MMF Congratulates Metis in Saskatchewan on Court Victory
FORT QU’APPELLE – Today marks another victory for the Metis Nation and the recognition of Metis harvesting rights in Saskatchewan as Donald Belhumeur was found not guilty for angling without a provincial licence. The trial concludes nearly six years after his charges on March, 2002 at Katepwa Lake, Saskatchewan.
“This ruling confirms that the Metis have rights,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “We will continue to protect the value of our traditions and our right to provide for our families. I want to congratulate and thank Mr. Belhumeur as well as lead Counsel and President Clem Chartier and his team for their success.”During the Powley trial, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the Metis Aboriginal rights are to be grounded in the existence of a historic and present community and that they may only be exercised by virtue of an individual’s ancestrally based membership.
Genealogist Laura Hanowski testified that Mr. Belhumeur comes from a long line of Metis ancestry through six generations of connections to the Metis settlement. It was a clear decision that Mr. Belhumeur is a Metis rights holder with established connections and the traditional right to fish for food.
“It’s time to work together and share the resources of our province with a full understanding that the Metis have a special place in the Canadian constitution,” said President Chartrand. “This victory sends a clear message that it’s time for the provinces to come to the table and acknowledge the rights of the Metis People. We look forward to the working with the Premier Doer and a forthcoming agreement to accommodate the rights of the Manitoba Metis.”
The trial came to a close today at the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.
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