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'Such a proud day': Red River Metis vote on historic modern-day treaty

It was a historic day in Manitoba.

From across Canada, an estimated 4,000 Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) citizens showed up in person or online for an extraordinary general assembly.

There, they voted on a modern-day treaty between Red River Metis citizens and the Crown.

The treaty was unanimously ratified. "So many people, just so proud and just hugging each other," said MMF president David Chartrand. "Smiles and pride, everywhere to each their own just bursting. It's such a good day, such a proud day."

Areas covered under the treaty include child and family service agreements, Metis recognition guidelines, and healthcare.

"We will establish our own laws. We have our own harvesting laws today. Our laws will then enshrined into protection of the constitution," Chartrand said.

Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg president Damon Johnston is glad to see the MMF's work come to fruition. "They're a huge step forward because you move from being either a charitable and non-for-profit, to a government," he said.

Johnston added this treaty gives hope to others.

"So it raises the bar in terms of the relationship between ourselves and Indigenous peoples and governments," said Johnston.

The treaty solidifies the self-governance of Red River Metis people, something that was first attempted when the province of Manitoba was created.

Now, 150 years later, this treaty puts the Red River Metis on equal footing with the province of Manitoba when it comes to the federal government.

Chartrand said either the Prime Minister or a Minister of Indigenous Relations will come to Manitoba in September to sign the treaty.

The MMF previously signed a self-governance agreement with the federal government in 2021. Top Stories

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