Métis National Council
Having secured a copy of "Reclaiming Power and Place: Executive Summary of the Final Report" from APTN today, the Final Report to be released today does not appear to promise much for the Métis Nation.
While we are hopeful that the Report will serve the needs of the First Nations and Inuit, the Final Report falls far short in terms of addressing the interests of the Métis Nation or its people. While the Report addresses the need to pursue the solutions to the tragic violations against Indigenous women and girls on a distinctions-based approach, it lumps the Métis Nation in a catch-all basket of "Métis and Non-Status Indians".
There is not a single reference to the Métis Nation. There is no reference to its existence as a distinct Indigenous people and Nation and does not address us any differently than First Nations or the Inuit. There is no reference to our distinct language, Michif. No reference to our right of self-determination as a people. No reference to the fact that we have established our own governments. No reference to the fact that we are registering our citizens based on criteria that we as the Metis Nation established. There is no reference to our historic homeland in western Canada. It acknowledges that the Metis have been non-recognized, then in substance repeats the same denials of recognition of our people in the content of its report and in its recommendations
Rather the Report says anyone can self-identify as Métis, that there is no defined Métis geographic homeland and implies that we have no governments, nor any established rights. In the Métis-Specific Calls for Justice, we are dealt with solely in terms of individuals whose issues can be dealt with through programs and services: basically through socio-economic and socio-cultural initiatives, an approach attempted by the federal government in the 1970's and 80's. Rejected then, rejected now!
"It is no wonder that I was not invited to the release of the Final Report" stated President Clément Chartier, "there is virtually nothing in the report that addresses the Métis Nation and its citizens".