Métis Nation of Ontario Appalled by Decision of Manitoba Court to Dismiss Manitoba Métis Claim - Gives Full Support to Call for Appeal

    OTTAWA, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is
shocked and appalled by the decision of Justice Alan D. MacInnes of the
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, in Manitoba Métis Federation et al v.
Manitoba and Canada. Justice MacInnes dismissed the case that concerns the
massive swindle of Métis lands that were set-aside for them in the Manitoba
Act of 1870.
    "This decision is unbelievable and needs to be challenged", said MNO
President Tony Belcourt. "It is an intolerable dismissal of the facts of
history and we are behind our people in Manitoba in appealing this decision.
We sympathize with the sorrow they must feel after their long struggle to even
get to court in the first place. We are mindful that our constitutional rights
have been recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Powley. We are
certain that on appeal that this decision will not stand."
    "It is astonishing that the courts could rule that one of the Aboriginal
peoples in Canada do not have a land base in their own country," said MNO
Chair, Gary Lipinski. "The courts have it wrong, and this decision needs to be
appealed. We offer our full support to the Manitoba Métis Federation."

    The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture,
language and heritage, and with an ancestral Homeland that centers around
Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, parts of the
Northwest Territories, as well as the northwestern United States. The Métis
played an instrumental role in the shaping of Canada and work tirelessly to
share their culture, music, traditions and knowledge of the environment with
their fellow Canadians. Today, the Métis live, work, raise their families and
pay taxes in communities all across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: see the MNO website at: www.metisnation.org; Or
Contact: Chelsey Quirk, Communications Assistant, Work: (613) 798-1488 Ext.
104, Cell: (613) 299-6085, chelseyq@metisnation.org

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