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,
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
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
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.