“This is an important moment for the Métis of Saskatchewan,” said MN-S President McCallum. “This agreement recognizes that only the Métis government of Saskatchewan and its citizens can define who we are through our laws and ways. This lets us work together with the university in a good way.”
Under the Agreement, the MN–S will assess if individuals meet the criteria for Métis citizenship when applying for Métis based opportunities at USask. This agreement follows calls by the MN-S for academic institutions, industry, and governments to recognize and respect the MN–S’s citizenship process, requirements, and governance institutions. It is also consistent with the University of Saskatchewan’s commitment to Indigenization and reconciliation.
“We believe that a key part of reconciliation is recognizing that Indigenous communities define and verify their own membership,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff. “The university, in signing this document, continues to build on its strong relationship with MN–S by affirming that Métis identity is determined by the MN-S. We are extremely appreciative of the MN–S’s shared commitment to advancing this important work.”
The signing of this agreement is welcome news to Métis members of the USask community following ongoing concerns around the misappropriation of Métis identity in academics. “All Indigenous nations have the right to determine their own membership. When non- Indigenous institutions step forward to recognize this fact – we see real and substantive progress towards true reconciliation,” said Dr. Kurtis Boyer, Faculty Lecturer at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan.
“The Métis Nation–Saskatchewan citizenship registry is a uniquely proven, effective, and secure method of assessing who is Métis in Saskatchewan,” said President McCallum. “The University of Saskatchewan’s understanding of this shows the hard work we have done together, and we expect others will follow this lead. The Métis Nation–Saskatchewan as a government represents the Métis Community in Saskatchewan. It is up to us as the Métis community to recognize our own people and we have both the authority to and means to do so.”