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  • Writer's pictureOntario Métis Facts

MNO’s 2004 Interim Harvesting Agreement

In 2004, the Métis Nation of Ontario signed a landmark interim Harvesting Agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

The 2004 interim Harvesting Agreement came on the heels of the milestone Powley decision, which recognized the protected S.35 harvesting rights of the Historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis Community and created a legal test—known as the Powley Test—to assess the validity of S.35 rights assertions by other historic Métis communities across the Métis Homeland.

Rather than return to court on a case-by-case or community-by-community basis, MNO and the Province of Ontario entered into lengthy negotiations to recognize Métis harvesting rights in other areas of the province where credible Métis rights assertions were understood to exist. Those negotiations eventually resulted the MNO-MNR Harvesting Agreement (also known as the “Four Points Agreement”) on July 7, 2004.

The 2004 interim Harvesting Agreement was the first negotiated agreement of its kind signed by any Métis Government within the Métis Homeland. It was celebrated by Métis and First Nations leaders alike.

The Four Points Agreement recognized MNO’s Harvesting Policy on an interim basis and provided for the recognition of a maximum of 1,250 Harvesters Cards. The MNO also committed to undergoing a future Independent Review of its Harvesters Card system to verify that Harvester Cards were, in fact, issued to Métis rights-holders. The Independent Review provided a pathway to removing the cap on the number of recognized MNO Harvester Cards and achieving the MNO’s goal of ensuring that Métis harvesting rights were fully respected within the province of Ontario.

Learn more about the MNO’s 2004 Harvesting Agreement in this short embedded video.

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