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(Toronto, ON – July 25, 2023) Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare has released the following statement regarding the passing of Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Resolution #33/23 during the AFN Annual General Assembly (AGA), held on July 11-13, 2023:
“I am pleased to announce that, during the AGA, Chiefs-in-Assembly passed Resolution #33/23, titled ‘Protect First Nations Rights and Interests from Unfounded Métis Rights Assertions,’ with unanimous support from regions across the country,” said Regional Chief Glen Hare. “The passing of this resolution affirms national support for First Nations in Ontario who are being directly and negatively impacted by the unfounded and illegitimate claims of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO).”
Amongst other mandates, Resolution #33/23 directs the AFN National Chief to demand that the Government of Canada cease all legislative processes and negotiations pertaining to Bill C-53. If passed, Bill C-53 will affirm that all Métis Communities Represented by the MNO have the right to self-determination, including the right of self-government under section 35. The legislation will also recognize MNO as a Métis Government and an Indigenous Governing Body.
“As we are seeing unfold publically, Métis organizations across the country are voicing their concerns with the way the MNO is conducting their business and ignoring concerns of First Nations rights-holders. In 2018, the Métis National Council (MNC) passed a motion directing the MNC to establish an expert panel with a mandate to review the history of the seven “historic Métis communities” in Ontario and to address concerns regarding the MNO Registry. To date, there has been no work conducted to satisfy this motion, as has been confirmed by the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and the Métis Nation of British Columbia in recent letters (linked) addressed to the President of the MNO.”
Failure to conduct this review shows that the MNO does not have the research nor the evidence to support the legitimacy of their ‘historic communities.’ The MNO has manipulated census records to support their fraudulent registry and, as a result, it would be unconscionable to make Bill C-53 law. Allowing recognition of and affirming section 35 rights to illegitimate groups will undoubtedly compromise First Nations’ inherent, constitutional, and human rights, including jurisdiction over their territories and inherent rights protected by Treaty. The Government of Canada must cease and desist all negotiations pertaining to Bill C-53 and First Nations in Ontario must be meaningfully consulted and give their free, prior, and informed consent to any overlapping arrangements in their territories.
“As we have reiterated tirelessly, First Nations reject all claims of lateral violence. Our fight is about taking the necessary steps to protect our inherent and Treaty rights. First Nations Leadership does not, and has never, doubted claims of legitimate Métis in this country. However, we remain deeply concerned that the introduction of Bill C-53 opens the door to illegitimate claims to Métis status, not only in Ontario, but across the entire country.”
As has been proven by many First Nations citizens, leaders, and academic experts, the MNO continues to re-cast First Nations’ Ancestors as their own, and are conflating the existence of individuals with mixed ancestry with an entirely separate and distinct Nation of Métis peoples.
“To address President Froh’s comments on July 17, 2023, we do acknowledge that the MNO did reach out to the Chiefs of Ontario a number of times. The Chiefs of Ontario and Ontario First Nations Leadership do not recognize the MNO as a legitimate Nation or organization. We will therefore continue to limit dialogue with them on this matter.
The Chiefs of Ontario will continue this fight until the very end. We will ensure that no stone is left unturned as we, along with First Nations across the country, continue the work to stop this irresponsible and damaging legislation.”
Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare (Gwiingos)
The Chiefs of Ontario support all First Nations in Ontario as they assert their sovereignty, jurisdiction and their chosen expression of nationhood. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @ChiefsOfOntario.
Director of Policy and Communications
Policy and Communications Sector
Chiefs of Ontario
Telephone: (416) 579 4998