News

Night Hunting Charges & Resulting Court Case against Métis Harvesters Protecting our Métis Harvesters and their Right to Support their Families

May 4, 2017

Winnipeg, MB – A recent court case involving Métis Hunters proves there is systemic prejudice and reckless behavior by Conservation Officers to fabricate evidence in an effort to malign our Métis Hunters. Two Harvesters were charged and just recently acquitted of the following: Hunting vertebrate animal at night with lights and a second charge, added at their first court date of: Hunting on private property without permission. When in fact they were only driving on the highway to head back into town, they were not hunting at all.

President David Chartrand of The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) announced today, Thursday May 4th, 2017, that he will insist the province of Manitoba conduct an investigation into the actions and conduct of the Conservation Officer who falsified information against a Métis Harvester. 

This recent court case exemplifies egregious behavior on behalf of the Conservation Officers and displays the systemic prejudice regarding Métis harvesters and their section 35 rights under the Canadian Constitution Act. Since the charges were laid, the harvesters have experienced being deemed guilty in the eyes of the public. One harvester testified at trial that he has now been referred to in the community as a “dirty Métis”.

We provided proof in court from a handwriting expert, Wendy Carlson, who analyzed the signatures from a two page statement. Wendy was provided 5 documents to analyze, each document was used to compare the signature of the accused against the claimed forged signature. She stated in her expert opinion that there were “significant dissimilarities” between the accused’s signature and the signature in question. 

“Based on my scientific examination and lack of agreement of the unique, identifiable handwriting characteristics and the measurable distinctions in the questioned signature, it is my professional expert opinion that a different person wrote the name of Jordan Thorsteinson on the questioned document.” said Wendy Carlson in regards to one of the Métis harvesters. She further stated that “The handwriting characteristics in the questioned Jordan Thorsteinson signature do not conform to the handwriting characteristics in the known Jordan Thorsteinson signatures. Therefore, it is my professional expert opinion Jordan Thorsteinson did not sign his signature on the questioned document.”

“We are always open to continuing partnerships,” states MMF President David Chartrand, “but no one will insult our harvesters. Our harvesters will not be treated as criminals – they have a right to harvest in our traditional territories and support their families. For every Harvester with a valid Métis Harvester card and who are following the Métis Laws of the Hunt, the MMF is prepared to support and defend them, if need be, should they be charged.”

The MMF encourages our Métis Harvesters to hunt and fish on traditional territory within the Métis harvesting zone.

The Métis Laws of the Hunt can be found on the MMF website at:

http://www.mmf.mb.ca/docs/Metis-Laws-of-the-Harvest_FINAL.pdf.

 

-30-

 

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
Communications Coordinator
Manitoba Metis Federation

Phone:             (204) 586-8474 ext. 324
Cell:                 (204) 806-4752
E-mail:             jonathan.hamel@mmf.mb.ca


Read More News