209 - 2121 Airport Drive
CA S7L 6W5
Métis Nation of Saskatchewan Registry
Métis people and communities have a long history of self-government, from the Great Lakes communities to Red River to Batoche and beyond. Métis governments were also very democratic, whether they were designed to govern the buffalo hunt or created as provisional governments.
In Saskatchewan, the first Métis organization/government was created in 1935 under Joe Ross. This organization was called the Half-breeds of Saskatchewan and was created to help Métis people deal with issues stemming from the Great Depression. In 1937, the organization drew up their first constitution and became officially known as the Saskatchewan Métis Society.
Throughout the years, there have been several Métis governance organizations in Saskatchewan including: the Métis Association of Saskatchewan (1964), which represented northern Métis interests; the Métis Society of Saskatchewan (1965), which represented southern interests and was amalgamated in 1967 with the Métis organization representing the North; the Association of Métis and Non-Status Indians of Saskatchewan (1975); the Métis Society of Saskatchewan (1988); and finally the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (2000). These organizations have been led by many capable leaders including Joe Larocque, Jim Brady, Malcolm Norris, Howard Adams, Jim Sinclair, and Jimmy Durocher.
Métis Nation—Saskatchewan represents the political, socioeconomic, cultural and educational interests of the province’s some 80,000 Métis citizens through a representative system based on 12 regions and approximately 130 Locals.
The fundamental principles which guide the governance of Métis Nation-Saskatchewan are based on the MN-S Constitution, The Métis Act, The Citizens Act, The Boundaries Act, The Senate Act, The MNLA Act, and The Wildlife and Conservation Action.
The governance structure includes the MN-S Senate, and a Cabinet—the Provincial Métis Council—which is composed of the four-member executive, as well as of elected officials from the 12 regions and appointees for women and youth.
MN-S was incorporated in 2000 and since then has worked towards implementing Métis self-government through litigation and strategic partnerships with government.
The Metis emerged as a distinct people/Nation in the historic Northwest during the course of the 18th & 19th centuries prior to Canada becoming a formal nation state. While the initial offspring of these unions were individuals who possessed mixed ancestry, the gradual establishment of distinct Métis communities, outside of First Nations and European cultures and settlements, as well as the subsequent inter-marriages between Métis women and Métis men, resulted in the genesis of a new Indigenous people – the Métis. The definition of Métis as adopted by Métis Nation-Saskatchewan is: “a person who self identifies as Métis, is of historic Métis Nation ancestry, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.”
The Métis Nation grounds its assertion of Aboriginal nationhood on well-recognized international principles, including a shared history, common culture (song, dance, dress, national symbols, etc.), unique language (Michif, with various regional dialects), extensive kinship connections from Ontario westward, a distinct way of life, traditional territory, and a collective consciousness. The area known as the “historic Metis Nation Homeland” includes the 3 Prairie provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and the northern United States.
The Metis are recognized in the 1982 Canadian Constitution “Section 35 (1) the existing Treaty and aboriginal rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed;” (2) In this Act, the aboriginal peoples of Canada includes Indian, Inuit and Metis peoples.”
The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan Citizenship Registry registers eligible Métis persons in the province through a secure, efficient, standardized, and objectively verifiable process. This comprehensive process is the key element from which all aspects of governance and funding flows.
The Registry formalizes and clarifies citizenship requirements and aids in the accurate return of statistical data about Saskatchewan’s Métis citizens. This information provides the basis for meaningful discussion on Métis rights and issues, which will ultimately help to improve the quality of life for all Métis people in the province.
The MN-S Constitutional definition of Métis is utilized in the development and implementation of this objectively verifiable registry.
The Métis Nation is represented through democratically elected governments – the Manitoba Metis Federation, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation British Columbia and Métis Nation of Ontario. These Métis governments are the contemporary expression of the centuries-old struggle of the Métis Nation to be self-determining within the Canadian federation and are the Governing Members of the Métis National Council, the national and international representative of the Métis Nation.
Métis citizens mandate their governments through province-wide ballot box elections held at regular intervals for regional and provincial leadership. They participate in these Métis governance structures by way of elected Locals or Community Councils and provincial assemblies.
Under this distinct system of democratic accountability, MNC Governing Members and the MNC itself have served the Métis Nation well by providing an effective means of representation at the community, regional, provincial, national and international level. As well, the Governing Members have a proven track record in addressing the socio-economic needs of Métis Nation citizens by delivering government programs and services in a fair, transparent, cost-efficient and accountable manner.
The Trudeau government came to power in 2015 committed to renewing the Métis Nation-Crown relationship on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government basis. Canada and MNC Governing Members are negotiating self-government agreements and, under the Canada-Métis Nation Accord of 2017, are co-developing policies and programs to advance socio-economic development and self-determination for the citizens of the Métis Nation.
Metis Nation – Saskatchewan Provincial Citizenship Registry registers eligible Metis residents in Saskatchewan. The Registry process requires a documented connection for the applicant directly back to an ancestor whom was recognized as Metis residing in the Metis homeland prior to 1901. The research by the registry has led to the development of a genealogical collection specifically on the Metis. The collections include public and restricted vital statistics records and church records. There are historical records related to the Metis people of the historical Metis Homeland.