Summary

35945

Harry Daniels, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen as represented by The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, et al.

(Federal Court) (Civil) (By Leave)

Keywords

Constitutional law - Division of powers, Aboriginal law, Métis.

Summary

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Constitutional law — Division of powers — Aboriginal law — Métis — Trial court issuing declaration that Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” pursuant to s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 — Court of appeal varying declaration so as to exclude non-status Indians from scope of declaration — Whether Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” pursuant to s. 91(24) so that the federal government has jurisdiction to make laws with respect to those peoples — Whether court of appeal erred in varying terms of declaration — Whether court of appeal erred in declining to grant additional declarations sought by applicants — Constitution Act, 1867, s. 91(24)

In 1999, the applicants instituted proceedings in Federal Court in order to resolve a long-standing issue as to which of Canada or the provinces has jurisdiction over the Métis and non-status Indian peoples. Specifically, they sought to obtain a determination that the federal government has constitutional jurisdiction pursuant to s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 over Métis and non­status Indians. In Federal Court, they sought the following declarations:

(a) that Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” within the meaning of the expression “Indians and lands reserved for Indians” in s 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867;

(b) that the Queen (in right of Canada) owes a fiduciary duty to Métis and non-status Indians as Aboriginal people; and

(c) that the Métis and non-status Indian peoples of Canada have the right to be consulted and negotiated with, in good faith, by the federal government on a collective basis through representatives of their choice, respecting all their rights, interests and needs as Aboriginal peoples.