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April 3, 2007
Edmonton… Métis and government negotiators are working to reach long-term Métis harvesting agreements by July 1, 2007, that will accommodate Métis rights to hunt, trap and fish in Alberta.
The Alberta government is negotiating with the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) and the Métis Settlements General Council (MSGC) to achieve mutually beneficial, long-term agreements that will balance the Métis right to harvest with responsible wildlife management. The long-term agreements will replace interim agreements entered into in September 2004.
The Alberta government set an expiry date of July 1, 2007, to terminate the interim agreements, and all parties are committed to reaching long-term harvesting agreements over the next 90 days.The 2003 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized a Métis right to hunt for food. “We must continue to work together to determine who may exercise that right and where,” said Guy Boutilier, Minister of International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations. “An environment of certainty is important to the Métis people and to all Albertans. We all need to agree on what the rules are.”
Negotiations on the long-term agreements began in 2006 after the release of the MLA Committee Report on Métis Harvesting. Negotiators have made significant progress on several issues identified by the MLA Committee report and in the recent court decision.
“The MNA is committed to working in partnership with the Alberta government to continue to accommodate Métis harvesting in this province,” said Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta. “We are optimistic that we can achieve our collective goal of a new agreement in the next 90 days. This will provide greater confidence and certainty for Métis exercising their harvesting rights in Alberta.”
During the negotiation period, all parties agree to respect the terms and conditions in the interim agreements, including conservation and safety requirements.
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Media enquiries may be directed to:
Jason Gariepy, Communications
Alberta International, Intergovernmental
and Aboriginal Relations
Cell (780) 720-7008
Métis Nation of Alberta
Cell (780) 965-3649
President, Métis Settlements General Council
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