On Friday, Metis Settlements General Council officials and provincial ministers will raise the Métis Settlements Flag in honour of Proclamation Day, November 1st.
The flag will be raised at the Federal Building located at the northeast corner of the Alberta Legislature grounds, in recognition of Proclamation Day’s 30th anniversary.
The date is recognized as a Métis Settlements recognized holiday, celebrating the passing of four pieces of provincial legislation that make up the governing pillars of the Settlements today.
“Today is a historic day for all Metis people to recognize the achieves of our ancestors,” said MSGC president Herb Lehr. “Métis peoples on Métis land, a dream of Louis Riel realized.”
In 1985, the Alberta government passed what was known as Motion 18, a resolution committing the province of Alberta to transfer land title of the then called Colonies, to the Métis people of Alberta and to provide constitutional protection of the lands by means of an amendment to the Constitution of Alberta Act.
This paved the way for the historic 1989 Alberta – Metis Settlements Accord, which passed into legislation 30 years ago on November 1st, 1990.
The accord is comprised of the following legislation: the Métis Settlement Act, the Metis Settlements Implementation Act, the Land Protections Act, and the Amendment to the Alberta Constitution Act.
This suite of legislation replaces the previous Métis Population Betterment Act of 1938. The Metis Settlements Accord provides for the legal transfer of land title to the Métis people, local municipal and traditional style self-government, and establishes eight settlement corporations and the Métis Settlements General Council as legal entities in the province of Alberta.
The 30-year-old Act also establishes the Métis Settlements Appeals Tribunal, which provides a dispute resolution mechanism dealing with membership, land use and resource matters on Metis Settlements.
Also part of the Act is the Subsurface Resources Co-Management Agreement, an agreement whereby the settlements and the province jointly manage oil, gas and other subsurface resources located on settlement lands.