The Supreme Court of Canada heard the Daniels v. Canada case at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 8, 2015.
The plaintiffs in the historic case are seeking three declarations to the effect that:
Métis and Non-Status Indians are Indians under subsection 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867;
The Crown owes to Métis and Non-Status Indians a fiduciary duty as Aboriginal peoples; and,
Canada must negotiate and consult with the Métis and Non-Status Indians, on a collective basis through representatives of their choice, with respect to their rights, interests and needs as Aboriginal peoples.
Identification of non-status Indians and Métis as a federal responsibility under section 91(24) of the Constitution will mean that the Government of Canada can no longer disclaim responsibility and continue playing a game of political hot potato with the provinces over jurisdiction. This will allow CAP to advocate more effectively for federal policies and programs for all non-status and Métis Peoples.
Identification of the non-status as Indians under section 91(24) also implies that non-status communities have Aboriginal rights under section 35 of the Constitution, as are already recognized for status Indians, Inuit and Métis. Recognition of section 35 rights for non-status communities requires that they be included in land title and land claims negotiations, that their harvesting rights pertaining to fish, game and forestry resources be acknowledged and respected, as with their right to be consulted and accommodated in decisions by governments affecting the land and resources.