Metis re-affirm Confederation Partnership within a United Canada
Wednesday, November 29 2006
The Metis Nation is one of three distinct Aboriginal peoples of Canada recognized under section 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982. The Metis have been a People and a Nation for over two centuries. Our national flag, flown in 1816, is one of the earliest flags indigenous in what is now known as Canada.
Our Ancestors were born from the marriages of mainly Cree and Anishnabe women, and the Scottish and French fur traders. We developed our own distinctive culture and unique government structures with strong democratic traditions. Our traditional territory is throughout central North America from Ontario westward and including parts of the northern United States.
The Metis are the Founders of Manitoba and Partners in Confederation. During the time known as the “Red River” or “Riel” Resistance, the Metis drafted the Bill of Rights and entered negotiations with Canada. The results were a Treaty bringing our extensive traditional lands into Canada, the passing of the Manitoba Act 1870, and the creation of the new province of Manitoba.
The Metis Nation has unique ties of ancestral kinship and shares an economic and political history with the Quebecois. We received strong support from the Quebecois in the turbulent times we experienced following the 1885 Battle of Batoche and the hanging of Louis Riel. Today we continue to respect their aspirations and acknowledge their right as a People to determine their own future. We have faith that they and other Canadians will respect and acknowledge ours.
The recent Commons vote recognized Quebec as a Nation within a united Canada. The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), as the self-government representative for the Metis Nation’s Manitoba Metis Community, thanks Prime Minister Harper, the Leader of the Opposition, and the leaders of the other federal parties and Members of Parliament, for creating a much-needed dialogue on this important issue.
As one of Canada’s founding peoples, we believe self-determination and self-governance are integral parts of the Canadian constitutional framework. We are committed to diversity within a united Canada and the protection of aboriginal and minority rights. We are convinced that all Canadians will work together as partners to meet our constitutional obligations and protect our constitutional rights for the benefit of our children and future generations of Canadians.
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