Indigenous and Northern Relations

Métis Policy

Manitoba's Métis Policy is based on the findings of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry (AJI) and the recommendation of the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission (AJIC) that, "The Government of Manitoba develop and adopt, with the full participation of the Manitoba Metis Federation, a comprehensive Métis Policy on matters within its jurisdiction."

The AJIC gave three reasons for its recommendation:

  1. Métis were leaders in the creation of Manitoba and it is important to reflect both the historical role and the cultural distinctness of the Métis as one of Manitoba’s Aboriginal peoples.
  2. There is an enduring gap in the quality of life between Manitoba’s Métis and non Aboriginal peoples that will only be closed through better and more-focused programs.
  3. Departments within the Manitoba government have worked with the Manitoba Métis Federation and Métis people to develop and deliver programs over the years, but there has not been any overall plan. Current and future programs could be more effective if they were better co-ordinated.

In 2002, the Manitoba government accepted all of the AJIC recommendations. By 2003, both the scope and complexity of Métis issues and relationships between the Manitoba government and the Manitoba Métis Federation increased significantly. Coming to a mutual understanding of what the Métis Policy should deal with and efforts to define a process of working together were challenged by this extraordinary growth. In 2008, the Manitoba government and the Manitoba Métis Federation formally agreed to work together to prepare the Métis Policy.

Both agreed that the goals of the policy would be to strengthen the capacity of the Métis people in Manitoba to address current and emerging economic and social issues, and achieve greater self-reliance and socio-economic well-being. To do this, the Manitoba government and the Manitoba Métis Federation worked together on the basis of trust and respect, built upon existing partnership relationships and focused efforts on their mutual interests.

The Métis Policy was prepared in a highly participatory fashion. Métis people, organizations serving Métis people, cultural institutions, academics and government officials were all asked for their opinions on it. Their feedback shaped the Métis Policy.

The policy builds on the cultural distinctness of the Métis as a defining feature of Manitoba’s social fabric and the knowledge that enhancing Métis goals and prosperity strengthens Manitoba’s social and economic vibrancy.

Through the Métis Policy, we can ensure that we understand and recognize the Métis for their contributions to Manitoba and to Canada, and create the tools for Métis people to participate fully and benefit equally from what society has to offer.