Métis in Saskatchewan withdraw support for Bill C-53

The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and the Provincial Métis Council say they’re withdrawing their support for Bill C-53 – federal legislation that if passed, will provide recognition of certain Métis governments in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The bill, if passed, also provides a framework for the implementation of treaties entered into by those Métis governments and Canada.

“Today, in a historic meeting, the Métis Nation– Saskatchewan (MN–S) Provincial Métis Council (PMC) unanimously passed a motion withdrawing its support for Bill C-53,” a statement from President Glen McCallum, “to pursue direct negotiations with Canada on our self-government Treaty.”

The bill was to give power to Métis groups in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario the power to negotiate with Ottawa on a nation to nation basis.

First Nations in Ontario have been vehemently opposed to the bill saying Métis in the province have no historical presence.

In the statement on Wednesday, the Métis in Saskatchewan called the bill a “one-size-fits-all approach did not recognize the unique context of MN–S and exposed the legislation to legal and political pressures due to outstanding issues in Alberta and Ontario. As a result, the legislation has been stalled,” McCallum said.

“As the Métis Government in Saskatchewan, it is our duty to put the needs of Métis in Saskatchewan first.”

The groups say they’ll now attempt to make “comprehensive Treaty” with the federal government.

“The path to self-government continues to create a meaningful and concrete future for our citizens and the Métis Homeland. MN–S has decided to make creating a comprehensive Treaty, alongside the Canadian government, our top priority,” said McCallum.

“As President of the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan, I remain committed in fulfilling Louis Riel’s vision and dream of achieving self-government for the Métis Nation.”

Will Goodon, the Manitoba Metis Federation Minister of Housing said in a phone call with APTN News that MN-S withdrawing from Bill C-53 is “definitely welcome but kind of surprising at this stage of the game.”

Download (PDF, 239KB)

Editor’s Note: This story was updated with a comment from the Manitoba Métis Federation on April 18. 

Contribute Button