Above: L-R: Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations; Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta; Audrey Poitras, President, Métis Nation of Alberta; Karen Collins, Executive Secretary, Métis Nation of Alberta
– GOA Photo
by Morinville News Staff
The Alberta government and the Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA) have signed a new 10-year framework agreement designed, the province says, to “sustain an enduring, collaborative relationship and promote the social and economic well-being of Metis Nation of Alberta members.”
The government says the new agreement with the 33,000-member MNA, also represents a commitment on behalf of the government to work with the MNA to clarify and define how to work together on a nation-to-nation basis.
“Metis people have a long and proud history in Alberta,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a release Wednesday. “The agreement we sign today is an important step in our journey of reconciliation, one that moves us forward with respect for our heritage and an unwavering belief that, together, we can make life better for Alberta’s Metis people.”
The jointly-developed agreement emphasizes recognition, respect, and co-operation, and reflects the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) principles.
The government says the agreement supports the unique needs and aspirations of MNA members by focusing on four key areas.
In addition to further clarifying and strengthening the nation-to-nation relationship, the agreement will focus on supporting recognition and respect of Metis rights and promoting reconciliation.
Priority areas identified by the Metis Nation of Alberta included environment and climate change, education and training, health and wellness, women’s issues, economy and employment, housing and infrastructure, and culture and heritage
“The signing of this agreement signifies that our continued journey for the recognition of Metis rights is being acknowledged by the Government of Alberta with the nation-to-nation approach that this agreement entails,” said Metis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras. “We also are looking forward to working together to build a strong working relationship, as well as a strong Metis Nation.”