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