Engagement with Citizens to Date
After the Métis Nation of Alberta signed framework agreements with both Canada and the province of Alberta in 2017, allowing for formal negotiations towards government-to-government, nation-to-nation relationships, the MNA launched its engagement on self-government with citizens at the Youth and Seniors Symposium in Edmonton on January 20, 2018.
2018 Self-Government Engagements
Throughout February and March 2018, additional engagement events were held in Calgary, Grande Prairie, Lac La Biche, Bonnyville, High Prairie, Lethbridge, and Edson. The dates and locations were chosen by Provincial Council members in each region.
The purpose of the engagement events was to receive input from citizens about key values and principles related to self-government. Because the new constitution must be developed and ratified by citizens, this input will guide the drafting of a constitution.
The MNA heard from over 600 people and each interactive workshop combined technology and traditional methods to gather valuable perspectives. Short videos were shown about Métis self-government and the constitution. Following the videos, MNA staff presented a slideshow providing further context about Métis self-government. The workshops also included an interactive clicker presentation that polled the people in the room and displayed live results.
Based on what we heard from citizens at these engagement sessions, four major themes emerged:
- Governance: We need a government that is accountable and representative. The government needs to create laws and policies reflecting our unique identity, values, and needs.
- Rights: We need to continue to protect and exercise our land, resources, and self-government, and assert our rights; all are fundamental reflections of our identity, culture, and sustainability.
- Well-being: The unique opportunities and barriers we face need to be reflected in culturally-appropriate services and programs (e.g. health and seniors care, education, child welfare, justice).
- Identity: We need to celebrate and protect what it means to be Métis, through citizenship, language, and culturally-appropriate education.
2018 Annual General Assembly Resolution
It was during the 90th Annual General Assembly in Lac La Biche (August 9-12, 2018) where citizens passed an Ordinary Resolution on self-government, which stated the Métis Nation of Alberta proceed with drafting a constitution that will be reviewed and refined by citizens through ongoing engagement.
2020 COVID-19 Halts Engagements
In December 2019, the Métis Nation of Alberta Constitution Commission (MNACC) was formed and work began on the MNA’s draft constitution. The MNACC is mandated to draft a constitution, engage with MNA citizens on the draft constitution, and oversee the constitution and MGRSA ratification process.
Public engagements to gather feedback on the draft were initially planned to start in 2020, but in March, the world came to a dramatic and sudden stop due to COVID-19. Although this delayed public consultations until the next year, it allowed the MNACC to refine the draft and ensure all protocols protecting the health and safety of citizens were followed once engagements resumed.
2021 Virtual Public Engagements Begin
In February 2021, virtual roundtables began between the MNACC and citizens. A total of 13 roundtables were held via the online platform Zoom with citizens representing each of the six MNA regions, as well as Youth, Elders, MNA affiliates, and Women. Each roundtable reviewed the draft constitution and provided feedback on each chapter. The MNACC will then update the draft based on what was heard at the roundtables and will present this new draft to citizens through provincewide consultations for more input.
The next round of citizen engagements will be focused on the draft Constitution. Learn more about the MNA Constitution.
Métis lawyer Jason Madden kicked off the consultation series with an
in-depth presentation on self-government for the Métis Nation of Alberta.