Messagepar admin » Sam 14 Avr 2012 00:58

OPEN LETTRE Written in 1992

Senator Thelma Chalifoux
Métis Nation in Alberta
Albert Trail
Edmondton, Alberta.

Dear Senator Chalifoux,

OTIPEMISIWAK, the Confederacy government of the Métis people, the Métis Nation is not a territorial Nation. The Métis Nation is a Nation of Métis people all over Turtle Island. Today, it appears that the Métis people of the west represented by the Métis National Council do not recognize the Métis people of the east. The Métis people of the province of Québec and the other eastern provinces, have a long history of battles for their recognition even before the creation of Canada, the Red River Settlement and Louis Riel.

Today, the Federal government maintain that, Aboriginal peoples not recognized by the Indian Act and the Métis people are not their responsibility. As for the Métis people, the Provinces and the provincial aboriginal organizations and the Métis National Council has always and still denied the existence of the eastern Métis as being part of one distinct Nation of People.

In the eyes of the Métis people of the east, It also appears that AFN and their First Nations, CAP and their Provincial Territorial Offices are more concerned to negotiate self-government agreements that will provide services to Indian act defined Aboriginal people living on or off-reserve. Each one of these organizations claims a group of Indian act Aboriginal people to be their sole responsibility, creating different power base for each of these organisations. None of these organisation are seriously working on Nations building, denying the people they represent a sense of unity among each individual Nation.

As for the unification of the Métis people of the east with the west to build a very distinct Métis Nation in Canada, The Métis National Council is claiming that there is no Métis east of northern Ontario. For them, There is only indians and white in those provinces.

To many of these organization have great difficulty to make a distinction between being of mixed blood and being Métis, because most of the First Nation people of the east are of mixed blood, and that is a reality. they are scare to look at themselves. But who care about a blood quantum, that is not what make a Métis. Being Métis is in your heart and in your mind.

We do not define ourselves as physical entity separate from a spiritual definition. Métis recognize their spiritual duality more than their physical one which is irrelevant for being culturally, socially and psychologically a Métis. Métis are not people of Riel, Riel is from the Métis people, the Métis Nation, like you and me. Riel is not a territory, Riel is an inspiration to a vision, the reality of a prophecy.

We can see very clearly that many Aboriginal people organisations are getting caught up in their own game by playing the Government game. Time and time again during the hearing on the constitution the Métis people, members of the NCC stated very loudly that all treaty and aboriginal rights are not dependent on a card given from the canadian government under the Indian act or First Nation's own definition, or a postal address on or off reserve. It also includes all the Métis people.

Treaty and Aboriginal rights for the Métis people come from our original jurisdiction as Aboriginal people as well as from the council fire of all of our original Nations. In Québec for example, the Métis people are not recognized as a distinct Nation by the provincial government and the Indian act First Nations, because they see us as physical entity, as blood quantum and claim that we all belong to First Nation or that we are French.

Why, because of confusion and misunderstanding of their own cultural and spiritual structure and who the Metis people really are as Aboriginal people.The irony is, that the Metis people of the west are prepare now to do the same.

The Métis people of Quebec, and all the one of the east are not objects of financial trade or last minute trading cards for the survival of political Aboriginal organisations. In the province of Québec and in the other provinces, the Métis people are living Aboriginal people with dreams and aspirations. We are living treaties.

Yes we define ourselves as Métis people, and yes we are Aboriginal people, and the Métis Nation does not make no distinction if you are of mixed blood coming from a third, fourth or even the sevent generation. Do Indian act First Nations and the status Indians represented by AFN, NCC and now the MNC give us any other alternative under the present situation, than to voice our own concerns as Métis people as part of the Métis Nation? Who else will do it.

Yes legally under the present canadian constitution, we are recognized as what we are, Métis people, but no one is listening, but ourselves.

The Métis National Council who claims to represent all the Métis of Canada, could have lead one of the most beautiful and colourful Aboriginal Nations on Turtle Island if they where more visionary and had a greater knowledge of their own history , where they come from and who they are spiritually. The Métis where ever they live in Canada, are the material and spiritual product of the meeting of two worlds of two individual that joined themselves with loved, and did for the purpose of surviving, to constantly be on the move, because they where abused and rejected by each of the nations that they where part of all across Canada.

The Métis of the west, should never forget their own history and what make the Métis so unique, more so when it come to their claims as distinct people. They should never forget their spiritual ties to the claim of the Métis of lower Canada, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edouard Island from which was created the Métis way of thinking and sustained the Métis political philosophy of the western provinces to which was promotes and defended by the Métis family residing and rooted in eastern Canada, families like the Riel, Dumont, Morin, Bohnet, Desmeules, Leclair, Rivard, Chalifoux, Fraser and many others to numerous to mentioned.

The departure of these families from lower Canada, already impregnated of their Métis identity to reach the promise land of Louis Riel, the promise land to be accessible by all the Métis, away from the political restrain that were imposed on the Métis of lower Canada.

Even today the Métis National Council and the National Métis Senate Constitution Commission is still pursuing to create the Otipemisiwak Government for the Métis people without the participation of the Métis people of the eastern provinces. Consultation is going on a territorial definition of the west to establish the Métis Nation Parliament and its constitution which would commit Ottawa and six western provincial territorial governments to negotiate the creation of limited Métis self-governing institutions and the securing of a limited Métis land base.

You stated during the hearings that the Métis Senate is independent of political bodies and is intended to address the Concerns of Canadian Métis community. Then why are'nt you doing hearing in all the Métis community of Ontario Québec, and all the eastern province? Why to refuse the people of the Métis Nations who live east of Manitoba a chance to speak of who we are and provide you recommendations to built our nation from coast to coast. Métis are born every day and what are we going to say to our children and grand children?

The Métis people of the east can only see the Métis National Council position as increasing frustration of being constantly denied treaty and aboriginal rights recognition by the Canadian government and now the Métis National Council and the Métis senate who refused to recognised the historical, cultural and spiritual background that is the foundation of the whole Métis Nation in Canada.

By not including all the Metis people of Canada that are part of the Metis Nation, it is most unfortunate that the Métis organisations of the west, would by the same process demonstrate their willingness to abdicated their original jurisdiction as a whole Aboriginal Nation in Canada, by lowering the Métis Nation to the status of a corporate government in order to negotiate with a selected provincial and territorial governments, a lower level of self-government limited to provincially funded institutions that will provide services on a shoe strings budget rather than implementing a truly national Métis government from coast to coast.

As Métis people of Québec, we are disappointed in the position of the Métis National Council to limit the Métis Government to the western Métis, and we hope it is not their only vision for the Métis Nation, the new Nation envisioned by Louis Riel. We expect from the Métis people to reconsidered the actions of the Métis National Council and the Métis Senate to empowered themselves as Métis to recognize the Métis Nation from coast to cost to become a great united Nation.

If the Otipemisiwak Government claims to be the sole agent for all Métis people of Canada, it must first be publicly recognized by all the Métis people of Canada. Otherwise all the Métis from all the other provinces not included in this government will have no other alternative than to retain their own basis to define their Aboriginal and Treaty rights under a true Métis Government, a true Otipemisiwak government for all the Métis for the whole of the Métis Nation in Canada.

The first choice of the Métis people of Québec and of the eastern provinces is to negotiate with another Nation with full power of one unified Métis Nation, to demonstrate the strength of the Métis Nation from Labrador to British Columbia.

We the Métis people of Québec are part of the Métis Nation in Canada and we believe that the Métis Nation is composed of all the Métis people without exception. We believe that the Métis Nation is inclusive rather than exclusive because we are sharing a communal sentiment and we are united through share history and cultural heritage within a political and spiritual system of our own.

The History of the Métis people is unique in the sense that all the Métis people experience sovereignty in practice. The Métis were never subjugated to human central government as such which determine the destiny of all the Métis people in Canada. However and for their survival, the Métis People always tried to maintained a common bond between themselves or other Nations through upholding the Creator laws.

The fundamental reality underlying our need for a charter for self-determination is that the Métis people are a unique Confederacy of people. Our people are join in a Confederacy of Métis people that form our Nation.

The Métis people, the Métis communities, the Métis Nation, the Confederacy of the Métis people is one sovereign entity which regulate its internal and territorial affairs. Our relationship with other peoples is therefore based on a Nation To Nation principle.

Therefore the Métis Nation being of one Nation of People must exercise its original jurisdiction with its corresponding obligations and responsibilities not only in the west but all over Canada. The Otipemisiwak government must be our vision of unity, respect, sharing and caring for all the Métis people of Canada.

I hope the National Métis Senate Constitution Commission will in equity for all the Métis people of Canada be fair and extend its consultation with all the grass root Métis citizens of Canada away from the restrictive vision of the National Métis Council and the Native Council of Canada to really let the Métis people at the grass root speak freely with their heart and share to the Métis Senate Constitution Commission what a great Nation the Métis Nation will become in a near future as the Otipemisiwak Confederacy government from coast to coast. We must have and share our spiritual and cultural vision to be a great Métis Nation.

We hope to see you soon in the eastern provinces, and if you no longer speak your Mishif language we will be honoured to provide you a translator to talk to the Métis people of Québec who only speak the Métis language .

Claude Aubin
Métis Nation in Québec
Claude Aubin
Métis et administrateur de ce site.

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