Supreme Court of Canada Affirms Canada has a Constitutional and Jurisdictional Responsibility for the Métis of Manitoba

April 14, 2016

(Ottawa, ON) – This morning, rendering its decision on Daniels v. Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) affirmed the federal government has constitutional jurisdiction and  responsibility for the Métis Nation and its Manitoba Métis Community governed by the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF).

This historic SCC decision clarifies the terms of s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act 1867, and places a clear duty upon the federal government to negotiate with the MMF, the democratically elected representative government of the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community.

“This decision by the SCC confirms s. 91(24) applies to the Manitoba Métis. This will set up a new framework between Canada and the Métis,” stated MMF President David Chartrand, “It is a good ruling for the Citizens of the Métis Nation – a Nation born and raised in Manitoba’s Red River Valley – the heart of the Métis Nation Homeland.”

While the SCC decision has an immediate bearing on the responsibilities of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), it requires all departments of the federal government, including INAC, to negotiate with the MMF to fully understand it’s far reaching implication and implement it’s full promise. As the SCC decision states the Métis have been in a “jurisdictional wasteland” and suggested their declaration would be of “enormous practical utility.”

The SCC stated its declaration guarantees “certainty and accountability.” With this decision, the federal government can no longer point to the provinces as being solely responsible to address the deep- seated social and economic issues of the Métis Nation. There must be a Métis-specific action plan to address these issues.

“The Métis can no longer be a political hot potato, or ‘a political football’ as the SCC used, dropped between the federal and provincial governments,” explained President Chartrand. “The Métis are taxpayers paying billions of dollars annually, while our health, education, and employment needs are snubbed. Métis issues can no longer be ignored. The Métis must now be included.”

“This decision complements and reaffirms our rights under s. 35 of the Constitution as one of Canada’s three Aboriginal Peoples” President Chartrand went on to say. “The Métis Citizens of Manitoba and its representative government – the Manitoba Metis Federation – look forward to advancing a path of reconciliation and a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Canada. As I said after our land claim decision: our time has come and our time is now!’



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:

Jonathan Hamel
Director of Communications Manitoba Metis Federation

Phone:   (204) 586-8474 ext. 324
Cell:       (204) 806-4752

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