Harry Daniels, a charismatic Métis leader, was born on Sept. 16, 1940, in Regina Beach, Sask., and died on Sept. 6, 2004 in Regina at the age of 63. He worked for many years on the local, national and international levels on behalf of Aboriginal peoples. His contribution is significant and his legacy is still unfolding.
Mr. Daniels was president of the Native Council of Canada (the NCC) later to become the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples from 1975 to 1981 and again between 1997 and 2000. The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is the national voice for Métis, Southern Inuit, Status and Non-Status Indians across Canada. As president Mr. Daniels played a leading role in ensuring Aboriginal and treaty rights were recognized in the Constitution Act, 1982 and more specifically in negotiating the inclusion of the Métis people.
Harry Daniels challenged the notion of the two founding nations of Canada, being English and French. In 1978 before the Task Force on Canadian Unity he declared that the Métis, by virtue of the actions of the Red River Government were “the only charter group in Canada with a history of national political independence before joining confederation.”