Manitoba Métis Federation citizenship cards to accepted as ID: Province

Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) citizenship cards are now being recognized as a primary form of identification for those looking to buy alcohol or cannabis, or to gamble, the province announced this week.

Premier Heather Stefanson announced Thursday that MMF citizenship cards are now considered official photo identification under the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (LGCA).

An agreement between MMF and the federal government back in the summer of 2021 saw Canada officially recognize MMF as the government of the Red River Métis people, and MMF President David Chartrand had been pushing the province to accept MMF citizenship cards under the LGCA.

Chartrand said in a media release he is happy to see the change made, and called the previous act of not recognizing the cards “discriminatory.”

“The National Government of the Red River Métis is pleased to hear that Manitoba intends to pass legislation to recognize our citizenship cards as government-issued ID,” Chartrand said.

“We look forward to the end of the discriminatory policy that saw our secure and protected IDs disregarded, and we thank Premier Stefanson for her efforts to remedy this discrimination.”

According to MMF, their citizenship cards include secure holographic images displaying the photo, birthday, and other verification information of the holder, and security features that align with “preferred identifications” at retailers.

They are also currently recognized by Elections Canada and Elections Manitoba.

“I am pleased that the LGCA is able to take this important step to update and modernize regulations to recognize the MMF citizenship card as a primary form of identification,” LGCA CEO Kristianne Dechant said in a media release.

“We also understand that not all individuals may have access to identification that is currently accepted by some retailers, and this is another step to removing barriers for Manitobans to access these age-restricted products.”

The province said they will now work over the coming months to fully implement the change in policy, and to educate LGCA employees about the changes.

“Staff at licensed establishments will be trained to recognize MMF citizenship cards to ensure a smooth transition of accepting the new form of identification,” the province said.

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun