On December 11, 2017, the Métis Nation of Ontario signed two landmark agreements: a tripartite agreement with the government of Canada and the province of Ontario, and a bilateral agreement with the government of Canada.
The Métis Nation of Ontario is a democratically elected self-government of Métis citizens in Ontario, and has a long history of advocating for and representing Métis interests in the province.
The Framework Agreement between the Métis Nation of Ontario, the government of Canada, and the government of Ontario will establish a process for discussions focused on developing shared and balanced solutions in areas of mutual interest including Métis self-government, health, housing, education and a tripartite consultation protocol. This Framework Agreement builds on the Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Canada and the Métis Nation of Ontario that was signed on February 3, 2017.
The Agreement on Advancing Reconciliation with the Northwestern Ontario Métis Community (“the Agreement”), between the Métis Nation of Ontario and the government of Canada will address the unique history of the Northwest Ontario Métis Community. The latter is itself comprised of four Chartered Community Councils: Sunset Country, Kenora, Atikokan and the Northwest Métis Community. Under the Agreement, Canada and the Northwestern Ontario Métis Community will commit to engage in negotiations regarding the outstanding collective claims related to the Treaty 3 Adhesion of 1875.
The official press release statements of both the Métis Nation of Ontario and Canada include commitments that the rights and interests of other Indigenous peoples, third parties, and all Canadians will be respected and addressed during the negotiations.
The Framework Agreement and the Agreement follow many recent positive political and legal developments for Ontario Métis, including the Prime Minister’s November 2015 mandate letter to now-Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett providing direction for her to advance a nation-to-nation relationship with the Métis Nation, the release of the Issac Report, and the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Daniels v. Canada, 2016 SCC 12.