Archived Métis Rights Publications
Posted on: Aug 12, 2015
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Archived Media Releases & Memos
MEMORANDUM: Daniels v. Canada
TO: MNA Citizens
FROM: President Audrey Poitras
DATE: April 23, 2014
RE: The Daniels Case – Daniels v. Canada
I am writing you today to celebrate the April 17, 2014 decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the Daniels v. Canada case.
Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act (1867) identifies that the federal government has exclusive legislative authority with respect to “Indians, and Lands reserved for Indians.” This decision upholds the decision of lower courts and confirms that Métis are, for jurisdictional purposes, “Indians” within the meaning of section 91(24).
While I do applaud this decision I want to emphasize to you this does not change who we are as individual Métis citizens or collectively as a Métis Nation. The issue of jurisdiction is an important one for us as citizens of the MNA, but it does not change who we are culturally, socially, or politically.
I am also pleased that this decision recognized Métis to be a distinct Aboriginal people and that it did not contravene the Supreme Court of Canada decisions in Powley, Cunningham or Manitoba Métis Federation decisions in this regard.
I do not expect that there will be an immediate change to programs and services that will be made available to Métis nor do I expect the federal government will immediately begin offering any type of benefits to Métis that they currently provided to Inuit and First Nations.
However, what I do expect is this decision will serve as a call to action for the federal government to come to the table and to deal with the Métis Nation on a government to government basis to reconcile past injustices and the exclusion of Métis from federal programs that are offered to First Nations and Inuit.
I encourage the federal government not to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court and to sit down with the Métis Nation leaders and carve out a win-win scenario not only for Métis but all of Canada.
This decision did not uphold the ruling of the lower court in regard to non-status Indians are “Indians” within the meaning of section 91(24).
In closing, I would like to thank the late Harry Daniels for leading this fight and for initiating this court action in 1999. This decision is a positive benefit for all Métis people and I believe we should all pay tribute to Harry Daniels and his family for pushing the agenda on Métis rights and recognition.
President, Métis Nation of Alberta
Budget Announces Funding to Study Impact of Supreme Court Ruling on Métis Aboriginal Rights
Published April 4, 2004
OTTAWA (ONTARIO) – The Honourable Denis Coderre,, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians and lead Minister for Canada’s Urban Aboriginal Strategy, applauded Tuesday’s budget announcement, which allocated $20.5 million to further facilitate a response to last fall’s Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Métis rights in R. v. Powley. Minister Coderre, who has responsibility for leading and coordinating the Government of Canada’s response to the Supreme Court decision, indicated that this announcement has been received in a positive light by Metis people and groups across the country. To read more click here (pdf).
“We Won!” Métis Rights upheld by Supreme Court, Interim President Poitras calls the decision “A great victory for the Metis Nation”
Published September 19, 2003
OTTAWA, ON (September 19,2003) – In a landmark decision the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the lower courts judgments in the Métis harvesting rights case, R. v. Powley. The Supreme Court recognized that the Aboriginal rights of the Métis exist. Interim President and Spokesperson for the Métis National Council, Audrey Poitras said, “The highest court of this land has finally done what Parliament and the provincial governments have refused to do and have delivered justice to the Métis people.” In a press conference carried live across Canada Interim President Poitras said, “To all the Métis people watching I want to say two words: We won. We won!” To read more click here (pdf).
Ontario Métis Community Given Right to Hunt
OTTAWA – Canada’s top court has ruled that an Ontario Métis community has the aboriginal right to hunt for food, a decision seen as a first step toward granting full hunting rights to the community. The Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision was specific to the Métis in Sault Ste. Marie. The 9-0 ruling said that resident Steve Powley and his son Roddy have the same hunting rights as a full-status Indian. The Powleys had been charged under a provincial law with hunting moose without a licence. Status Indians are permitted to hunt for food without provincial licences and out of season.