OTTAWA, Jan. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - On January 8, 2013, the Federal Court Trial
Division released its long-anticipated judgment in Daniels v. Canada. The case was initiated by now deceased Métis Leader Harry Daniels, for
the purpose of forcing the federal government to acknowledge that Métis
people fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government and should
enjoy rights and recognition comparable to First Nations.
"The recognition we received from the Federal Court today, " explained
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski, "is part of what
Métis people have been fighting for since Louis Riel. By acknowledging
that the federal government is indeed responsible for the Métis, we are
that much closer to finding our rightful place within the Canadian
In the ruling, Judge Phelan declared that the federal government has
jurisdiction for Métis under s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. That head of power states that the federal government has exclusive
legislative authority with respect to "Indians, and Lands reserved for
the Indians." This case effectively finds that Métis are "Indians"
within the meaning of s. 91(24). The case also determined that
non-status Indians are "Indians" within the meaning of s. 91(24).
The Government of Canada opposed the claim and the case took 13 years
before today's decision. "It is frustrating," stated Lipinski, "that
the federal government worked so hard to deny its responsibilities but
hopefully with this decision we will see a different approach from
Canada to the Métis." He added: "Because the federal government did not
acknowledge its jurisdiction for the Métis, our progress in areas such
as education and health has not been properly supported and no
mechanism was in place to deal with Métis land claims and other
"We call on the federal government," concluded Lipinski, "to begin
consultations and negotiations with Métis governments. Enough time has
been lost fighting these issues in courts. It is now time for the
federal government and the Métis to work together."
SOURCE: METIS NATION OF ONTARIO
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