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Indigenous fraud summit in Winnipeg to discuss Inuit identity, federal legislation

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OTTAWA -

A two-day summit in Winnipeg this week will hear from Indigenous leaders across the country on how they're reacting to -- and can come together to fix -- what they call Indigenous identity fraud.

Co-hosted by the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Chiefs of Ontario, the summit will also include Inuit leaders who have raised concerns about the topic in their respective jurisdictions.

One of the topics up for discussion is Bill C-53, a federal piece of legislation that seeks to formally recognize Metis governments in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The bill is hotly contested by the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Chiefs of Ontario, who say the inclusion of Metis Nation of Ontario threatens their rights -- and who question the validity of the organization altogether.

Metis Nation of Ontario president Margaret Froh has long defended her organization's legitimacy, and says she has been consistently denied requests to meet with First Nations leaders in Ontario to make amends.

The host organizations, meanwhile, say Indigenous identity theft undermines Indigenous self-determination and promotes "a new form of colonialism."

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2024.

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