Metis Settlements General Council
The General Council was established to have a land-base in order to provide for the preservation and enhancement of Metis culture and identity, as well as to enable the Metis to attain self-government.
MSGC is the central governing authority of the Metis Settlements. The General Council Assembly is comprised of all eight Settlement councils. Each Council has five members, including the chairperson. The four Executive Officers of MSGC are the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Elected Secretary. They are ex officio non-voting members of the Assembly and are elected to a three year term by the Councils.
The MSGC Board of Directors is comprised of the eight Settlement chairpersons and the four MSGC Executives, who also sit on the Board as ex officio non-voting members.
MSGC makes policies that are binding on the MSGC. Policies are developed in consultation with the Minister of Indigenous Relations, have the same effect as Alberta law and are published in the Alberta Gazette.
Fathers of the Federation
The Fathers of the Federation – Adrian Hope, Maurice L’Hirondelle, Lawrence Desjarlais, Sam Johnston and Richard Poitras – formed the Alberta Federation of Metis Settlements in 1975, creating a working relationship between the Alberta government and the Metis Settlements.
The relationship delved right into improving legislation and promoting self-government. Despite financial difficulties, the determination of their dream drove the Federation to press the Alberta government for funding and, more importantly, a voice for the Metis communities that were established in 1938.
Finally, in 1990, after several years of intense negotiating, the Federation realized their dream when the new Metis Settlements Accord was adopted and ratified by the province.Through the Accord, which provisioned land and self-government, the Metis Settlements General Council was born.
Thanks to the Fathers of the Federation who struggled in the past so our Metis Settlements can have a future.
For a detailed history of the Metis Settlements, please refer to the following document:
Our Land, Our Culture, Our Future
The Metis Settlements General Council creed holds very special meaning and reflects the core values of our people.
The Metis Settlements General Council holds fee simple title to 1.25 million acres of land. To put that in perspective, the land mass of all eight Settlements is comparable to the size of Prince Edward Island. Metis Settlement members have a deep, spiritual connection to the land. It is the foundation upon which our people build their lives and practice their traditions and culture. The land is a gift and our people are trustees who protect it to pass on to future generations.
In the Settlements, distinct and traditional ways of life are practiced by our members. One may find elements of European or First Nations lineages in our culture given the heritage of our people but a distinct Metis Settlements way of life has evolved over centuries. Fiddle music, jigging, hunting, trapping, the Cree language, cultural history and beadwork are all important parts of Settlement life.
Not only do the Metis Settlements have a responsibility to maintain the land and the environment for future generations but, there is a responsibility to protect the land from ever being taken away. There is also a responsibility to use the resources at our disposal to create opportunity and nurture sustainability inside and outside the communities. The Settlements and their leadership build relationships with regional, provincial, and federal partners, as well as private partners in industry and business. Education and health care are necessary to feed the bodies, minds and souls of Settlement members and fundamental to long-term sustainability. The future is secured by protecting the land and culture.