Opinions differ over a bill on Métis rights

As Indigenous leaders engage in heated debate over a federal bill that would formalize several Métis self-government agreements, the Liberal minister responsible for Crown-Indigenous relations is expected to face tough questions.

Leaders of Métis groups in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario say the law would open up new opportunities and foster a new relationship with Ottawa.

Conversely, prominent First Nations voices are raising concerns about irreparable harm to treaty rights. They say that with this law, the federal government is essentially giving Métis organizations a blank sheet of paper on which to write contracts without oversight.

Now it is the turn of Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Gary Anandasangaree to answer questions from the House of Commons Indigenous and Northern Affairs Committee, which has been considering Bill C-53 for more than a month.

His appearance comes after weeks of bitter testimony.

Opposition and consultation

The Chiefs of Ontario, a group representing Ontario’s First Nations chiefs, have gone so far as to say that some Métis communities in this province have no historical livelihood and do not meet the legal threshold to be recognized as having rights .

When Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod was asked earlier this month what would make the bill more acceptable, he said the government should do it DELETE the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Tyrone Hodgson

Incurable food practitioner. Tv lover. Award-winning social media maven. Internet guru. Travel aficionado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *