As a condition of Manitoba's becoming a province of Canada, 1.4 million acres of land were guaranteed to the children of the Métis Nation in the Red River Valley. But the federal government's delays, avoidable mistakes, and bad faith left most of the Métis without their land, a poor and dispossessed people in their own country.
[The Métis are a people of Native North American and European ancestry
who coalesced into a distinct nation at the height of the fur trade in northwestern North America.]
Please contact Prime Minister Harper and urge him to negotiate in good faith with the Manitoba Métis Federation to resolve this injustice.
The Supreme Court of Canada has sided with the Métis people. On March 8, 2013, the Court ruled that the federal Crown treated the Métis dishonourably, and that this unresolved injustice undermines the constitutional legitimacy of Manitoba and of Canada as a whole. The Manitoba Métis Federation is ready to negotiate with the federal government toward appropriate reparations, But the Harper government has said only that they are studying the ruling.
Knowing this government it is likely that they will not do anything. The court ruling does not specify what needs to be done, and it will not be enough to get the government to act. Public pressure will be needed to get this government to initiate negotiations, and to negotiate in good faith.
Please contact the Prime Minister about this and invite others to do so.
Contact information for Prime Minister Harper:
Supreme Court of Canada ruling in favour of the Manitoba Métis Federation:
"The federal Crown failed to implement the land grant provision set out in section 31 of the Manitoba Act, 1870, in accordance with the honour of the Crown."
of the Manitoba Act is a solemn constitutional obligation to the Métis
people of Manitoba... Its immediate purpose was to give the Métis children a head start over
the expected influx of settlers from the east. Its broader purpose was to
reconcile the Métis’ Aboriginal interests in the Manitoba territory with the
assertion of Crown sovereignty."
"So long as the constitutional
grievance at issue here remains outstanding, the goals of reconciliation and
constitutional harmony remain unachieved."