The founder of the Métis Nation of Ontario says he’s hoping a federal law that will allow it and two other nations’ self-government powers will pass to that Métis and First Nations can start building a nation-to-nation relationship.
The proposed law has been a major point of contention for a number of First Nations in Ontario who argue the MNO doesn’t have treaty rights in the province.
And according to the Manitoba Métis Federation, the MNO and its counterparts in Alberta and Saskatchewan, have a legitimacy issue with its members.
But Belcourt told a federal committee on Friday that the registration process is sound.
“The MNO registry requires those who register to provide evidence that they are a descendant of a historic Métis community and that registry has been reviewed many times for its veracity and validity,” he said.
But Linda McVicor of the Animkee Wa Zhing First Nation in northwestern Ontario told the same committee the proposed law shouldn’t pass.
She said the MNO are “misrepresenting themselves” and passing the bill would make a mockery of her community along with other treaty rights holders recognized under the Constitution.
“You can’t talk about treaty without talking about a land base,” she said.