Métis traders circa 1872.

Supreme Court to Hear Métis Land-claims Case


For three decades the Métis have been fighting in court over territory that was promised to the aboriginal group in 1870 under the Manitoba Act, which agreed to divide nearly 566,560 hectares of land among 7,000 Métis children living in the province.

Having lost a court case and an appeal, the Métis did not give up their fight. Now the Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to get involved and hear an appeal by the Manitoba Métis Federation, the Winnipeg Free Press reported on February 10.

The Métis say the land was not handed over correctly, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. The new case could potentially reverse a decision made by the Manitoba Court of Appeal, which ruled against the Manitoba Métis Federation last July, the Free Press said.

At issue is whether the legal requirements of the land claim were met. The Métis say they were not allowed to choose the land and that completing the process took so long—more than 10 years—that speculators and settlers got hold of it before it could be divided up, the Free Press said.

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