Metis Fishing Trial Enters Final Stage

Monday, April 11, 2005 at 15:23



Final submissions in a Metis fishing rights case are being heard in a Meadow Lake court room today.


Ron Laviolette was charged in 2001 with fishing out of season in the Green Lake area.


The Metis man has roots in Green Lake, but now lives in the Meadow Lake area.


At issue is whether Green Lake can be considered a historic Metis community and whether Metis can fish or hunt any place that is considered part of the Metis homeland.


The Supreme Court’s Powley decision in 2003 stipulated that Metis had to establish a direct link to a historic Metis community in order to exercise hunting or fishing rights.


Metis National Council president and legal counsel Clem Chartier says these types of court cases continue to be necessary, despite the high court’s ruling.


Chartier says that’s because the provinces don’t share the same interpretation of the Powley ruling that Metis have made — which is why various jurisdictions continue to charge Metis with hunting and fishing violations in an effort to further clarify these rights.


Two days have been set aside for closing arguments, although Chartier suspects only one day will be needed.