BULLETIN: SCC Grants Partial Appeal to Metis Federation in Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. v Canada (Attorney General)

On Friday, March 8, 2013, the SCC released its decision in Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. v Canada (Attorney General), 2013 SCC 14. In this landmark case, the Manitoba Metis Federation sought a declaration that in implementing the Manitoba Act, the federal government breached their fiduciary obligation to the Metis and failed to implement the Manitoba Act in a manner consistent with the honour of the Crown.

The case had to do specifically with ss. 31 and 32 of the Manitoba Act, which granted Metis children 1.4 million acres of land and recognized existed landholdings. This land was not granted effectively, prompting the majority (with Rothstein and Moldaver JJ. dissenting) to hold that the “federal Crown failed to implement the land grant provision set out in s. 31 of the Manitoba Act, 1870 in accordance with the honour of the Crown”.

This decision marks an end to a decades long legal struggle and the possible beginning of historic land claims cases for the Metis in Manitoba. Watch for a more in-depth analysis in the coming weeks. The full decision can be found here.

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