SASKATOON — The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly concluded its two-day fall 2022 meeting over the weekend — Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19 and 20 — and endorsed the stand taken by the MN-S executive of rejecting the Saskatchewan First Act that was introduced earlier this month in the provincial legislature.
The MNLA, the MN-S’ supreme governing body, comprises the Presidents of Métis Locals from across the province and the Provincial Métis Council. The meeting was held at the Prairieland Park World Trade Center Saskatoon Trade & Convention Centre.
The MN-S believes the Saskatchewan First Act ignores the inherent rights of Métis citizens to be consulted on constitutional change that will impact their communities. The MNLA directs the executive to call for the immediate withdrawal of the proposed legislation.
They are also pushing for the Saskatchewan government to honour its nation-to-nation relationship with the Métis people.
“This is the first step, sending a strong message to the province that this document is unconstitutional in every way,” said LeClair.
A report from the Commissioner for the Review of Locals, the adoption of the Métis Vision of Health, an update on Métis Self-Government and Harvesting and the renewed commitment to the north-west land claim, UNDRIP engagements and Métis students were the other vital issues and motions that were brought to the MNLA floor.
The MNLA also expressed their strong opposition to the disposition of Crown Land in Saskatchewan and directed the MN-S to demand the province to stop its unconstitutional nature.
They want the provincial government to develop a consultation protocol that will finally and rightfully respect Métis rights and interests and honour the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
LeClair also delivered the State of the Métis Nation address during the assembly, where Métis National Council President Cassidy Caron was the special guest. LeClair highlighted the vital work underway, and the significant gains made by the MN-S.
“We have made tremendous strides as a nation over the past year, building on our progress over the past decade. We are seeing a new level of respect from our counterparts in Ottawa. Something unimaginable in the past, we are now working in collaboration and partnership to better the lives of Métis in Saskatchewan,” said LeClair
“And self-government, which has been the dream of our Nation for so long, is now nearing reality. We expect legislation at the federal level in the coming months. But the hard work does not end there; your government will continue to fight to ensure that we see a treaty signed between MN-S and Canada, which will ensure that our inherent rights as a Nation are enshrined and protected.”
The Métis Nation government in Saskatchewan also reported that they are in a solid financial position to challenge the provincial government on its duty to consult and move forward on distinctions-based programs and services for Métis citizens in all regions of the province — north, central and south.
The MN–S government continues to seek appropriate partnerships to progress more significant developments for the health and well-being of Métis families.