OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - The Métis National Council welcomes the opportunity to have the Supreme Court of Canada make a final determination on the issue as to whether the Métis fall within s.91(24) of the Constitution Act 1867 ("Indians and the lands reserved for the Indians") which identifies which level of government has the constitutional jurisdiction to engage in a government to government relationship with the Métis Nation.
As it did in 1939 for the Inuit, it is our firm belief that the Supreme Court of Canada will agree that the Métis, as one of the three Aboriginal peoples in Canada, recognized as such in s.35 of the Constitution Act 1982, are likewise included in the term "Indians" in s.91(24), confirming that it is Parliament and the federal government which has jurisdiction and responsibility vis-à-vis the Métis.
We look forward to intervening in the appeal and cross-appeal to ensure that the interests of the Métis Nation are properly before the Supreme Court of Canada which in previous cases has shown a deep understanding of the distinctive characteristics and rights of the Métis. We are hopeful and confident that this longstanding issue that has relegated the Métis Nation to a state of jurisdictional limbo will finally be laid to rest and that Ottawa and the Métis Nation can move ahead toward building a stronger Canadian federation.
The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the northern United States. There are approximately 350,000 – 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
Image with caption: "Métis national council (CNW Group/Métis National Council)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141120_C3596_PHOTO_EN_8388.jpg
SOURCE: Métis National Council
For further information: please contact: Ke Ning, Métis National Council, c: (613) 297-5193, e: [email protected]