June 2019

Self government

Historic self-government agreements signed with Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation of Ontario and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan

OTTAWA, June 27, 2019 /CNW/ – Today, the government of Canada continued its commitment to renew nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships with the Métis, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, signed Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreements with the President of the Métis Nation of Alberta Audrey PoitrasPresident of the Métis Nation of Ontario Margaret Froh and the President of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan Glen McCallum.

These agreements affirm the Métis right to self-government and recognize the mandates of the Métis Nation of albertathe Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. The agreements also set out the next steps to formally recognize Métis governments as Indigenous governments in Canadian law.

While the Métis Nation of albertathe Métis Nation of Ontario and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan already have well-established provincial governance structures, the agreements signed today address recognition of Métis jurisdiction in key areas of governance (citizenship, leadership selection and government operations). They also set out the processes for negotiating other agreements in other jurisdictions in the future.

A fundamental part of this process will be the Métis Nation of albertathe Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan undertakes extensive outreach and consultation with its citizens to further the implementation of Métis self-government.

The parties also commit to continue to develop shared and balanced solutions that advance reconciliation, enhance community well-being, and respect the rights and interests of all Canadians.


“By signing these historic agreements today, our government is taking a fundamental step in advancing reconciliation and transforming our relationship with the Métis Nation of albertathe Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. We are committed to advancing self-determination by strengthening our government-to-government relationships. »

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett, MD, PC, MP
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“This is a historic day for the Métis Nation of Alberta. Since 1928, our people have fought with passion and determination for this recognition as the government of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Today marks the beginning of a true government-to-government relationship with Canada based on reconciliation and recognition of our place in the confederation. »

President Audrey Poitras
Métis Nation of alberta

“Our communities and leaders have worked tirelessly for decades to recognize Métis rights and self-government in Ontario. The NMO fought for recognition of Métis rights and won the landmark Powley decision in the Supreme Court of Canada. By signing this Self-Government Agreement, we have taken an important and historic step for the Métis Nation of Ontario, our citizens and our communities. We look forward to continuing to advance our government-to-government relationships with Canada and with Ontario, based on the recognition and respect of our inherent rights to self-determination and self-government. Our Métis citizens and communities will rise to the exciting challenge of developing an authentic, visionary, responsive and accountable 21st century Métis government that will serve our citizens and communities for generations to come. »

Margaret Froh
President, Métis Nation of Ontario

“Today is a day to celebrate the heritage of our Métis ancestors and the future of our children. For more than a century, our people have fought – figuratively and literally – for recognition, respect and a rightful place in Canadian society. This agreement recognizes our people’s right to self-government and a true nation-to-nation relationship. We are able to stand today because we stand on the shoulders of giants and on the cusp of a brighter tomorrow.

Glen McCallumPresident
Métis Nation-Saskatchewan

Fast facts

  • Section 35 of from Canada Constitution Act 1982 recognizes the Aboriginal rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
  • The Supreme Court of from Canada 2003 Powley decision was the first major Aboriginal rights case that set out the criteria for Métis rights under section 35.
  • Accelerating the formal recognition of Métis self-government was a priority identified in the Framework Agreements for Advancing Reconciliation signed by Canada and each of the Métis Nation of albertathe Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan in 2017-2018.
  • Today’s announcement marks a key milestone in ongoing negotiations to advance reconciliation under these framework agreements.

Related links

Métis rights
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Métis Nation of alberta
Métis Nation of Ontario
Métis Nation-Saskatchewan

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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)

For further information: media may contact: Matthew Dillon-Leitch, Director of Communications, Office of the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, [email protected]; Rolando Inzunza, Director of Communications and Citizen Engagement, Métis Nation of Alberta, 780-455-2200, ext. 395; Marc St. Germain, Communications Manager, Métis Nation of Ontario, 613-798-1488, ext. 119; John Fenton, Director of Media Relations, Navigator, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, 416-642-5228

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Self government

60th Anniversary of Self-Government: Singapore’s Pre-Independence ‘National Day’

SINGAPORE: Everyone knows that August 9 is Singapore’s national day, when the country comes together to celebrate independence. But for a few years before 1965, it took place on a different date.

For older Singaporeans, June 3, 1959 was that day to remember. It was at this point that Singapore adopted its own constitution and became a self-governing internal state for the first time in its history (the British still had the final say on external matters, namely defense and foreign affairs. ).

In fact, the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) recorded this momentous day as “the creation of a nation”. It is written on its website: “On June 3, 1959, the 1.6 million people in Singapore woke up to a new beginning – as people of a fully self-governing city-state under the British crown. “

The day was also immortalized through the famous music video of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s catchy “Merdeka” call.

Historian Albert Lau told CNA that self-government, while not yet independent, was a milestone in Singapore’s constitutional development.

“Achieving self-government sent an important signal that Singapore still needed new momentum to achieve its goal of freeing itself from colonial rule,” said the associate professor at the National University of Singapore. .

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also made mention of this historic day during last year’s National Day rally, saying, “Nationally, Singapore’s politics have been fiercely opposed, on different visions of the future. of the colony. In 1959, Singapore gained internal autonomy, a big step forward. towards independence. “

On the 60th anniversary of Singapore’s pre-independence national day, CNA looks back on some of the key events and quotes that shaped its significance.


The general elections held in 1959 were to determine who would lead Singapore into this new period of internal autonomy, but they were also important for another reason: it was the first time that voting had been made compulsory.

Nanyang Technological University assistant professor Ngoei Wen-Qing told CNA that this was the time when “mass politics” reached Singapore.

According to the Chronicle of Singapore, a book published in association with the National Library Board of Singapore, 51 seats were nominated in this election, and the PAP ran against groups like the People’s Alliance of Singapore (SPA), led by Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock, the United Malaysian National Organization (UMNO) and the Workers’ Party founded by David Marshall, the Chief Prime Minister of Singapore.

Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in his memoir, The Singapore Story, said polls closed at 8 p.m. on May 30 and the vote count started from 9 p.m. before ending at 2:45 am the next morning.

In the end, PAP won 43 of the 51 contested seats, while SPA won four – including Lim’s successful contest against Marshall at Cairnhill – and UMNO won three. Independent AP Rajah won the remaining seat.

“The people’s verdict is clear and decisive. Nothing more can be added to it. It is a victory of good over evil, of the pure over the dirty, of righteousness over evil. – PAP Secretary General Lee Kuan Yew, quoted in Chronicle of Singapore.


Immediately after the election victory, Lee and his colleagues focused on the release of eight men associated with the PAP who had been detained under the Preservation of Public Safety Act. This meant that Mr. Lee and his cabinet would not be sworn in until June 5.

The Singapore Chronicle reports that the eight men were CV Devan Nair (Singapore’s third president), Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan, S. Woodhull, Chan Thiaw Thor, James Puthucheary, Chan Chong Kin and Chen Say James.

They were union leaders who were among 234 people detained by the government in 1956 following the Chinese high school riots. They were finally released on June 4 – 31 months after being detained.

In his memoir, Mr. Lee explained why the release of the Eight took precedence over the swearing in: “We had thought before the election and concluded that Lim Chin Siong and his company should be released from prison before we took office, otherwise we would lose all credibility.

This was reiterated by Dr Ngoei: “The PAP, before the 1959 elections, pledged to have them released. And once they won this election, Lee Kuan Yew delayed taking office in order to obtain this release… so it is important for the credibility of the PAP.

Sir William Goode, Singapore’s last governor who went on to become its first Yang di-Pertuan Negara (head of state), disagreed with the delay, especially after Lim Yew Hock resigned his post as chief minister once he found out his party had lost the election. But Mr. Lee held on.

Sir William, however, would not wait. He published in the Gazette and brought the new constitution into effect on June 3, Lee said in his memoir.

This is why there was a delay between the recognition of Singapore as a state with internal autonomy on June 3 and the swearing-in of its new leadership on June 5.

Dr Ngoei said this turned out to be “good policy” on the part of PAP.

“It was good policy that the PAP was trying to press so that it separates the release of detainees as a topical event from the constitution being enacted, and identifying the enacted constitution with the will of the people as well. than the victory of the PAP, “he explained.

S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies principal researcher Kwa Chong Guan went further, saying that the day was one of those “turning points” that could have given Singapore’s political and historical development “quite a turning point. different “if Sir William had not done so. accede to Mr. Lee’s request.

“I again countered that we were not to be sworn in until June 5, after Lim Chin Siong, Fong, and the other six pro-Communists were not only released but duly issued a statement publicly endorsing the non-Communist goals of the government. PAP.

“I wanted this endorsement to have full media coverage; so we would only take office on the afternoon of June 5th so as not to compete with him for the headlines. – Mr. Lee in The History of Singapore


The PAP formed Singapore’s first fully elected government and the nine-member Cabinet was sworn in on June 5.

  • Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister
  • Toh Chin Chye, Deputy Prime Minister
  • Ong Eng Guan, Minister of National Development
  • Goh Keng Swee, Minister of Finance
  • Ong Pang Boon, Minister of the Interior
  • KM Byrne, Minister of Labor and Law
  • Ahmad Ibrahim, Minister of Health
  • Yong Nyuk Lin, Minister of Education
  • S Rajaratnam, Minister of Culture

They were sworn in at a closed-door ceremony held at Town Hall by Sir William. According to Mr Lee, Sir William arrived at the scene “nothing more formal than a light tawny suit and tie” while the Cabinet wore “white open-necked shirts and pants”.

The swearing-in room was “bare except for a table and a few chairs” as there was no time for decorations, he added.

In addition to an important step towards full independence, the events of June 1959 “also mark the rise of the PAP to political power in Singapore”, underlined the NUS Assoc Prof Lau.

The celebrations for this pre-independence national day took place from 1960 to 1963, according to the National Library Board.

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