The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) has a long history. Since its inception in 1928, it has existed to advocate on behalf of and meet the needs and aspirations of Métis people in Alberta.
The mandate of the MNA is to:
- be a representative voice on behalf of Métis people in Alberta;
- provide Métis people an opportunity to participate in government’s policy and decision making process and, most importantly;
- promote and facilitate the advancement of Métis people through the pursuit of self-reliance, self-determination and self-management.
Overall, the MNA has evolved from an organization:
- with a small membership to an organization whose membership exceeds 35,000 people spread across the Province;
- focused on community consultation and representation to an organization that is both a representative body and a program and service provider;
- responsible for implementing specific projects to an organization responsible for providing ongoing programs and services;
- that simply reacted to government policy changes to an organization that is called upon to actively participate in the policy-making process.
Over the past 15 years, a new set of expectations has been established for the MNA through the:
- Alberta/ MNA Framework Agreement process;
- Federal/ Provincial/ MNA Tripartite Process Agreement process; and
- Government of Alberta’s Aboriginal Policy Framework.
This period has also seen a steady rise in the number of Métis people in the Province who have registered as members of the MNA. Membership in the MNA grew by almost 300% in the last decade. Clearly, more and more Métis people in Alberta recognize the benefits of MNA memberships and the importance of the MNA as an organization.
As well, the MNA has made a transition from solely a representative body to an organization responsible and accountable for the ongoing delivery of a variety of programs and services. The MNA has continued to make significant strides as an organization and has been successful in developing and implementing a number of projects and initiatives (including Apeetogosan Development Inc., Métis Urban Housing Corporation of Alberta and the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreement – Labour Market Unit.)
The MNA has accepted new responsibilities and expectations and is moving towards becoming a more “results-based” organization. It has addressed issues relating to internal governance and has, in turn, developed the administrative capacity to meet the expectations that are placed upon it.
The MNA has proven itself very capable of playing a role in the policy development process. Its elected officials and staff sit on a wide range of committees responsible for an even wider array of issues.
The MNA, like any organization, has gone through a distinct evolution in its history. While it has had to deal with any number of contentious issues over the years, the MNA’s development has been built upon a strong record of successes, often achieved with minimal financial resources.