APTN National News
Metis and non-status Indians won a “huge” victory Tuesday when the Federal Court of Canada ruled they fall under the federal government’s responsibility.
It took years to get to this point, but the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples called the ruling a victory that was worth the wait.
“We’re pleased. It’s a start. It’s a huge decision. It really has brought forward that Metis and non-status Indians are now recognized,” said a spokesperson for CAP who added more information will be available at a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Ottawa. “We will be responding in-depth once our legal has given more in-depth view of the potential impacts.”
The ruling means Metis peoples are the responsibility of the federal government and can negotiate treaties and issues such as education, health and tax exemptions.
However, the court didn’t order the government to begin negotiations. So when, and if, that happens remains in question.
“The evidence concerning non-status Indians establishes that such persons were considered within the broad class of ‘Indians,’” said Justice Michael Phelan “The situation regarding Metis was more complex.”
Phelan said nevertheless, Metis generally are often treated as Indians and have similar limitations, as well as suffer the same burdens and discrimination.
More to come …