Since 2007, the Métis Nation of Ontario has worked with its citizens and regional rights-bearing Métis communities to develop a community-driven consultation framework that ensures the Crown fulfills its duty to conduct meaningful consultation with Métis people in the province. That work, which continues to evolve, is guided in part by input and
suggestions from Métis citizens and communities captured during province wide consultations in 2007/2008. The report on these consultations is called Towards a Consultation Framework for Ontario Métis, 2007/2008 Community Consultations; What We Heard Report, and has provided clear direction to the MNO’s leadership on how to move forward.
One of several recommendations in the final report was the creation of a branch within the MNO to support Regional Consultation Committees by providing the technical and scientific expertise needed for meaningful
Métis consultation and accommodation. Through this branch, MNO would grow it’s capacity in policy areas related to land and resources,
including, energy, mining and forestry with a view to increasing Métis participation in these sectors by fostering economic development and resource benefits sharing. Another recommendtation was that this policy work be supported by research aimed at developing a province-wide Métis Traditional Land Use or Métis Way of Life Framework (WOLF) to collect Métis traditional knowledge and help gain a better understanding of Métis interests, rights, harvesting patterns and land use.
The recommendations were adopted at the 2008 MNO Annual General
Assembly/Special Presidents Meeting. As well, an Interim Statement of
Principles and Framework for Métis Consultation and Accommodation was adopted. Together these documents give the mandate for and guide the MNO’s work in this sector.
A branch to focus on work in this area was established and began work
immediately on activities relating to duty to consult. The Branch was
renamed Lands, Resources and Consultations and restructured in 2009 in response to an increase in demand and realignment of priorities
identified at the end of the 2008/2009 fiscal year. Today the Branch is
overseen by a Director, who is supported by two Managers with with
distinct areas of responsibility - Community Relations and Lands and
Resources. Staff throughout the province, provide hands-on capacity and support at the community level on lands, resources and consultation issues.