Metis Win Landmark Hunting Rights Case

Monday, September 22, 2003 at 14:58




The head of the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan calls a Supreme Court ruling on Metis hunting rights last week a “significant victory”.


The high court ruled on Friday that Metis have the Aboriginal right to hunt out of season and without a licence as long as they can prove they are a direct descendant of a historic Metis community.


Clem Chartier notes the case dealt specifically with the Metis of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and doesn’t mean Saskatchewan Metis can start hunting out of season.


However, Chartier says this ruling should eventually pave the way for negotiated settlements with the provincial government that define how and when Metis can hunt.


Chartier says there was always the threat the provincial government would appeal a court decision that granted hunting rights to Metis living in a subsistence lifestyle in Northern Saskatchewan, but says the Supreme Court’s decision now rules out that possibility.


Chartier is especially pleased that the high court’s ruling confirmed that the Metis have Aboriginal rights, and says it should set the stage for breakthroughs in other Metis rights cases, including land claims.