OTTAWA — The federal government’s responsibilities for aboriginal peoples just got a whole lot bigger.
After more than 13 years of legal wrangling, the Federal Court ruled on Tuesday that Metis and non-status Indians are indeed “Indians” under a section of the Constitution Act, and fall under federal jurisdiction.
The decision helps to clarify the relationship between Ottawa and the more than 600,000 aboriginal people who are not affiliated with specific reserves.
That duty is not an open-ended undefined obligation but must be focused on a specific interest
“The recognition of Metis and non-status Indian as Indians under section 91(24) should accord a further level of respect and reconciliation by removing the constitutional uncertainty surrounding these groups,” writes Federal Court Judge Michael Phelan.
While the decision does not go so far as to declare that the federal government has a fiduciary responsibility to the group, it says such duties would…
View original post 461 more words