Métis Nation of Alberta prepares for historic vote on constitution

The Métis Nation of Alberta may soon have a final plan outlining their rights if citizens approve a constitution in November.

The vote comes after years of consultation and community engagement to create a constitution giving the nation greater authority to negotiate its rights and claims.

« All my life I’ve heard about this point, it’s about being recognized as part of the indigenous people and being able to form our own government, » said Audrey Poitras, president of the Métis Nation of the Alberta, during an interview with CBC. Edmonton AM In Monday.

« If you want to be a government, you must have a constitution designed by our people for our people as to how we will operate, how we will elect our leaders, how we will design and implement programs, and how we will support our citizens in all aspects. »

At the nation’s 94th Annual General Assembly in August, the final version of the Otipemisiwak Métis Government constitution was approved and now awaits ratification.

In November, 56,000 citizens aged 16 and over will be able to vote in person at the polls, by mail or online on the constitution.

The nation is also asking citizens to update their contact information, either by phone or online, so election kits can be delivered to people.

Over the past three years, a constitution commission has worked to conduct a community dialogue with citizens.

The constitution touches on a variety of areas of governance such as the definition of electoral districts, land rights, child services and health care.

LISTEN | President of the Métis Nation of Alberta speaks to CBC Edmonton AM about the fall constitutional vote

7:29The Métis Nation of Alberta is about to create a constitution

After years of consultation and engagement, the Otipemisiwak Métis government’s draft constitution is expected to be voted on by thousands of Métis in November. To discuss this historic vote, Edmonton AM reached out to Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta.

Andrea Sandmaier is Vice-President of Region 2 of the Métis Nation of Alberta, based in Bonnyville, Alberta. She said the vote would be historic.

« I think it’s very important and it will take time for many years, » Sandmaier said.

« Metis citizens of Alberta are seeking recognition, self-government for a constitution, this is exciting. »

Sandmaier is also optimistic about the increased accessibility of services and systemic change once autonomy is again created by the constitution.

« I think family and children’s services will definitely be something that will be important to all Métis citizens of Alberta…as well as things like restorative justice, » Sandmaier said.

Voting will open on November 1 and continue until November 30.

If the constitution is ratified, Poitras said one of the biggest things on the agenda will be a provincial council election to be held in September 2023.

« We believe that what our ancestors started is really important for us to continue, to try to finish, » Poitras said.


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