Historic Vote at 94th AGA
Métis Citizens to vote on Constitution this Fall
At the 94th Annual General Assembly in August 2022, delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour of moving forward with a province-wide ratification vote on a draft Constitution for the Métis Nation within Alberta. Read the full news update.
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Over the next few months, the MNA Constitution Commission will host further information sessions to present the draft Constitution. In addition, the MNA will undertake a province-wide information campaign to ensure that all of its 55,000+ Citizens are aware of the ratification vote and have the opportunity to vote via ballot box or online voting.
Honour Our Past. Own Our Future.
Learn About Your Constitution
Métis Nation of Alberta
With the MGRSA signed, we have a clear path for Canada to recognize us as an Indigenous government in federal legislation. One of the steps on this path is to develop a Constitution.
To this end, the Métis Nation of Alberta Constitution Commission (MNACC) was formed in December 2019 with a clear mandate:
- Draft an MNA Constitution based on the MGRSA, past and present citizen engagements, and MNACC research
- Engage with MNA citizens on the draft Constitution
- Oversee the ratification process of the Constitution and the MGRSA
Learn more about the Commission’s mandate and process below.
Meet the Constitution Commission
Meet your Métis Nation of Alberta Constitution Commission (MNACC). Each Commissioner was selected based on their application, background knowledge, and expertise. Their wealth of knowledge and experience will help propel our Nation forward on this self-government journey. The MNACC is an independent body established for the purpose of developing a draft Constitution, conducting consultations regarding the draft Constitution with MNA Citizens, and developing a process for the ratification of the Constitution and the Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement (MGRSA) by MNA Citizens. In fulfilling its purpose, the Commission will engage with MNA Citizens and leadership, conduct research, and engage with experts as needed.
Travis was appointed to the MNACC because of his experience in the areas of legislation and policy. Travis’ first interest in civic engagement came from his participation in the youth volunteer exchange program Katimavik, which brings young Canadians together to learn, exchange culture and language, and help build stronger communities across Canada. He undertook education in justice and received his Bachelor of Arts from Athabasca University to deepen his knowledge of legislation and policy. He has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Saskatchewan, where he received multiple awards for his research work related to Métis adult education. Travis’ professional experience and knowledge in the Social Services Sector within the Government of Alberta include:
· Policy Analyst in the Strategic Policy Unit · Delivery Support in Employment and Financial Support Programs · Project Management in the Strategic Services Division
From these positions, Travis gained experience understanding and developing policy and legislation.
Lisa was appointed to the MNACC because of her vast legal experience and promotion of education. She has a Master of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba and is Senior Partner with Weber Law Office, focusing on civil litigation, Indigenous law, Child Protection, and legislation and policy development. Throughout her career Lisa has held other positions in several areas concerning Indigenous rights and law, including:
· Deputy Chief Adjudicator and Adjudicator for the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement · Registrar of Métis Settlements Land Registry · Vice-Chair of the Métis Settlements Appeal Tribunal
She is a former faculty member with the National Judicial Institute, and has delivered educational programs specifically on Métis rights and perspectives to members of Provincial and Superior Courts throughout Canada. Additionally, Lisa has worked with First Nations in Treaty areas 6 and 8 on developing Child and Family Services legislation. Lisa has also volunteered with End Poverty Edmonton as a member of the Implementation Team, the Alberta Law Reform Institute providing advice on law and administration of justice, and serves as President of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women.
Karen (KC) Collins
Karen was appointed to the MNACC because of her skills and experience working with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the Métis Settlements Transition Commission. She started early in the field of community development with Canada World Youth Exchange Program, learning about a third world model. Karen also learned much from working with members on other boards, such as her brother Andy, who was on the founding Board for Métis Urban Housing and various levels of the Métis Association of Alberta. Additionally, Karen also has extensive experience promoting self-determination and good governance, both with the MNA and other Indigenous organizations. She has held many positions throughout her career, including:
· Policy Analyst – Métis Settlement Transition Commission · Policy Analyst – Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples · Administrator – Elizabeth Métis Settlement · Several political and administrative positions within the MNA
Over the years, Karen has also been very involved with the Aboriginal Friendship Centre movement in numerous capacities, including being the President of the National Association of Friendship Centre, which involved many different areas in Canada.
Bryan was appointed to the MNACC because of his many years of community involvement and commitment to the MNA. He became politically involved at a very young age at the provincial, regional, and local levels. Bryan has a Social Work Degree and has focused much of his career in this area, including:
· Helping develop Métis Child and Family Services in Edmonton · Working on child welfare policies, regulations, and guidelines with the Government of Alberta · Assisted in the creation of Head Start programs in Lac La Biche, Kikino, and Buffalo Lake · Alcohol and drug rehabilitation services in Alberta (Bonnyville, Poundmaker’s Lodge, Kapowin in Grouard, Alberta Mental Health Aboriginal Liaison Services) · Business development, environmental engagements, and working to build self-sustaining Métis Nation communities
More recently, Bryan has been very involved in consultations with Indigenous communities about industry, environment, municipal-Métis Relations, disaster recovery, and supporting Métis Locals. He also sits on the University of Alberta Mental Health Research Team and participates in economic development initiatives with McMurray Métis and Infinity Métis Corporation (IMC), including tourism development with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), as well as working with different Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Regions and Metis Settlements. Bryan is very knowledgeable about the MNA and Métis culture and history. His intent is to always support the best interests of Métis people and communities in their drive for recognition of Métis and self-government actualization.
Audrey serves as the Chair of the MNACC. She comes from a financial background and has been President of the MNA since 1996, the longest serving and only female President in the MNA’s 93-year history. Audrey’s leadership has brought positive growth, progressive thinking, and many successful initiatives for the Métis Nation within Alberta. With her strong Métis roots and knowledge of Métis history, culture, and traditions, she has ensured the protection, promotion, and inclusion of these values. As MNA President, Audrey has always aspired to make the visions of past Métis leaders a reality. This vision is for recognition of Métis self-government – for the Métis, by the Métis. She has diligently worked for many years with other levels of government, through many negotiations and agreements, to finally get Canada to recognize Métis self-government within Alberta. That hard work paid off in 2018 when the MNA and Canada signed the Métis Government Recognition and Self-government Agreement (MGRSA). The MGRSA set in motion the work of the MNACC; to develop a Constitution for consideration by MNA Citizens.
What is a Constitution?
A constitution is like a rule book describing how a nation will be governed – the fundamental law of a nation. A constitution recognizes and protects a nation’s values and is the foundation on which a government is built and how its laws are made. A constitution is a reflection of a nation’s soul. It sets out the essential pieces needed to create and govern a nation. It expresses:
· National values and principles · Citizenship requirements · Rights and freedoms of Citizens · A governance framework · Powers and authority of each level of government · The law-making process · The judicial system to resolve disputes
A constitution can give an Indigenous government the legitimacy and legal tools it needs to provide appropriate health, educational, and social services to its Citizens. With a constitution in place, an Indigenous government can provide a better position for its citizens to pursue long-term economic opportunities.