Lawyer Insists Southern Metis Have Hunting Rights

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at 15:34



A lawyer defending a Regina man in a Metis harvesting rights case in southern Saskatchewan says the government has it all wrong when it says Metis hunting and fishing rights can only apply to specific communities.


Metis National Council President Clem Chartier recently delivered closing arguments at a trial in the Qu’Appelle Valley.


The file revolves around Metis fisherman Don Belhumeur, who caught two fish on a lake near Lebret in 2003.


The provincial government charged him with fishing without a licence.


Belhumeur contends he has historic ties to the community, and therefore, has harvesting rights in the area.


Chartier agrees, saying Belhemeur is a member of the Parklands-Grasslands Metis community that extends into southern Manitoba and Alberta.


Chartier says the decision in the Laviolette Metis harvesting rights case in Meadow Lake a few years ago helped pave the way for this case.


A ruling is expected in October.