Species at Risk Act (SARA)
- Foster a cooperative relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation represented by the MNC, to ensure Métis-specific needs, knowledge and input on matters relating to Species at Risk are respected;
- Increase and improve level of awareness of Species at Risk related issues among the Métis Nation through opportunities to network, affiliate, exchange and disseminate information;
- Develop capacity of Métis National Council and Governing Members to be meaningfully involved in Species at Risk conservation efforts.
Convention on Biological Diversity
The MNC CBD Project objectives are consistent with the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity in working toward ensuring the Métis Nation has an opportunity to contribute to discussion on the:
- Conservation of biological diversity;
- Sustainable use of its components; and
- Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources
Climate Change and Air Quality
Métis are concerned with conditions of changing air quality and climate of the Earth. Métis are directly affected by changing atmospheric conditions as traditional land users and an increasing migration to urban centres.
In 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was developed as a non-binding international treaty. Since that time “most countries joined an international treaty — the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. More recently, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures.(United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2011, p. para 1) In 2011, Canada formally withdrew its support for the Kyoto Protocol, but continues to monitor UNFCCC deliberations with a view to participating in a new agreement after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. The Métis National Council has been invited to work with Canada on climate change issues.
Métis need to be active participants in considering the implications of climate change on their lives and culture, as well as contributing to solutions to assist in mitigating potential changes.
- Métis Nation participation in national discussions with Environment Canada on Climate Change and air quality monitoring.
- Métis Nation participation in international discussions on Climate Change through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of which the Métis National Council is a registered member.
- Working with MNC Governing Members to ensure an exchange of information and materials regarding the issues related to climate change, including anthropogenic sources and solutions.
Canada has been active in reducing the use of mercury nationally and has achieved a high degree of success. Mercury is still used in some industrial processes, dentistry (amalgam fillings), and in a vapourous form in some light bulbs (curly bulbs). It is important that Métis people are knowledgeable about the affects of mercury on the human body and the external environment in order to make informed choices and decisions. Internationally, some countries are still actively using and producing large amounts of mercury in emissions (such as from coal-fired energy plants) which subsequently enters the atmosphere and food supply directly affecting human beings. The Canadian Arctic is particularly exposed to mercury pollution. Mercury contamination causes irreversible neurological damage. Individuals who consume food from contaminated areas are at risk, including nursing babies. Subsequently, Métis people need more information to ensure they have the opportunity to protect themselves. Mercury is a substance that exists naturally in small amounts in the environment, but world-wide there is a concern about the mercury cycle, including use, disposal and pollution.
- Métis Nation participation in national discussions with the Government of Canada on issues related to the use of Mercury globally, and the impacts of pollution.
- Working with MNC Governing Members to ensure an exchange of information and materials regarding the issues related to mercury, pollution, and mining and energy.
Canada’s Proposed National Conservation Plan
In 2012, Canada hosted a first Minister’s Roundtable to talk about what a National Conservation Plan needed to consider. The Métis National Council has been invited to participate in this discussion. Métis have a view of what ‘conservation’ means that may be different from how other Canadians define the concept. Brining a unique Métis perspective to this discussion will mean an opportunity for Métis to contribute their views in keeping with Aboriginal rights and traditional land use practices.
The development of a National Conservation Plan was part of the 2011 Speech from the Throne.
- Métis Nation participation in national discussions with the Government of Canada on a National Conservation Plan.
- Working with MNC Governing Members to ensure an exchange of information and materials regarding the issues related to a National Conservation Plan.