A message from President McCallum on the Alberta-Saskatchewan Métis Land Claim
To all members of the Provincial Métis Council:
When I was elected as President in May 2017, we assumed office as the leaders of a Nation. You are all aware of the facts that lead to the state of the Nation. As a result of governance challenges our funding was cut. We were forced to be creative in opening our doors again and regain the faith of our people by establishing our Metis Government with structure, process and governance.
I took office knowing the great challenges that awaited us. But I did so with hope firmly in my heart. This hope was born and nurtured in the belief in the strength and resilience of our council, our people and the rightness of our vision for a strong Métis government that could and has improved the everyday lives of our citizens across the province. Our government is more than in name only. We are a government in action. We govern for the good of our people with accountability, transparency, and trust.
In making this hope a reality I also knew we would need to do things creatively. As members of the PMC, we each swore an oath upon taking office. It represents a promise to each other and to our citizens and calls on us to put service to our people first, and to be steadfast in our commitment to our Province, our communities, our people, and our Nation. This oath must be more than words. It must be lived.
As duly elected public officers and appointed Ministers, we are each called upon to work in finding solutions to the complex and varied challenges that face our citizens, our Province and our nation. As your President, I understand fully the scope of the duties placed upon you and the difficulties that meeting them can present.
At the very heart of discharging these sacred duties there is a simple decision to be made every day; whether to stand tall according to the shared principles and values of good governance and solidarity that have brought us to new heights and hold the promise of raising us higher than even we may once have dreamed of or to falter in our resolve and be brought to our knees once again. There are people within and throughout our nation that would see us fail. There are those who would see petty politics, private interests and the preservation of personal power trump these sacred duties and who perceive the strong, democratic and functioning government that we are as a threat. Make no mistake that there are people who would attempt to undermine our structure, bully and manipulate us into making the wrong choice.
These same people will also try to divide us. We have seen recent examples of these efforts. In 1994, our Saskatchewan Metis government filed a land claim related to historic wrongs in our Province and in the northwest. The resolution of this claim forms part of our Framework and our Core Governance agreements signed with Canada and we have a Provincial table to negotiate a fair and meaningful resolution. The recent filing of a competing land claim by others is not about reconciliation or justice, it is disregarding and disrespecting our government structure.
Our people call on each of us to make the right choice every day. Our Nation deserves it and as your President I will accept nothing less from you and from myself. We stand on the eve of realizing the dream for which Louis Riel envisioned, and that our ancestors and our leaders fought and died for. Their blood and their sacrifice demand that we rise each day with the knowledge and determination that today and every day that follows we will continue to walk in the right way, in the right direction, to honour our past, support our present and build our future.
Métis Nation – Saskatchewan Position on the Alberta-Saskatchewan Métis Land Claim filed October 16, 2019.
Download the land claim document here.
Download the President’s letter to the PMC here.