Red River Métis unanimously accept modern-day treaty with Canada in historic vote

June 3, 2023

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, brought their Citizens together, in-person and virtually, an estimated 4,000, to approve the Red River Métis Self Government Recognition and Implementation Treaty. Indeed, this was the largest Assembly in MMF history. The treaty was unanimously ratified as thousands of Citizens stood up and raised their hand and voted to continue our historic progress forward.

"This vote was as extraordinary as the Assembly itself," said David Chartrand, President of the MMF. "So many of our Citizens have fought along our side, shoulder to shoulder, for decades - some for their whole life - to finally find our place in Confederation. I was so proud to see so many of our Citizens participate in the vote, with a sea of hands raised in favour of ushering in this new era for our Nation - one that was 200 years in the making. I was overwhelmed to see thousands of hands reaching for the ceiling and dancing in the air like prairie grass in a strong wind."

Now, the treaty will go through Canada's ratification process and be introduced to the House of Commons this Fall to solidify its place in legislation and the Constitution of Canada. Once the implementation legislation is passed, the Red River Métis government and our Nation will be enshrined in our country's constitution through this modern-day treaty.

"With this vote, our treaty rights a wrong that took place 153 years ago, when our first treaty -the Manitoba Act - was negotiated and then ignored by Canada. We negotiated this agreement in good faith with Canada, but before negotiations were even complete; Canada backstabbed our Nation," said President Chartrand. "Today, we are another step closer to justice, taking yet another step in restoring our rightful place in Canada's confederation through this treaty may well be the most important thing we've done as a Nation to date."

It is Red River Métis tradition to gather in Assembly to make decisions that affect the future of the Nation, making this vote on the modern-day treaty a direct echo of the way the Nation's Ancestors have always made important decisions.

The vote comes on the heels of negotiations that began in 2016 and three intensive months of consultation with Citizens, both within Manitoba and beyond borders. From Vancouver to Toronto and Thompson to Fargo, Citizens turned out in record numbers to hear about the treaty and provide their feedback and guidance.

"In every consultation leading up to this vote, it was clear that our Citizens recognized the historic nature of this treaty, and fully understood the power it gives to our Youth to shape the path of our Nation in the future, when they become our leaders," said President Chartrand. "It was equally clear that our Elders, seniors and Veterans who fought so hard to arrive at this historic moment were moved to see the progress we've made as a Nation. We are truly standing on the shoulders of giants today, and we have answered the call of our Ancestors to complete what they started. We are Red River Métis and we stand united."


Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis, the origin and core of the historic Métis Nation. The Red River Métis are Canada's Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.

For more information, media may contact:
Kat Patenaude
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation


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