Metis Hunting Rights in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada

Interesting treaty rights case based on a decision out of the Canadian Supreme Court involving the taking of a moose near Sault Ste. Marie, ONT by a non-status Metis hunter. Here’s the decision in R. v. Powley, the Sault Ste. Marie case.

Closing arguments heard in Métis hunting case

Last Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2007 | 3:52 PM CT

A court in Brandon, Man., heard closing arguments Thursday in a precedent-setting trial over Métis hunting rights.

Will Goodon was charged in 2004 after he shot a duck without a provincial hunting licence. He did possess a Métis “harvester” card, issued by the Manitoba Métis Federation, but the province has refused to recognize those cards.

Goodon pleaded not guilty to the charge, arguing hunting is his birthright.

Goodon’s defence argued Wednesday that the government has washed its hands of establishing aboriginal rights, and so it is up to the courts to interpret the rights of Métis people.

The defence said Métis hunting rights have already been established by a 2003 Supreme Court ruling known as the Powley decision, which granted full-status-Indian hunting rights — the right to hunt and fish for food out of season and without a provincial licence — to Métis who can prove a connection to a stable, continuous community.