SASKATOON, SK, Nov. 27, 2021 /CNW/ - Today, the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) government and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) signed an agreement on Métis citizenship and identity. The agreement will ensure the university will rely on the objectively verifiable MN–S Citizenship Registry to assess eligibility for Métis based opportunities at the university. This is a precedent-setting partnership between a Canadian University and a Métis Government.
"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."
Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) formalized their relationship with a 'Advancing Métis Post-Secondary Education' Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) on November 18, 2019, agreeing to identify common priorities and maximize mutual beneficial opportunities. The MOU is available here.
MN-S and USask remain committed to improving upon university academic programs and services, through a collaborative and co-ordinated partnership for improving university education access, relevance, and achievement of Métis and their communities.
About Métis Nation–Saskatchewan
Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) is the recognized government of the Métis Nation in Saskatchewan. MN-S is built on a foundation of Métis identity, culture, values and language. MN–S works to advance Métis rights and recognition. MN–S represents the political, socioeconomic, cultural and educational interests of more than 80,000 Métis in the province through an elected representative system at local, regional and provincial levels.
About the University of Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan (USask), located in the vibrant city of Saskatoon on Treaty 6 territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis, is leading the way in tackling pressing problems like water and food security. Research, teaching and learning at USask is enhanced by our array of world-class centres and facilities.
SOURCE Métis Nation-Saskatchewan
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