Anishinabek Chiefs-in-Assembly reject the Métis Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement

ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE (June 12, 2023) — The Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly have unanimously passed a resolution on Day 2 of the Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Assembly on June 8, rejecting the Métis Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement between the Métis Nation of Ontario and Canada in its current form.

The 39 Anishinabek First Nations continue to assert that they are the only holders of inherent rights and jurisdiction over their traditional and treaty territories. The Métis Nation of Ontario and the Governments of Ontario and Canada cannot rewrite history to create a narrative of nationhood for the Métis where one does not exist.

“This resolution highlights the importance of understanding treaties as sacred covenants between Nations and the Crown, recognizing the inherent rights and title First Nations,” says Lake Huron Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Travis Boissoneau. “The Métis Agreement commits to granting treaty right recognition to numerous Métis community parties across Ontario without transparency in determining what constitutes a ‘Métis Community’ as per the Powley decision.”

The Powley case emphasized that self-identification as Métis must be genuine and cannot be made belatedly or opportunistically solely for the purpose of benefiting from Section 35 rights.

The Métis Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement lacks consultation with the Anishinabek Nation regarding the granting of treaty rights to numerous individuals across Ontario. The Anishinabek Chiefs-in-Assembly emphasize the need for transparency in determining Métis Community, Métis citizenship, and Aboriginal rights. Once this transparency is established and the nature and scope of any non-constitutionally protected right are justified, there is a duty to consult and accommodate potentially impacted First Nations.

“Canada needs to immediately cease further implementation of the Métis Agreement in its current form. This Agreement is an impediment to our sovereignty and jurisdiction. Meaningful consultations and accommodations with Anishinabek First Nations must occur before the Agreement is considered for adoption,” says Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe. “We cannot allow for unilateral decision-making to erode our sovereign, inherent and Treaty rights and traditional territories. It would be in the best interests of both governments to cease this arbitrary process.”

The Anishinabek Nation remains committed to upholding the rights and interests of its member First Nations across Ontario.