THE HARD CASE OF DEFINING “THE MÉTIS PEOPLE” AND THEIR RIGHTS: A COMMENT ON R. V. POWLEY

Paul L.A.H. Chartrand

Abstract


Section 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 refers to “the Métis people” as one of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada whose existing Aboriginal and treaty rights are guaranteed by section 35(1).1 The subsequent First Ministers Conference on Aboriginal Constitutional Reform in the 1980s and the Charlottetown Accord in 1992 proved inadequate to the task of addressing the substantive content of these constitutional provisions. The unenviable task of defining a people and their rights has now fallen to the courts. The challenge facing them is the hard case of Canadian Aboriginal law.


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