OTTAWA, March 8, 2013 /CNW/ - his morning the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Métis are entitled to a declaration that Canada failed to implement Section 31 of the Manitoba Act 1870 as required by the honour of the Crown. The decision marks the culmination of thirty two years of court action by the Manitoba Métis Federation against the Governments of Canada and Manitoba, seeking fulfillment of the commitments made by Sir John A. Macdonald to the Métis provisional government and its, president, Louis Riel, for a 1.4 million acre land base for the children of the Métis majority in the Red River Settlement. Under the terms of the Manitoba Act, that Settlement became the province of Manitoba.
"Our search for justice since 1870 has been vindicated by the Supreme Court today", declared President Clément Chartier of the Métis National Council. "The entire Métis Nation salutes the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) and its President David Chartrand for pursuing our land claims in the courts since 1981 against all odds".
The decision sets the stage for land claims settlement negotiations between the MMF and Canada. "As the only Aboriginal people excluded from the federal land claims process, the Métis finally have the leverage to start these negotiations," said President Chartier. "It is fitting that the decision comes on March 8, the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Métis National Council, itself an expression of the continuous struggle for justice of the Métis Nation."
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.
SOURCE: Métis National Council
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