MP Stubbs Advocating for Local Metis Communities
MP Shannon Stubbs wrote the following letter to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations on the impacts of Bill C-29 on Metis communities:
Hon. Marc Miller, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
10 Wellington St. Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H4
September 14, 2022
I am writing regarding concerns from Metis communities in Lakeland regarding their representation in the proposed Bill C-29.
While there are many groups that must be included in the consultations, I want to again bring to your attention the unique situation of Metis Settlements, which are recognized by provincial statute in Alberta, and are land-based, pay taxes, and have elected councils. There are eight in total, and four are situated in Lakeland. Their needs are different from regionalized Metis organizations and the Metis Nation – so different that in the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs’ Committee Report No. 3: The Effects of the Housing Shortage on Indigenous Peoples in Canada, recommendation 11 calls for the Government of Canada to “recognize the Metis Settlements as distinct entities with unique needs.”
Representation is crucial in reconciliation efforts. Representatives of the Metis Settlements in Lakeland tell me they are abandoned and forgotten by the government – as an example, neither the Settlements nor their governing body, the Metis Settlements General Council, have ever been mentioned in a federal budget. Engaging with the Metis Settlements should be the basic starting point for efforts to advance reconciliation for the thousands of Metis living in these communities.
Bill C-29 is supposed to establish a body that advances Canada’s efforts for reconciliation. This cannot be achieved if groups like the Metis Settlements are excluded from meaningful participation in bodies like the one proposed in C-29. Ensuring there is specific representation of the Metis Settlements in the work of this proposed national council, whether through a seat on the board of directors (which they specifically qualify for under section 12 (a), (c), and (e) and would help fulfill the objectives of sections 11 and 13), specific outreach and inclusion of the Metis Settlements, or in another meaningful way, is key for these communities.
I look forward to your response outlining how your ministry will ensure that the Metis Settlements are represented in C-29.
Shannon Stubbs, MP