May 25th, 2024

Two-day Indigenous identity fraud summit to kick off in Winnipeg

By The Canadian Press on May 14, 2024.

Metis Nation of Ontario President Margaret Froh, left, and Metis Nation of Alberta President Andrea Sandmaier listen to a question during a news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – A two-day summit beginning in Winnipeg today will hear from Indigenous leaders across the country on how they’re reacting to – and can come together to fix – what they call Indigenous identity fraud.

Co-hosted by the Manitoba Métis Federation and the Chiefs of Ontario, the summit will also include Inuit and Innu leaders who have raised concerns about the topic in their respective jurisdictions.

One of the topics up for discussion is Bill C-53, a federal piece of legislation that seeks to formally recognize Métis governments in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The bill is hotly contested by the Manitoba Métis Federation and the Chiefs of Ontario, who say the inclusion of Métis Nation of Ontario threatens their rights – and who question the validity of the organization altogether.

Métis Nation of Ontario president Margaret Froh requested a speaking role at the summit, but as of Monday her organization was not on the list.

Beyond Métis in Ontario, the summit will also hear about “illegitimate and shifting claims to Indigeneity” in Eastern Canada, according to Inuit and Innu leaders.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2024.

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