Daniels Decision Celebrated by Metis and Non-Status Indians
Prince George, B.C. – The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled Metis and Non-Status Indians in the country are entitled to the same rights and provisions afforded Status Indians.
The ruling is the final chapter in a court battle launched in 1999 by prominent Metis leader Harry Daniels and two non-status Indians. Daniels did not live to see today, he passed away in 2004.
The unanimous ruling makes it clear Metis and non-status Indians who are not aligned with any specific reserve, are “Indians” and the Federal Government is responsible for all. (Read full decision here)
While the court battle has been going on for 17 years, Brenda Nome, North Central Director with the Metis Nation of BC says the struggle for recognition has been much longer “This has been over a hundred years for us. This is a time for us to be recognized and to be known that we are Metis.”
It is too early to tell just how this ruling will roll out, but Director Nome says it should mean that Metis and non status Indians will be eligible for the same rights, programs and services afforded those with status.
“It is time for us to negotiate and engage with the federal and provincial government” says Nome.
There are approximately 3,000 Metis and non-status Indians in the north central region. It is estimated there are 600 thousand Metis and non-status Indians in Canada.