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The Métis in Western Canada: O-Tee-Paym-Soo-Wuk

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Metis Rights: Regina vs. Powley

When section 35 of Canada's 1982 Constitution Act identified Métis as Aboriginal peoples of Canada, it gave Métis people distinct rights and constitutional protection. With exception of Alberta — which has set aside land for self-governing Métis settlements and has signed an agreement with Métis Nation of Alberta to legally permit year-round harvesting to Métis rights-holders — the Canadian government and other provinces have done little to legally recognize the aboriginal rights of the Métis.

There have been a number of legal challenges that have tested and challenged the constitutional commitment made to Métis in 1982. For example, in December 1998, a northern Ontario Métis was charged with hunting without a license. Ontario Judge Charles Vaillancourt acquitted this person on the grounds that Métis have Aboriginal hunting rights. This case was precursor to another legal challenge that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1993, Steve Powley and his son Roddy were arrested in southern Ontario for hunting moose without a license and outside the provincial hunting season. They argued that they were acting within their constitutional rights to hunt for food. In section 35, the term ‘Métis’ refers to distinctive peoples who, in addition to their mixed ancestry, developed their own customs, way of life, and recognizable group identity separate from their Indian or Inuit and European forebears." On September 19, 2003 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that indeed, as a Métis, Powley was exercising his Aboriginal rights. The highest court in the land affirmed what Métis have long known they are a distinct aboriginal people with constitutional rights.

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Liens Rapides

Metis Association of Alberta (1932)

Ewing Commission (1934-1936)

The Metis Betterment Act (1938)

The Alberta Federation of Metis Settlements Formed (1973)

MacEwan Joint Metis-Government Committee

Resolution 18 Incorporated (1985)

Metis Settlements Accord Adopted (1989)

Metis Settlements General Council

Metis Rights: Regina vs. Powley

Who Are Metis?

Harvesting Rights for Alberta's Metis

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