David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), is furious that Indian and Northern Affairs is looking to employ the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to develop a new unified national system for determining Metis status, as reported by CBC News. As it stands, each provincial organization has different rules on who can claim Metis status.
The CSA’s best known responsibility is setting standards for household products. Chartrand is very worried that giving them the reigns to create a national standard could result in a “watered-down definition of who is Metis” which could negatively impact the years of hard work for Metis people to become recognized as a distinct people within our country.
The notice issued by Indian and Northern Affairs called the Development of a Verification Strategy for Metis Identification Systems calls for a common objective standard for assessing the membership systems of the five provincial organizations in Canada (in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario).