Manitoba Metis Federation to Intervene at Supreme Court of Canada Next Week on Precedent-Setting Crown Consultation Case
Manitoba Métis Federation to Intervene at Supreme Court of Canada
Next Week on Precedent-Setting Crown Consultation Case
Manitoba Métis Will Argue ‘No Laws About Us Without Us’
Winnipeg, MB – On Monday, January 15, lawyers for the Manitoba Metis Federation are set to appear before the Supreme Court of Canada as an intervener in a precedent-setting case about whether the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples applies in the context of laws considered and passed by Parliament or provincial legislatures.
The case called Chief Courtereille and Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada challenges legislative changes made by the former Harper Government to Canada’s environmental protection laws and regulatory scheme. These changes severely limited or removed protections relied upon by the Mikisew Cree to protect their traditional territory and Treaty rights. The Harper Government brought in these changes in an omnibus bill without notice or any consultation with the Mikisew Cree First Nation or any Indigenous peoples whose rights were potentially impacted by these changes.
“This is an important case for all Indigenous peoples, including the Métis Nation generally and the Manitoba Métis Community specifically because we are now engaged in nation-to-nation, government-to-government negotiations with Canada,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “Section 35 was included in Canada’s Constitution back in 1982 to ensure that as we moved forward together—in the spirit of reconciliation – there would be ‘no laws about us without us’.”
President Chartrand added, “Ensuring the Crown’s duty to consult applies in relation to the development and passage of legislation that may adversely impact Métis rights and claims is necessary to advancing reconciliation. We have seen the destructiveness of colonial laws being imposed on our people over the generations. We want to ensure the highest court in the land hears our voice on this.”
This case is particularly relevant to the Manitoba Métis Community given the history of co-development of Manitoba child and family services legislation with the MMF and other Indigenous peoples as well as the Manitoba Government’s outstanding commitment to bring in regulations that recognize the MMF’s Métis Laws of the Harvest.
It is also important because of the MMF’s on-going self-government negotiations with Canada, which will require Parliament to pass legislation given legal force and effect to any ultimate mutually agreeable agreement between the MMF and Canada.
The MMF is being represented by well-known Métis lawyer Jason Madden of the law firm Pape Salter Teillet LLP. The hearing of the appeal will begin on Monday, January 15 at 9:30 a.m. EST at the Supreme Court of Canada Building in Ottawa. Additional information about the case is available at http://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/dock-regi-eng.aspx?cas=37441.
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis are Canada’s Negotiating Partner in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.
For media information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Manitoba Metis Federation
Phone: (204) 586-8474
Cell: (204) 806-4752
Pape Salter Teillet LLP
Lawyer for the MMF
Phone: (416) 916-3853