"We are Otipemisiwak, the people who own themselves. Our ancestors are watching; our time is now" - Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta
A historic day for the Métis Nation of Alberta citizens, on Nov 1, voting began on a (MNA) Constitution, the next step towards self-government. self-determination, and reconciliation. Approximately 50,000 MNA citizens (16 and over) are eligible to take part in voting throughout November, making this the largest ratification vote in an Indigenous Nation in Canadian history.
Hundreds of MNA Citizens gathered at the BMO Centre in Calgary to celebrate their culture and commence voting. Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Alberta President was there to cast her ballot and give her remarks on the historic event.
MNA President Audrey Poitras speaking at the MNA Constitution Vote (Photo Credits - Daniel Barker-Tremblay)
"In just a moment, I will be casting my ballot, taking part in a truly historic moment", says MNA President Audrey Poitras, "Our ancestors were determined that we would secure the inherent right to govern ourselves, to continue expressing ourselves as Otipemisiwak-which means the people that own themselves - and to protect our traditions, values and truth for generations to come."
MNA President Audrey Poitras casting her vote at the MNA Constitution Vote at BMO Centre (Photo Credits- Daniel Barker-Tremblay)
By ratifying the Otipemisiwak Métis Government Constitution, the MNA will take the final steps towards recognition as an equal order of government within Canada, and the Métis will have increased authority to negotiate their rights and claims. The Otipemisiwak Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement (MGRSA), which formally recognizes that the Métis Nation within Alberta holds the inherent right to self-government recognized by section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982. The MGRSA also sets out a process for the recognition of an MNA Constitution-based on the Métis Nation's inherent right to self-government in federal legislation.
Ratifying the Otipemisiwak Métis Government constitution will open doors with both Canada and Alberta, including:
- A new fiscal relationship with Canada to finally provide Métis-designed supports to citizens in health, housing, language, education, training, economic development, and justice; and,
- Improve the services MNA provides to Métis in Alberta including mental health, supporting those with disabilities, delivering culturally appropriate child and family services, and caring for Elders when they can no longer take care of themselves.
MNA citizens can vote in-person, online, or by mail. Voting concludes on November 30, 2022. Visit MNAconstitution.com for more information.
- Métis Nation of Alberta Constitutional Vote Kickoff @ BMO Centre
- MNA Self Government Implementation assistant Tait Walilko smiling next to "Vote Yes" banner at BMO Centre
- Mariam Ahmad, Research and Project Coordinator for the Health Department at MNA Constitutional Vote
- Madam President of the Métis Nation of Alberta Audrey Poitras and Region 1 President Jim Cardinal at the MNA Constitutional Vote in the BMO Centre
- Métis Nation of Alberta's sign at the MNA Constitution Vote
- Sign of signatures and messages from the Métis Community that Reads "What do you see the Métis Constitution doing for you?"
- Métis voters grabbing the MNA Constitution vote shirts at the BMO Centre
- (Left) Ryan Kindrachuk, Ali Greenslade (Middle) Jenn Pylypiw (Right) vendor for the MNA Environment and Climate Change at the MNA Constitution Vote
- Métis Capital Housing Vendor showcasing housing programs to voter at the MNA Constitution Vote @BMO Centre
- Rupertsland Institute Vendor at the MNA Constitution Vote in BMO Centre
- (Left) Rylee Sargant, Harvesting Administrator and Coordinator, (Right) Beverly Lambert of the Harvesting Department for the MNA at the Constitutional Vote
- Kristen Acunna, Youth Coordinator for the MNA at the Constitutional Vote at BMO Centre
- All smiles at the MNA Constitutional Vote
- MNA President Audrey Poitras speaking the MNA Constitution Vote in BMO Centre
- MNA President Audrey Poitras getting set up to cast her vote at the MNA Constitution Vote
- MNA President Audrey Poitras all smiles after casting her vote on a historic day at the MNA Constitution Vote Kickoff at BMO Centre