Mi'kmaq, Metis agree to address people 'misrepresenting' themselves as Metis

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs and the Metis National Council say they are concerned by the growing number of people "misrepresenting" themselves as Metis.

In a new memorandum of understanding, the groups have agreed to co-operate on the issue, and work together to educate the public about what they call "legitimate Metis Nation and Mi'kmaq issues."

Chief Terrance Paul, assembly co-chairman, says the only Aboriginal rights holders in Nova Scotia are the Mi'kmaq.

Census data show the number of people who call themselves Metis soared nearly 125 per cent in Nova Scotia from 2006 to 2016, according to Statistics Canada, with dozens of new Metis groups cropping up over the same period.

The proliferation of self-reported Metis has emerged as a divisive debate.

Efforts by the new Metis to claim Indigenous rights and use identity cards that appear similar to Indian Status cards fuel a perception that the Aboriginal newcomers are so-called rights grabbers.