News

SWNM Metis Annual Meeting - June 21st - 7pm - Centreville Firehall

Letter from PC Leader Jamie Baillie to Sou'West Nova Metis

PCLetter

Wampanoag Massasoit Returns to Original Burial Site

Supreme Court of Canada Appeal Decision - April 14, 2016

Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), 2016 SCC 12

Daniels v.Canada Judgment - April 14th, 2016

It should be noted that the Sou`west Nova Métis Council will be working closely with its Treaty partner, the Métis Federation of Canada, as implementation of this Court Decision moves forward.

Highlights:

Three declarations are sought in this case:

(1) that Métis and non‑status Indians are “Indians” under s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867;

(2) that the federal Crown owes a fiduciary duty to Métis and non‑status Indians; and

(3) that Métis and non‑status Indians have the right to be consulted and negotiated with.

Held: The first declaration should be granted: Métis and non‑status Indians are “Indians” under s. 91(24). The appeal should therefore be allowed in part. The Federal Court of Appeal’s conclusion that the first declaration should exclude non‑status Indians or apply only to those Métis who meet the Powley criteria, should be set aside, and the trial judge’s decision restored. The trial judge’s and Federal Court of Appeal’s decision not to grant the second and third declarations should be upheld. The cross‑appeal should be dismissed.

There is no need to delineate which mixed‑ancestry communities are Métis and which are non‑status Indians. They are all “Indians” under s. 91(24) by virtue of the fact that they are all Aboriginal peoples. “Indians” has long been used as a general term referring to all Indigenous peoples, including mixed‑ancestry communities like the Métis. Before and after Confederation, the government frequently classified Aboriginal peoples with mixed European and Aboriginal heritage as Indians. Historically, the purpose of s. 91(24) in relation to the broader goals of Confederation also indicates that since 1867, “Indians” meant all Aboriginal peoples, including Métis.

As to whether, for purposes of s. 91(24), Métis should be restricted to the three definitional criteria set out in Powley in accordance with the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal, or whether the membership base should be broader, there is no principled reason for presumptively and arbitrarily excluding certain Métis from Parliament’s protective authority on the basis of the third criterion, a “community acceptance” test. The criteria in Powley were developed specifically for purposes of applying s. 35, which is about protecting historic community‑held rights. Section 91(24) serves a very different constitutional purpose.     

From the Supreme Court of Canada Appeal Background Notes

[17]      There is no consensus on who is considered Métis or a non-status Indian, nor need there be. Cultural and ethnic labels do not lend themselves to neat boundaries. ‘Métis’ can refer to the historic Métis community in Manitoba’s Red River Settlement or it can be used as a general term for anyone with mixed European and Aboriginal heritage. Some mixed-ancestry communities identify as Métis, others as Indian:

      There is no one exclusive Metis People in Canada, anymore than there is no one exclusive Indian people in Canada. The Metis of eastern Canada and northern Canada are as distinct from Red River Metis as any two peoples can be. . . . As early as 1650, a distinct Metis community developed in LeHeve [sic], Nova Scotia, separate from Acadians and Micmac Indians. All Metis are aboriginal people. All have Indian ancestry.

 

 

  • We have received word from Indspire that Sou'West Nova Metis students are eligible to apply for bursaries and scholarships. Please check out their website for more information.

 

 

  • Coast Guard Newspaper Article about the MFC Treaty
  • MFC Press Release - The Métis Federation of Canada is very pleased to announce that we have signed a Treaty with another Métis organization - the Sou'West Nova Métis Council of Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia.  With ten treaties now in place and more to come, the MFC continues to dedicate its efforts to the recognition, representation and support of Métis people from all regions of Canada. In Nova Scotia alone we now have treaties with four. Métis organizations, demonstrating a strong Metis presence in this part of the country. The Sou'West Nova Métis Council have been proud supporters of our position with the upcoming Harry Daniels Federal Court of Appeal.  This is a very important case and it is largely because of support from our many partners, including the Sou'West Nova Métis, that we have been successful in being granted Intervenor Status with leave to present oral arguments at the Supreme Court of Canada on October 8th.  Our position will be very clear in providing historical evidence and arguments that there ARE Métis individuals and communities in all parts of Canada and we all must be recognized.  As president of the MFC, I am very proud to have the Sou'West Nova Métis join the Metis Federation of Canada and look forward to working with Chief Tony Cunningham and his council towards promoting Métis unity and rights -  from coast to coast to coast. Robert Pilon, President, Métis Federation of Canada - http://www.metisfederationofcanada.ca/pc---treaty-10--eng-.html 

  • A treaty of cooperation and unity between the the Métis Federation of Canada and SWNM was signed on September 13th in Clam Point, Nova Scotia. Visit the pictures page for photos taken at the signing. Marilyn Cunningham, Paul Crowell, and Rick Crowell witnessed Chief Tony Cunningham signing the treaty.
  • The Métis Federation of Canada is very pleased to announce that on Saturday, May 16th 2015 we will sign treaties in Quebec City with the following four Métis organizations;
    • Association Métisse Centre Nord du Saguenay des Terres Rompues

    • East Coast First Peoples Alliance

    • Kespu'kwitk Metis Council

    • Sou`West Nova Métis Council (postponed - date TBA)

    • With these upcoming signings, the MFC will have eleven treaties in place, each an important step towards uniting Métis all across this great country, from coast to coast to coast. 

  • SWNM Meeting - Centreville Firehall - April 16th, 7pm. Lawyer Daphne Williamson will be there. And a special guest, Chief Burke of the Unama'ki Voyageurs Metis Nations, will be attending.Hatfield Appeal Dismissed - March 11th Written Decision

  • Métis Coffee Talk - Thursday, January 15th - Guest Katie MacLeod will talk about the history of the Métis in Eastern Canada

  • Supreme Court to hear landmark case for off-reserve aboriginal people

  • SWNM Meeting Announcement - June 20th, Centreville Fire Hall, 7pm. Agenda includes a discussion of the Hatfield decision, future options for SWNM to gain their recognition, and annual business.

  • UPDATE ON JACK HATFIELD TRIAL - On April 28, 2014, Justice Prince released his decision on the Jack Hatfield case. It should be noted that Sou`west Nova Métis Council had withdrawn its financial and legal support for this case in 2010, with Jack Hatfield subsequently being represented by Kenneth Swim. Justice Prince has found Jack Hatfield guilty based upon the trial evidence, which in his opinion, did not sufficiently support a Métis Community. Mr. Hatfield was fined $100. Sou`west Nova Métis Council is presently reviewing this decision, as well as the recent Federal Métis Appeal Court Decision in conjunction with our solicitor to determine what future action will be appropriate to allow Council to have the rights of our community members recognized. A council meeting is tentatively being planned for early June, once lobster season has ended.

  • Hatfield Decision Comes Down

  • Canada v. Daniels Appeal Decision

  • Apply for Bursaries and Scholarships - New Link Added to Links Page

  • Trapper McKinnon Video on APTN 

  • Update On John Babin Appeal Case - Dismissed By Justice Chipman

  • On January 21st, Judge Robert M. Prince stated that he will be handing down a written decision in the Hatfield case on April 28th, 2014 at 11:00am.

  • Court Date for Pre-Decision Meeting for Jack Hatfield - January 21st, 9:00am - Yarmouth Court House

  • APTN Story on Nova Scotia Métis and Babin Decision

  • Update on the Hatfield Decision

  • SWNM Meeting - Friday, October 18th, 2013, 7pm at the Centreville Fire Hall. We discussed the Hatfield decision which has been postponed until December so that the judge can review the results of the appeal of the Babin case. We discussed a recent meeting that we had with DNR and Aboriginal Affairs. It was a good introductory meeting and we expect to be meeting with them again after the Hatfield decision. And we gave a brief summary of the anthropology report written by Katie MacLeod on the existence of Métis in Nova Scotia which SWNM participated in. 

  • There was a special SWNM meeting on Monday June 24th, 7pm at the Clark's Harbour Legion Hall. Our lawyer, Daphne Williamson was present to speak to us and to take questions from our members.

  • SWNM Meeting was held on Tuesday June 18th at the Centreville Firehall

    • Financial statement approved

    • General discussion on the Hatfield trial, the Senate report, and powwow planning

  • The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal People has released their report called The People Who Own Themselves. The Sou'West Nova Métis Community is included in the report.

  • Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool now available on Links page

  • SWNM Meeting was held on February 13th at the Centreville Firehall

    • All Officers Re-Elected

  • Federal Court Decision ruled that Métis and non-status Indians qualify as Indians under the Constitution Act of 1867 and fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

    • On February 6th, the government announced that it is appealing the decision.

  • On 27 March 2012, the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples began a study on issues respecting the legal and political recognition of Métis identity in Canada, including: legal, political and cultural definitions of the Métis; and processes for enumeration and registration of the Métis. Other matters in relation to the broader question of identity, and which may be explored as part of the study, include: the eligibility of the Métis for existing federal programs and services; and the exercise of Métis Aboriginal rights, including those that may be related to lands and harvesting. Sou'West Nova Métis Council lawyer, Daphne Williamson spoke to the committee on behalf of the Sou'West Nova Métis community on November 6th, 2012.

  • Video Link - Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples