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The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the National Government of the Manitoba Métis – also known as the Red River Métis – the origin, root, and core of the Métis Nation. The Red River Métis is Canada’s negotiating partner in Confederation, founder of Manitoba, and the only Indigenous people to create a province, Manitoba, when our Ancestors negotiated the Manitoba Act in 1870.

Today, the MMF continues the legacy of Cuthbert Grant, John Bruce, Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, and the countless other Red River Métis leaders who shaped the Métis Nation and Canada.

Since the time of the buffalo hunt, the Red River Métis utilized the three governance institutions of President, Council (also called Cabinet), and the Assembly. These three institutions have provided the structure for our collective and democratic decision-making since the ethnogenesis of our People. The MMF’s Annual General Assembly (AGA) is a fundamental and traditional component of our governance system.

It is with our past in mind that the founders of the MMF continued to use the Assembly as a forum for our Citizens to come together to receive updates, set priorities, and provide direction to the MMF’s elected officials. The importance of the AGA is echoed by our Local Leaders, our Citizens who dedicate themselves to make the MMF’s AGA the largest Indigenous assembly in Western Canada.

Bringing together various community groups and associations through it’s collective, the MMF was founded in 1967 by a group of forward-thinking Métis leaders to promote the political, social, cultural and economic interests and rights of the Red River Métis. Through the subsequent decades, the MMF continued to grow into one of the most robust Indigenous governments in Canada.

Today, the MMF, with its family of institutions, employs over 1,000 people and provides a variety of programs and services to its Citizens in all walks of life, as it continues to advance the rights and aspirations of its Citizens. From the children and youth, who benefit from the early learning child care programming the MMF has to offer, to our seniors and Elders who benefit from the affordable senior housing complexes that are being built across Manitoba, as well as our Métis Pharmacare Program, also known as our Prescription Drug Program, which helps our Elders in meeting their medicinal needs.

On July 6, 2021, the MMF and Canada signed the Manitoba Métis Self Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement which, among other things, immediately recognizes the MMF as the existing democratically elected government of the Red River Métis collective inside and outside of Canada as well as our democratic institutions, including the Assembly. Then, In June 2023, in the largest Red River Métis event of all time, 4,000 Citizens gathered to unite in a historic vote to unanimously ratify the Red River Self-Government Treaty, which protects our governance rights in Canada’s constitution. The July 2021 signing of the Manitoba Métis Self-Government Recognition Agreement with Canada – which established the MMF as the existing government of the Red River Métis, recognizing our constitution, Assembly, and other governance institutions – set the foundation for the treaty.

This modern-day treaty is the single most important decision the Métis have made since the Red River Resistance formed the Provisional Government in 1869. The treaty is the result of a decade-long step-by-step process of earlier AGA resolutions and agreements, including the 2019 Manitoba Métis Self-Government Declaration.

The Red River Self-Government Treaty is another step in the historic path to protect our rights to self-determination and self-government, cementing the legacy for future generations. This treaty sets the tone for our nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships. Renewing the partnership we sought in our 1870 treaty with Canada, the Red River Self-Government Treaty sets a mandate for Canada and the MMF to conclude fiscal and taxation arrangements. It will allow the national government of the Red River Métis to make constitutionally protected governance laws, which will help us preserve our culture, our ways of doing, and our identity.

The treaty is expected to be ratified in Parliament and become part of Canada’s Constitution in the fall of 2023. The treaty also identifies areas for further negotiations and agreements with the Government of Canada, in sectors such as education, health, families, and children.

The MMF has always stood firm as the protector of the Métis Nation and the defender of the national definition of Métis. We continue to prove that we stand ready to defend the Métis Nation from those attempting to steal our identity and discredit the contributions of our Ancestors. As we strengthen our role as the National Government of the Red River Métis, we will continue to protect our Citizens and our rights across borders now and into the future.