'single window' for consultation notices. In turn, the MNO's LRC Branch works with the MNO's 9 Regional Consultation Committees who ensure meaningful consultation is undertaken with MNO citizens and regional rights-bearing Métis communities. These Committees are made up of Métis leaders who are elected at the local and regional levels, as well as the regional Captain of the Hunt in an ex-officio capacity.

President Lipinski said, "This agreement represents an important step in Canada's recognition of rights-bearing Métis communities outside of the Sault Ste. Marie region, where the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed Métis rights in the landmark Powleylitigation in 2003. The agreement acknowledges that based on credible rights assertions and claims, the Crown's duty to consult Métis communities is triggered in locations throughout Ontario. This is a significant and positive change from past federal policies of denial."

"This agreement also demonstrates the success and credibility of the MNO's unique consultation model, which has been built by Métis for Métis over the last 8 years. With the support and solidarity of MNO citizens and leaders, we have gone from having a system that was ignored by governments and industry to one that is recognized and the envy of other Aboriginal governments. I want to acknowledge the efforts of all the MNO citizens, leaders and staff who have made this happen. It demonstrates what we can do when we work together," added President Lipinski.

President Lipinski also acknowledged the Ontario Government's significant financial investment, through the New Relationship Fund, in assisting the MNO in developing and implementing its consultation model since 2008. The MNO-Canada Consultation Agreement now commits Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to financially contribute to the MNO's consultation model, which is largely supported by the New Relationship Fund.

President Lipinski concluded, "I am optimistic that this agreement signals that the Government of Canada is beginning to realize that it must do more to advance reconciliation with Ontario Métis communities. From the recent Eyford report that made specific recommendations on dealing with Métis rights and claims to the appointment of a Ministerial Special Representative on Métis rights to the upcoming appeal in the Daniels case at the Supreme Court of Canada, it is clear that the status quo is not an option. This agreement shows progress can be made on these important issues, when there is political will."

QUICK FACTS

  • The MNO's consultation model and LRC Branch were first established in 2009 following province-wide community consultations with MNO citizens led by MNO President Lipinski, which resulted in a "What We Heard" report.
  • The MNO's consultation model involves 29 MNO Chartered Community Councils, regionally elected Metis leadership and the LRC Branch as a 'centre of excellence' working together to ensure effective consultation with regional rights-bearing Métis communities throughout Ontario.
  • Since 2008/09, the MNO has received over $15 million from Ontario's New Relationship fund to support its consultation model. In 2014/15, the MNO LRC Branch received and processed over 5,504 consultation notices and leveraged over $2.5 million in additional consultation capacity funding from industry.
  • Since 2009, the MNO has executed over 200 consultation agreements and MOUs with industry, including, impacts and benefits agreements with Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, Detour Gold, New Gold and Canadian Malartic to name a few.

More information on the MNO's consultation model or the agreement is available at : www.metisnation.org. A copy of the MNO-Canada press release is available at: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1014139&tp=1.

Attachment Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2015/8/4/11G049638/MNO-Canada_Consultation_Agreement_-_July_2015-1320799690085.PDF

Contact Information