Band Ordered To Compensate Metis Job Applicant

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 14:38



The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has sided with a Metis woman in a complaint she brought up against the Cumberland House Cree Nation.


The First Nation has been ordered to pay Valerie Deschambeault over $45,000 for lost wages, pain and suffering and “reckless” discrimination for twice being denied a position with the band.


In a written ruling, the tribunal says the First Nation discriminated against Deschambeault because of her Metis ancestry when it gave 2004 and 2005 job postings to band members.


Witnesses testified that she finished with the highest score among the applicants for the residential school healing facilitator position both times she applied.


The band unsuccessfully argued that the tribunal didn’t have the authority to hear the case because of provisions in the Indian Act.


The First Nation also argued that looking at band membership does not amount to racial discrimination, because a person can lose their status as a member.