Archive for the Press Release Category

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Legitimacy of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation Reinforced

Legitimacy of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation Reinforced

The Northwest Territory Métis Nation (NWTMN), the Federal Government of

Canada (Canada), and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)

have been negotiating a land and resources agreement for the Northwest

Territory Métis Nation (formerly the South Slave Métis Tribal Council) since 1996.

In early 2012, the Akaitcho Dene commenced litigation against Federal Canada

regarding Federal Canada’s duty to consult owed to the Akaitcho Dene, with

respect to the Northwest Territory Métis Nation’s land and resources agreement.

The North Slave Métis Alliance (NSMA) applied to become an Intervener in this

matter in January of 2015.

The Defendant Attorney General of Canada and NWTMN opposed the NSMA’s

motion. Canada and the NWTMN argued that “the NSMA is essentially seeking

to expand the action beyond what is really in issue, and broaden the inquiry into

matters that… are not relevant or germaine for the purposes of the within

proceeding” (from the Federal Court Docket).

On March 16, 2016, the Federal Court of Canada dismissed the application from

the North Slave Métis Alliance to intervene in the Akaitcho Territorial

Government’s litigation against Federal Canada.

Jake Heron, Chief Negotiator for the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, says,

“The Northwest Territory Métis Nation rightfully has the support of the

membership and community councils in representation of its indigenous Métis

members. The Federal Court of Canada recognizes this.

“This reinforces the legitimacy of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, as the

representative body for indigenous Métis, to pursue a contemporary land and

resources claim.”

Garry Bailey,

President

Northwest Territory Métis Nation

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Northwest Territory Métis Nation celebrates the Daniels Decision

Northwest Territory Métis Nation celebrates the Daniels Decision

For Immediate Release – April 14, 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada in a unanimous 9-­0 ruling confirmed that although the

Métis are considered Indians, the Métis continue to be a distinct people with unique identity and

history separate from Indians.

“Our ancestors are smiling from above. This solidifies Métis identity in this country as a

distinct rights-­bearing group. We are here, and will be here for generations to come for

as long as the land shall last.”

-­ Garry Bailey, President, Northwest Territory Métis Nation

This decision of the Court found that Parliament has protective authority to act in good

faith to ensure the Métis receive the same programs and services as Status Indians.

The ruling confirmed the Federal Government has exclusive legislative authority in

respect to Métis, as Métis are included as Indians under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act,

1867.

Importantly, the Court confirmed Canada has a fiduciary relationship with the Métis

people to act in the best interests of Métis people.

The Court also confirmed that Parliament’s goal is to achieve reconciliation with all of

Canada’s Aboriginal peoples including Métis in order to achieve a mutually respectful, long-­term

relationship. The Court confirmed the obligation to consult and negotiate to address Métis

aboriginal rights on a specific basis.

We call upon the Federal Government to expediently provide programs and services to

Métis on an equitable basis with Status Indians. In addition, the NWTMN is calling upon the

Federal Government to provide funding to address the historic and continued discrimination

suffered by Métis by the inability to access Federal programs and services on the same basis as

Status Indians.

Finally, the NWTMN is calling upon the Federal Government to provide funding to

enumerate Indigenous Métis to facilitate the timely conclusion of land, resource and self-­

government negotiations. We look forward to working with the Federal Government on a nation-­

to-­nation basis in an effort to achieve reconciliation of outstanding issues. We also look forward

to ongoing, respectful dialogue with the Government of the Northwest Territories and First

Nations in respect to the recognition of equitable Métis aboriginal rights on par with First Nation

treaty rights.

We look forward to Canada’s honourable and expedited implementation of this historic

decision. We will continue to advocate for the reconciliation of our interests within Canada.

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