Powleys to Lend Support to Labrador Metis hunters; Community Meeting Set for Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Monday, 17 Sep 2007
A national Aboriginal figure will be in Happy Valley-Goose Bay this week to lend support to Labrador Metis hunters who have been charged for exercising their Aboriginal and Constitutional rights.
Roddy Powley and his mother Brenda will take part in a community meeting Thursday at the Masonic Lodge, 377 Hamilton River Road, beginning at 7 p.m. Labrador Metis Nation interim President Kirk Lethbridge says he’s humbled that the Powleys have accepted his invitation to come to Labrador.”This is indeed an honor,” says Mr. Lethbridge. “We are proud to be able to welcome such distinguished guests to our homeland.”
On October 22, 1993, Roddy and his father Steve killed a moose near Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. They tagged the animal with a Métis card and note which read, ‘Harvesting my meatfor the winter’. A week later they were charged with hunting without a licence and unlawful possession of moose contrary to Ontario’s Game and Fish Act. The case would eventually find its way to the Supreme Court of Canada, which unanimously ruled on Sept. 19, 2003, that the Powleys can exercise a Métis right to hunt that is protected under Section 35 of Constitution of Canada. Steve Powley passed away on February 23, 2004 after a long battle with diabetes.
“The Powley story is an inspirational one for the Labrador Inuit-Metis,” says Mr. Lethbridge. “Now more than ever our people need to pull together to fight for our rights.”
More than a dozen Labrador Inuit-Metis hunters are facing a variety of hunting-related charges, despite receiving reassurances from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador that it would keep its distance and not interfere with the Inuit-Metis right to hunt for food and ceremonial purposes.
Bert Pomeroy, Communications