(Vancouver, BC) BC Métis Federation met with the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Special Representative Tom Isaac today in Vancouver to discussed two items:
- Exploratory talks to build a process on Section 35 Métis rights; and
- Explore ways to advance dialogue on reconciliation with Métis in Manitoba in response to the 2013 Manitoba Métis Federation et al. v. Canada decision of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Special Representative Tom Isaac spoke about the process and mandate currently to meet these objectives. As the Special Representative he will complete meeting with various organizations shortly. He is intending to draft a report by the end of August for submission sometime in September. The report will address a number of items and recommendations and it will be up to the Minister’s Office from AANDC to accept and implement. Given the upcoming fall election the recommendations/report are likely to be responded by December 2015 regardless of the outcomes of the Federal Election.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “These are some of the most important meetings for Métis people in Canada. I can assure our members and partners that BC Métis Federation is strongly advocating to address key issues. We stressed the importance of Section 35 rights to self government, provided a thorough overview of the current negative relationship with AANDC, the importance of supporting community governance, and much more.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry added, “There was considerable time outlining our interpretations of the legal contradictions of key programs aimed originally to support identification of Métis rights holders that has been mismanaged and used as tools incorrectly about Métis identification by specific organizations. The key point that the Government of Canada has an obligation to all Métis people, not just those that are part of certain non profit membership organizations.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “Our leadership and representatives provided key information and historical context. The discussions were constructive and our team felt positive and hopeful about the future. We reiterated the importance is next steps and implementation of any recommendations that are made. We also requested that this process be transparent and that the Minister’s Office release the report when completed to participants. The implementation of Section 35 Métis Rights is of national interest and a process going forward must ensure all Métis people are included and much more work is done to understand the needs of Métis people and communities. I feel strongly that Tim related to the issues well and we are following up with additional information in the hopes that the final recommendations are constructive.”
For more information about the BC Métis Federation view our website at www.bcmetis.com.
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter@keithhenrymetis
You can follow the BC Métis Federation on twitter @bcmetis
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-July-23rd-2015-Metis-Rights-Meeting.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the press release as a PDF[/ilink]