OTTAWA, Jan. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Tomorrow, the leadership of the Métis National Council (MNC) will respond to the Federal Court of Canada's decision in the legal case initiated by now deceased Métis leader Harry Daniels.
The litigation called the Daniels case will determine whether the federal government has jurisdiction for dealing with the Métis Nation under Canada's Constitution. This case will have significant implications for the more than 400,000 Métis citizens that live within the Métis Nation homeland which spans from Ontario westward.
For generations, the federal government has used a legally unsupportable interpretation of the Constitution Act, 1867 in order to deny jurisdiction and the responsibility to deal with Métis rights, claims and interests, while engaging in negotiation processes with Indians (First Nation) and Inuit peoples. The Daniels case will hopefully end this shameful federal exclusion of the Métis Nation from meaningful processes to address their land and self-government claims as well as end the denial of essential programs and services to Métis citizens.
David Chartrand, Vice-President of the Métis National Council said, "Since Canada's expansion westward, the Métis Nation has struggled against the federal government's denial of its constitutional responsibilities and duties owing to us as a distinct aboriginal people. Instead, for generations, our people have been witness to political game-playing by the Crown in order to avoid dealing with Métis rights, interests and claims."
"In the face of our inclusion in section 35 in the Constitution Act, 1982 and the Métis Nation's decisive victory before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Powley case, the federal government should not be still refusing to engage in meaningful negotiations with us on lands, self-government, rights and desperately needed programs and services for our people. We are optimistic the Daniels case further highlight the federal government's duplicity on these issues. We will also be reviewing the decision thoroughly in order to ensure the Métis Nation's unique rights and interests are protected," concluded Chartrand.
SOURCE METIS NATIONAL COUNCIL