Canada and the Metis Settlements General Council moving forward on reconciliation with signing of Memorandum of Understanding
December 14, 2017 Ottawa, Ontario Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership is key to achieving reconciliation.
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and Darren Calliou, Vice President of the Metis Settlements General Council, signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the parties to renew and strengthen the government-to-government relationship and advance lasting reconciliation with the eight Metis Settlements of Alberta.
Canada and the Metis Settlements General Council will now work to develop a framework agreement that will outline the areas for discussion and serve as the basis for negotiations of a reconciliation agreement. This could include identifying socio-economic gaps and improving outcomes for Métis in areas such as health, education, child and family welfare, and Métis rights.
The Metis Settlements General Council represents the Metis Settlements of Buffalo Lake, East Prairie, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, Gift Lake, Kikino, Paddle Prairie and Peavine.
The President of the Metis Settlements General Council, Gerald Cunningham was unfortunately precluded from attending today due to a medical issue.
“The signing of this agreement represents a commitment by the Government of Canada to work with the Metis Settlements General Council to build a new relationship through true partnership and collaboration. This is a key step in our journey together towards reconciliation with all Alberta Métis.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
“As Canada’s 150th year comes to a close and we look forward to starting Canada 151, the Metis Settlements are pleased to start a new relationship with the Government of Canada and to begin a new era between our two governments. There is still a great deal of work to do but this is an important first step.”
President Gerald Cunningham
Metis Settlements General Council
The eight Metis Settlements in Alberta comprise 1.25 million acres collectively with a total population of approximately 8,000 people.
The Metis Settlements of Alberta in their current form were established through provincial legislation known as the Metis Settlement Act by the Alberta Legislature in 1990.
These unique Métis communities were originally recognized by the Metis Betterment Act of 1938.
The rights and interests of third parties, other Indigenous peoples and all Canadians will be respected and addressed during the negotiations.
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
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