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

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Who Are Metis?

It takes more than proving a genealogical connection to a historic Métis community and then joining a Métis organization to claim section 35 rights. One must have a "past and ongoing" relationship to a Métis community. The Court identified three main factors by which to identify Métis rights-holders: self-identification, ancestral connection to the historic Métis community, and community acceptance:

  • Self-identification - in addition to self-identifying as a member of a Métis community, identification must have an ongoing connection to a historic Métis community;
  • Ancestral Connection - There is no minimum "blood quantum" requirement. However, Métis rights-holders must have some proof of ancestral connection to the historic Métis community whose collective rights they are exercising. The Court said the "ancestral connection" is by birth, adoption or other means;
  • Community Acceptance - there must be documented proof of acceptance by a contemporary Métis community or organization. For example, if membership to a Métis political organization is used as proof, then that organization's membership requirements and their role in the Métis community will be put into evidence. Evidence must be "objectively verifiable" — meaning there must be documented proof and a fair process for community acceptance. Evidence may also include participation in Métis community activities and obtaining testimony from known Métis community members.

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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
(1982-1984)

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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