Canadian Federal Court of Appeal affirms that 400,000 Métis have Indian status

In a historic decision, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal today affirmed a 2013 Federal Court ruling that Métis are “Indians” under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867.  The decision impacts approximately 350,00 – 400,000 Métis in Canada.  The court did not include non-status Indians in the decision, opting instead to decide Indian status for these groups on a case-by-case basis.

From CBC News:  “[The Daniels decision] could be one of the most significant cases dealing with aboriginal peoples in Canadian history,” said University of Ottawa law professor Larry Chartrand in an interview with CBC News. “It has the potential of completely changing the landscape of aboriginal-Canadian relations.”

News reports are here and here.

A copy of the Daniels decision is here.

In a statement posted here, President Clément Chartier of the Métis National Council stated that “I applaud today’s decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the Daniels case. It reinforces our longstanding position that the federal government has constitutional responsibility to deal with the Métis.”