"Indian" ruling appealed


On February 6, 2012 the Canadian government has announced that they will appeal the earlier ruling that Metis and not status Indians are “Indians” under the Canada Constitution Act.

"Given that the Federal Court decision raises complex legal issues, it is prudent for Canada to obtain a decision from a higher court," Duncan said. "After careful consideration of the decision, Canada has filed an appeal, and it would be inappropriate to comment further as the case is before the courts."
http://www.cbc.ca/news/Canada/story/2013/02/06/pol-metis-ruling-appeal.html

The main reason sited was that Canada cannot financially sustain the cost of a greatly expanded “Indian” population. But everyone in Canada, including the Metis and non status “Indians” are well aware of this fundamental fact and expected the government to react against this ruling. The Federal government surely know that the “Indian” Act is untenable, subjugating and Archaic—but prefer the status quo, unwilling to stir up the Indian rights pot. The Indian Act has always, since it’s implementation in 1876, prevented the adjustment of  Aboriginal people in Canadian Society. Though, depending on your view, it was intended to assimilate the indigenous population. It presently controls Indian rights but if the recent ruling is upheld it will lead to a final settlement of Aboriginal claims in Canada.

Given that it has taken 12 years to reach this ruling, begun in 1999 by the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, a new decision will certainly be no easier to conclude. The higher court will wrestle with the same issues, the same inability to avoid past discrimination. The buck will stop at this point or, as past governments have done, postpone aboriginal rights issues for many more generations. The result is that the  full rights of Canadian Aboriginal descendants are denied, and the Indian Act will continue it’s denigrating  affect on reservation Canadians, even though there is an appearance of conciliation and progress.

If the higher courts are independent of Canadian politics, or if they are truly impartial and free of political coercion, maybe it will uphold the decision of it’s lower counterpart. With so much at stake it will be very difficult for Ottawa lawmakers not to influence the overturning of the lower court ruling.

If this is the case the Canadian government will miss the opportunity to win the support of all the Quebec Aboriginal people against the Québécois. An agreement with the Québécois and “Indians” of Quebec  might well tip the scale in a separation referendum. In addition, “Indian” civil unrest will accelerate throughout the country, as Canadian “Indians” unite.

If the lower court ruling is upheld in the supreme court the process of negotiating new legislation encompassing all Aboriginal descendants in Canada will begin immediately . This process will no doubt, require many years of negotiation.

The Indian Act will ultimately be replaced with a new Act that will truly reflect Pierre  Trudeau’s “ Just Society”. Meanwhile, and despite an overturning of the lower court ruling, we must maintain our stance that we are indeed “Indians” respecting the culture of our ancestors.

Roland  Belanger

Update: Today Thursday April, 17 2014, The appeals court upheld the original ruling without further defining Metis identity. The Federal government must now negotiate or go to the Supreme Court of Canada.

3 comments:

  1. hey, WE ARE CANADIAN FIRST , METIS SECOND. WE SPEND SO MUCH TIME WAXING PHILOSOPHICALLY OVER OUR NATIVE IDENTITY THAT WE FORGET ALL ABOUT CANADA. i AM METIS AND DIRECTLY RELATED TO METIS “ROYALTY” . bUT I DO NOT, IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, THINK THAT I SHOULD HAVE ANY RIGHTS OVER AND ABOVE ANY OTHER CANADIAN.
    I GUESS YOU CAN’T BLAME METIS FOR WANTING STATUS IF THE “FIRST NATIONS” HAVE IT. MANY OF THEM ARE WHITER THAN HOSPTIAL SHEETS…SO WHY SHOULDN’T WE HAVE IT. BUT, THEN IF WE HAVE IT (STATUS), THEN WHY SHOULDN’T EVERY CANADIAN HAVE IT.
    WE’VE GOT TO LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD…THIS COURT CASE ISN’T A VICTORY… IT’S A SHAME..JUST MORE PROOF OF THE IDIOCY OF THE COURT AT TIMES. THIS DECISION, ALONG WITH ANY OTHER QUEST FOR SPECIAL RIGHTS ONLY SERVES TO FURTHER ALIENATE AND ISOLATE US FROM THE REST OF CANADA. rIEL SPOKE FOR HIS ERA. THAT WORLD DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE.
    HISTORY IS HISTORY PEOPLE …..MOVE ON AND START LIVING IN THIS CENTURY!

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  2. Lot's of Metis people think the same way!! Having any more rights than any other Canadian seems unfair but the nature of our multicultural society created by Trudeau and the Liberal party makes it very difficult to overlook!
    I suppose we must all do as our conscience tells us!!

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  3. I am a direct descendant of the prevost family , starting with jean Baptist , and through his daughter Anne prevost , then through her daughter ,Marie Anne prevost married name pilet , then through the mailloux's , then through a Susanne mailloux ,mother of a theotiste desjarlais , my great great grandmother who married a jean baptiste gervais ,and their son Harvey Albert Gervais, my grandfather then my dad Donald Gervais, whom had North American Indian status , who which I have never done anything about ,but I know where I come from , I live in Windsor Ontario ,Canada , my ancestors were all from the French community of stoney point ,Ontario most of all the marriages and births were recorded there , but there are a lot recorded a Assumption church ,Windsor Ontario , including Marie anne pilet(prevost)and Genevieve deshetres , my name is joe and you can email me I you want to jgervais@outlook.com , , I have pdf files and documents showing linage , factual documents ,

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