Frequently Asked Questions

Will the Northern Lake Superior Métis region be split from Métis Nation of Ontario?

The path to self governance was agreed to be the Métis Nation of Canada and its five provincial bodies, including the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), in 2017. Since that time the MNO has agreed that the six right-bearing regions are the rightful representatives with unique needs and cultural identities of the Métis citizens of these regions which include the Northern Lake Superior Métis Community. The Métis citizens of the NLSM community have asked for options to self-government and the recommended option for the NLSM Leadership Committee to Self Governance is to remain in the MNO and have an autonomous regional body to set priorities and have regional interest prioritized. Another one of these options is separating from the MNO. All Métis citizens will be able to vote on which path and course to self-government to take, so ultimately it will depend on the democratic wishes of the current 1746 Métis citizens of the region.

What is the definition of Métis in Canada ?

The Métis are a people of North American Indian and European ancestry who coalesced into a distinct nation in the northwest in the late 18th century.The Métis were a prominent and independent people in the 19th century and rose to resist the takeover of their homeland. Unfortunately, the immigration from Ontario, the United States and Europe was too strong and destructive, and the Métis Nation was defeated following a second resistance by Louis Riel.

The Government of Canada has acknowledged the Métis National Council Annual General Assembly unanimously confirmed definition of Métis of 2002 and again in 2013 “a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation and specifically includes those who can trace their heritage back to the Red River.”


How can I get involved in the Self-Government process for the Métis Nation?
You can explore and assert your Métis heritage and citizenship by way of an application and genealogical accounting for your family. This can be done through the Centre du patrimoine and the MNO. You can also attend consultations for the region, and provide your perspective to the NLSMC Leadership Committee to Self Government by email


Will Métis citizens of the Northern Lake Superior Region have to hand in their MNO cards if the NLSM becomes self-governing?

The process for defining and asserting citizenship is included in the definition of a Métis citizen in Canada. Defining the provincial and regional definitions has been a matter of great dispute with the Métis Nation. The recommendation of the NLSM Leadership Committee to Self Governance is that one citizenship card with the Métis Nation Canada definition will be asserted and should you live in the region, the same card will be applied to your citizenship/membership for the region. 


What is the timeline to self-government?

Our current plan “Three Canoes, One River” has a tentative vote set for November 16, 2021. Much work needs to be completed before that vote and input and requests for information from the region’s Métis citizens may change that. Our guiding principle is the 1746 Métis citizens of the region and their unique needs and priorities MUST be met, and further, that the self governance agreement with both the MNO and Canada be agreed to by the 1746 citizens.

Who will decide what areas money is spent on in our region?

The recommendation of the NLSM Leadership Committee to Self Government is for the democratically elected directors and officers of the region to seek Métis citizens’ input and direction for the priority programs and services for the region. The MNO currently administers over 160 programs and services, but not all are a priority for the NLSM region. Through elections, quarterly meetings and feedback the region’s priorities will be set by Métis citizens of the region. In the community consultations of September 7-9, harvesting rights, ensuring mobility and local access, health care, mobile service delivery in all communities (not just Thunder Bay), housing, and fair, responsible and accountable government were all highlighted.

How would self-government be funded?

Métis self-government is the formal structure through which Métis rights-bearing citizens of Ontario may control the administration of their people, land, resources and related programs and policies, through agreements with federal and provincial governments.

What do these acronyms mean?

  • MNC: Métis National Council is the democratically elected body that represents the  Métis Nation, including its Governing Members: the Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Métis Federation, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta and Métis Nation British Columbia, and which is a distinct Aboriginal people—the Métis Nation—that emerged with its own collective identity, language, culture, way of life and self-government in the historic Northwest prior to Canada’s westward expansion following Confederation
  • MNO: Métis Nation of Ontario – The current body which represents Métis citizens and their rights and interests in the Province of Ontario formed in 1993. 
  • MMF: Manitoba Métis Federation is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Federation represents the Métis people of Manitoba and is the vehicle through which the Métis people organize politically, begin to once again manage their own affairs and re-emerge as a dynamic force in Manitoba and Canada.
  • NLSM: The Northern Lake Superior Métis Community is a distinct Métis community that emerged in various areas surrounding the Upper Great Lakes as well as along the waterways and fur trade routes of what is now known as Ontario, prior to the Crown affecting legal and political control in the regions. Canada’s expansion into the historic Northwest, a distinct Métis community developed along the north shores of, and waterways connected to Lake Superior including the inter-connected Métis populations of Michipicoten, Pic River, Fort William, Nipigon House, Red Rock House and Long Lake (the Northern Lake Superior Métis Community). 
  • NSLM Leadership Committee to Self-Government: Northern Lake Superior Métis Leadership Committee to Self-Government is the committee formed when the MNO recognized the Northern Lake Superior Métis region as a rights bearing negotiator to self-government on December 12, 2019 and includes a Chairperson, the Presidents of the three MNO community councils (Thunder Bay, Greenstone and North Superior ), the Captain of the Hunt, a Women’s Representative and Regional Councillor of the MNO.
  • IBA: Impact Benefit Agreements can be an effective way for participants on a project to provide accommodation, although IBAs are separate from consultation. An IBA is an agreement for the proponent to provide benefits to the Métis region in exchange for the Métis’ support of the project.
  • PCMNO: Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario takes its direction from, and reports to MNO citizens at the Annual General Assembly. The PCMNO is composed of a five member Executive, nine Regional Councillors, four Senators, a Youth Representative and a Post-Secondary Representative. Every four years the members of the PCMNO are elected through democratic ballot box elections. The PCMNO assists in the decision-making process and determines priorities for the future.