A MESSAGE FROM YOUR EXECUTIVE
The Board of Directors of the Chilliwack Métis Chartered Community would like to take this opportunity to encourage all of our Citizens and members to become more active in your community. The Supreme Court of Canada decision involving the Daniels Case re-affirmed that Métis are in included within the definition of “Indians” as per the Constitutional Act of 1867 and that as per the Constitutional Act the Federal Government holds jurisdictional responsibility over all Métis people, our Metis Leaders can now begin negotiating with the Federal Government to secure benefits for our people and to begin to define Métis rights as provided for under Section 35 of the Constitution.
We must strengthen our position as a Metis Community, so that we can have a voice in the changes we want to see and the only way to do this is to take an active part in your community.
Please come out and find out what is going on and help to move our community forward, the executive cannot do this on our own. Nothing will happen if we don’t let our voice be heard.
Be a part of the change you want to see.
We welcome your input and comments, and your involvement in our Community.
October 20th, 2018 - Chilliwack Métis Association's Annual General Meeting: President's Report
Potential billion-dollar deal for Metis as feds address historic land dispute
A potential settlement expected to reach billions of dollars could be presented to Manitoba’s Metis as early as September after the Liberal government signalled it is taking steps to fulfill a 146-year-old disagreement over land.
On Friday, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett quietly stepped away from the Liberal party convention in Winnipeg to sign a memorandum of understanding with Manitoba’s Metis.
The document outlines the government’s intention to finally honour a promise made under Sir John A. Macdonald to distribute 5,565 square kilometres of land, including what later became modern-day Winnipeg, to the Metis.
For Immediate Release
IMPORTANT VICTORY FOR METIS NATION - IN SUPREME COURT OF CANADA DECISION
April 14, 2016 (Surrey, BC) - In a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest Court in the land has ruled that Canada has a constitutional and jurisdictional responsibility for Métis under s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The decision in the Daniels case which was released today is a huge victory for all Métis people, including our Métis people here in British Columbia because the federal government must now step up to the plate and negotiate in good faith with the Métis Nation.
Justice Abella speaking for a unanimous Court stated (in part) “…Both federal and provincial governments have, alternately, denied having legislative authority over non-status Indians and Métis. This results in these Indigenous communities being in a jurisdictional wasteland with significant and obvious disadvantaging consequences. While finding Métis and non-status Indians to be “Indians” under s. 91(24) does not create a duty to legislate, it has the undeniably salutary benefit of ending a jurisdictional tug-of-war.”
In reacting to the 27 page decision, MNBC President Bruce Dumont said, “As President of Métis Nation British Columbia, I am so proud and thankful to be Métis and to represent Métis people in our province. All Métis should feel great pride today given this decision because the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed what the federal government has disputed for the last nearly 150 years – that the federal government has an obligation to recognize and accept it has unfulfilled obligations to the Métis people in this country. It is now time to get on with that task.
President Dumont also said, “We helped build this country, and our ancestors beginning in the 1700’s played pivotal roles in helping to make British Columbia part of Confederation. Métis have always worked hard and contributed to this great country – now it is time for our federal government and our provincial government to accept this important legal ruling and to begin the task of reconciliation.
CBC Radio is quoting the Prime Minister on the decision. “This is a landmark ruling that will have broad consequences and impacts," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, adding that the government will need to study what those impacts might be. And he added, “But I can guarantee you one thing, the path forward will be together as we move forward."
MNBC will be reviewing all 27 pages of the decision over the next few days, and will be working closely with the other members of the MNC Board of Governors to continue on the path of reconciliation with Canada, while at the same time MNBC will be moving very quickly to engage with the Government of British Columbia to begin addressing the implications of this important decision on Métis in this province.
The full decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Daniels case can be found at: http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/15858/1/document.do
Key elements of the judgement by the SCC:
A declaration that Métis and Non-Status Indians are within the term “Indians” in Section 91(24) is issued. (para. 58)
The declaration has practical utility to end the “jurisdictional tug-of-war” (para. 15). The Court acknowledged that the current situation has left Métis and non-status Indian communities in a “jurisdictional wasteland” so an answer to the question is necessary (para. 13). An answer to the question will allow these groups to hold government “accountable for the inadequate status quo” and “guarantee both certainty and accountability” (para. 15)
Section 91(24) is about the federal governments relationship with all of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples—this includes the Métis and Non-Status Indians (para. 49). Section 91(24) and s. 35 should be read together in order to advance reconciliation.
Constitutional changes, apologies for historic wrongs and appreciation of Aboriginal peoples as partners in Confederation all indicate that reconciliation with all of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples is Parliaments goal (para 37).
There is no doubt that the Métis are a distinct people (para. 42). No need to delineate between which mixed ancestry communities are Métis and which are non status—they are both “Indians” within s. 91(24) (para. 46) Whether a community is non-status Indian and Métis will be worked out on a case-by-case basis. (para. 47)
Section 91(24) has a different purpose that s. 35. Section 91(24) is about the federal governments relationship with Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. Section 35 deals with the recognition and affirmation or rights and claims. (para. 49).
The Court goes out of its way to note that Métis and Non-Status Indian inclusion in s. 91(24) does not mean that all provincial legislation with respect to these groups are ultra vires (i.e., outside of the authority of provincial legislatures). This means that the Alberta Métis Settlements legislation is not problematic or inconsistent with Métis inclusion in s. 91(24).
The Crown is in a fiduciary relationship with all Aboriginal peoples, including, the Métis and Non-Status Indians. Delgamuukw and MMF already recognize that this fiduciary relationship based on Indigenous pre-existence. As such, granting the third declaration would be redundant. (paras. 43, 53)
There is already a Crown duty to negotiate with Métis and Non-Status Indian communities recognized in law. Haida, Tsilquotin and Powley already recognize a context specific duty to negotiate when Aboriginal rights are engaged. As such, granting the third declaration would be redundant. (para 56)
For questions on how the Decision will affect Métis -http://www.mnbc.ca/faq/daniels-supreme-court-decision-what-does-it-mean-for-m-tis
The MNBC represents nearly 14,000 registered Métis Citizens and the majority of nearly 70,000 self-identified Métis people in British Columbia. The Métis National Council, and, the Provincial Government of British Columbia as well as the Federal Government of Canada recognizes the MNBC as the official governing organization for Métis in BC.
Tracey Thornhill, Executive Assistant & Communications Officer
Phone or Text: 604-317-9585
President Dumont has conducted a number of interviews today with the Vancouver Sun, CBC Radio , CKNW Radio, CBC Television in Ottawa as well as participated in a news conference with the Métis Natonal Council and Governing Member leadership. Here are some other news items relating to the decsion.
The Métis Nation Accord
This is the first time in our history that the Canadian Government has officially recognized the Métis as a Nation. The Accord is a permanent bilateral mechanism between the Canadian Government and the Métis Nation which is committed to reconciliation and that the Accord sets out annual priority setting, joint policy development and progress which will be measured on an ongoing basis.
As Métis people it is our responsibility to understand the significance of the Accord and we strongly encourage all of our Métis citizens take the time to read it and to discuss it with fellow Métis people. That in the end, it’s the discussions amongst our Métis people that will help the Nation identify our priorities as we look to the future.
Link to the Accord: https://pm.gc.ca/sites/pm/files/canada_metis_nation_accord.pdf