The Federal Court of Appeal began hearing a high profile Aboriginal rights case on Tuesday.

The case involves a legal challenge that was initially launched by the late Harry Daniels.

Daniels argues that Métis people and non-status Indians should be considered as “Indians” under the Canadian constitution, just as First Nations and Inuit people.

Earlier this year, a federal judge agreed with the Daniels’ claim and the ruling was hailed as a watershed moment for Aboriginal people living off-reserve.

It is also believed the ruling could help jumpstart a number of outstanding Métis land-claims.

However, the Harper government is arguing the federal court erred in its ruling and has asked the court of appeal to overturn the decision.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples says it will be watching the case closely but is optimistic the court of appeal will not overturn the initial ruling.