Métis Consultation

Learn about basic
Métis Consultation for Citizens

Learn about basic Métis
Consultation for Government and Industry

Consultation Annual Report 2021

MNA President Audrey Poitras – CBC News article

We continue to advocate for our Métis rights in Canada and in Alberta. This includes establishing a consultation policy that ensures our Lesser Slave Lake historical Métis Community is consulted on Land Use decisions that could affect our Indigenous rights.

On September 10th, 2019, Alberta Indigenous Relations informed the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Provincial Council that the development of a Métis Consultation Policy will not be moving forward. Since then, our MNA has been busy. On June 14, 2021, the MNA launched a lawsuit in filing a request for a judicial review against the Alberta provincial government for negotiating in bad faith with the MNA in abandoning its obligation to negotiate with the Métis citizens of Alberta on a Métis Consultation Policy.

The Region 5 Consultation Committee and the MNA believe that an Alberta Métis consultation policy would ensure that our Lesser Slave Lake historical Métis Community would be consulted on Land Use projects which could impact crown lands that could affect our Indigenous right to hunt and fish. The Crown as represented by the government of Alberta has an obligation to act honorably with Indigenous people including the Métis in negotiating and consulting in good faith on issues that would impact them. Today, they are not working with us in good faith.

As your Region 5 Consultation Coordinator, I encourage MNA Region 5 citizens to contact their local Alberta provincial MLA and have a positive conversation in support of the development of an MNA Métis consultation policy with the province of Alberta. If you need further information on this issue on who to contact and what to say, please contact me.

The MNA Region 5 Regional Consultation Committee (RCC) is comprised of Region V President Elmer Gullion, Vice-President Hilda Lambert, Wabasca Métis Local #90 President William Bill Auger, Vice-President Diane Kim Gladue and Slave Lake President Métis Local #19 Shane Combs. As a group, we have met over a dozen times over the past 12-18 months to discuss regional industrial projects, oil company site visits and economic development. When we could not meet face-to-face due to Covid-19 restrictions, we shifted our meetings to phone and later to computer meetings online. This is how we have been doing our business since April 2020. With great relief, we will all be glad to continue meeting in person later in the fall of 2021.

Through August and September in 2020, I arranged consultation and leadership training for members of the RCC and this has been helpful in providing them with an introduction to Métis Consultation and Métis Rights. In the fall of 2021, I plan to undertake a series of meetings/workshops on Métis consultation principles throughout our citizens of the region as well as bring to each community, the storyboard “Elders” project that was developed in Region 5 last fall through the hard work of Métis artist Lorna Dancey.

In early 2020, your Consultation Coordinator Walter and assistant Kristin Fenner gathered Traditional Use Information (TUI) and TUI locations placed on maps from the Métis people in Region V. We travelled to many locations and in total, we met and heard from over 100 people who attended the meetings and many others who gave their time in personal interviews. The work was continued throughout the summer of 2020 with several elders and community knowledge holders in Region 5 met who with Walter in a day-long series of field-based interviews held at several locations within the Region 5.

Margaret Davies at Lesser Slave Lake
Region 5 Elder Herb Anderson near Gift Lake
Slave Lake Local 19 Elder Elmer Kreutzer at Fawcett Lake

We told you last year that MNA Region 5 has been selected by the Métis Nation of Alberta as one of the regions to represent our MNA Credible Assertion Process and Criteria Application (CAPCA) to the Alberta Government Ministry of Indigenous Relations. In developing our CAPCA application, the Region through its contractor developed several maps and wrote a report showing large areas where Region 5 people hunt and where we practice our harvesting and cultural activities. Our information was included in the MNA Credible Assertion application to the government of Alberta in early 2021.

We are continuing to work with TC Energy on their local projects. They have 4 projects on the go in Region 5. They are building a pipeline north of Red Earth this winter and as well put in another short segment in under the Wabasca River using High Density Drill (HDD) methods. Region 5 undertook a site visit for a few days last December (2020) and during February (2021) I looked over the HDD location with a snowmobile and sled. We made some recommendations to TC Energy and between our comments and other Indigenous groups who made some similar observations, TC Energy changed their construction and drilling plan to reduce their construction impacts. TC energy also provided some training to our RCC members in presentation of the technical elements of the HDD work in 2021 via an internet meeting. The work on the Goodfish and Buffalo Creek compressor stations north of Slave Lake is still ongoing but will be completed soon. Lately, TC Energy has been asked by the Government of Canada Major Projects Office to form an Indigenous Working Group (IWG) for the Red Earth Caribou Range and Region 5 will sitting at the table to represent your Métis community.

Skidoo driver in the bush during HDD Site Visit.

I have also been submitting statements of concern to specific Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) projects in Region 5 over the past year. But in most cases because of the red-tape reduction changes under the Alberta Government, and the AER’s resistance to undertaking proper Métis Consultation with your Métis Nation, your representative does not get proper consultation nor time to represent you in discussions with Oil and Gas companies. Our statements of concern are not acknowledged, nor other important issues addressed by the AER for various reasons.

If Region 5 Métis citizens would like to participate in consultation training, field-based studies or if you have any questions on Consultation in Region 5, please call Walter Andreeff at (780) 380-1468. All Métis businesses in Region 5 are encouraged to contact me so we can continue to develop our data base as well as to promote local Métis business with local Oil and Gas industry developers.

We Need You!

We will continue to speak for our rights, learn and share our learning about Métis Consultation and Rights, and listen to our Elders and members. Our region has also been selected to represent our MNA Credible Assertion Process and Criteria Application (CAPCA) to the Alberta Government Ministry of Indigenous Relations.

Consultation work is also ongoing with companies that work within our region. These include TC Energy (whom we see as a favored partner in undertaking consultation), specific Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) projects (although the Alberta Government has tried to resist consultation), and Expander Energy Inc.

Walter Andreeff
Consultation Coordinator

For More Information Please Contact Walter Andreeff