NAN Statement Regarding the Métis Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement

THUNDER BAY, ON: The Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Executive Council has released the following statement opposing the Métis Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement between the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Government of Canada:

“NAN First Nations are inherent rights holders and Treaty partners with the Crown. It is dishonourable for Canada to recognize Section 35 rights of alleged Métis communities within our territories when our history confirms that no such communities existed. We respect the rights of all Peoples but will not stand for any infringement on our Treaty rights.

We strongly reject the federal government’s assertion that the proposed Métis self-government legislation does not affect First Nations. This is simply not fact. Recognizing Section 35 rights-bearing groups within our territories interferes with, and risks diminishing, our Treaty rights, which are upheld in Canada law. We have never consented to another order of government within our territories, and we will defend our inherent rights and jurisdiction.

This lack of understanding by our federal Treaty partner reflects a similar fundamental misunderstanding of our Treaties. This is the basis of a claim being made by Treaty No. 9 First Nations against Canada and Ontario that prevents Crown governments from regulating Treaty lands without the consent of Treaty No. 9 First Nations. It is disheartening that NAN First Nations must resort to legal action to have their rights recognized and respected.

We fully support Wabun Tribal Council as they fight to protect the risks that the Metis assertion of our traditional territory will bring to Treaty No. 9 and Treaty No. 5 rights. Wabun has been a trailblazer on this issue, and we thank them for their continued dedication. We will continue to support all NAN First Nations’ right to protect and assert rightful authority over their homelands.”

Wabun Tribal Council launched a Federal Court challenge of the February 2023 agreement between the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Government of Canada.

The “Historic Abitibi-Inland Métis Community” final report by Dr. Darryl Leroux in September 2022 discredits claims of a Métis community in the upper James Bay watershed and Temiskaming regions in Ontario.

NAN encourages all members to write their Member of Parliament to express their opposition to this legislation. More information and a letter template are available at:

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790

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