MMF passes change allowing citizens to identify as non-binary

·2 min read

The Manitoba Metis Federation has passed a resolution enabling its citizens to identify as non-binary.

The federation is the first Métis Government to do this, allowing Metis citizens to select an alternate gender-neutral option for those who identify as neither male nor female.

Citizens who would like to change their gender identity on their Citizenship or Harvester cards can request to have it reprinted and revised for free.

“This has been a growing development in our government to ensure that no one is left behind. As Metis citizens, we are a strong family-oriented nation. Family is family, and we need to endorse them all,” MMF President David Chartrand told the Winnipeg Sun on Wednesday.

In April, the Government of Manitoba announced it will provide people with the option to select a non-binary sex designation on their birth and death certificates.

In October, the Manitoba Public Insurance changed its rules to allow people in Manitoba to display an 'X' as their gender identifier or to opt not to display a gender marker on their driver’s license.

“Many other governments have begun to shift to this change of gender identity recognition allowing citizens of Canada to identify as gender-neutral or gender 'X',” said Chartrand.

“We thought it was clear for our government that we need to show that same respect to our Metis citizens who are part of the LGBTQ2+ community.”

The MMF has also recently created the first local specifically for Métis LGBTQ2+ individuals in the Homeland: the Two-Spirit Michif Local.

“We have 140 locals in the province that provide guidance and direction to the Metis Nation. These locals are made up of individuals who were not allowed to be themselves or had to hide their identity for fear of repercussion or negativity towards them,” said Chartrand.

“As a Metis government, we want to make clear that our job is to represent and respect all citizens no matter their religion, culture or preference.”

Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun