Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP)
Canadian National Indigenous Organization
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples represents the interests of Métis, status and Non-status Indians, and Southern Inuit Indigenous People living off-reserve in Canada.
Our mandate is to improve the socio-economic conditions of our constituency living in urban or rural areas.
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples works collectively with its 11 provincial and territorial organizations across Canada to promote and advance the common interests, collective and individual rights, interests, and needs of its constituents.
CAP believes that all Indigenous peoples in Canada should be rightfully treated with respect, dignity, integrity, and equality, and experience a high quality of life, founded on the rebuilding of our Nations.
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is one of five National Indigenous Representative Organizations recognized by the Government of Canada. Founded in 1971 as the Native Council of Canada, CAP was originally established to represent the interests of Métis and Non-status Indians. Reorganized and renamed in 1993, the organization has extended its constituency to include all off-reserve status and Non-status Indians, Métis and Southern Inuit Indigenous Peoples, and serves as the national voice for its 11 provincial and territorial affiliate organizations.
Founding of the Native Council of Canada (NCC) to fight for the rights and interests of Métis and non-status Indians.
The NCC is recognized by the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, signalling their contributions to the pursuit of the recognition of Indigenous rights internationally.
The NCC publishes a Declaration of Rights for Métis and Non-Status Indians defending the right to self-determination, to representation and to preserve identity.
The Métis and Non-Status Indian Constitutional Review Commission is established by the NCC to canvas the views of Métis and non-status Indians across Canada on the subject of a new constitution.
NCC President Harry Daniels plays a key role in entrenchment of the terms “Indian, Inuit and Métis” in section 35 of the Constitutions Act, 1982.
The NCC participates in the First Ministers’ Conferences on Aboriginal Constitutional Matters.
Bill C-31 amends the Indian Act to remove some rules that discriminate against women. NCC supports the passage of the legislation, yet continues advocacy because of ongoing inequalities.
The Native Council of Canada (NCC) is renamed and reorganized as the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. CAP participates in the development of the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Populations, which recognizes the right to self-determination of Indigenous peoples.
The NCC makes submissions to the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples in support of equality rights, mobility rights, off-reserve rights and self-governance rights of its constituents, published as the 10-volume report “The First Peoples Urban Circle: Choices for Self-Determination”.
CAP President Harry Daniels, Leah Gardner, Terry Joudrey, and CAP file suit against the Government of Canada for the court to determine which level of government, federal or provincial, has jurisdiction over Métis and non-status Indians. In 2005, Harry Daniels’ son, Gabriel Daniels is added as a co-plaintiff.
CAP intervenes in a number of key court cases related to Aboriginal rights in the interests of its constituents: Sawridge Band v. Canada (1997), Corbiere v. Canada (1999), R. v. Blais (2003), R. v. Powley (2003), Misquadis v. Canada (2003), R. v. Bernard (2005), R. v. Sappier (2006), and McIvor v. Canada (2007).
CAP achieves special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. (ECOSOC).
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is adopted by the UN on September 13, 2007. CAP, as a non-governmental organizaton, is involved during the drafting of the declaration and present at its adoption. The Government of Canada fails to sign on to the declaration until 2010.
Repeal of the Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. CAP and other organizations are successful in advocacy for the repeal so that First Nations people now have access to make complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
A partial victory in Daniels v. Canada, as Federal Court Justice Michael Phelan rules that Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” under the Constitution Act, 1867. The federal government appeals the decision.
In Daniels v. Canada, the Federal Court of Appeals upholds part of Justice Phelan’s decision - that the Métis are included in s. 91(24). However, the Court of Appeal rules that this recognition would only be extended to non-status Indians on a case-by-case basis.
After a 17-year legal battle, the Supreme Court of Canada confirms in the unanimous Daniels v. Canada decision that Métis and non-status Indians are Indians under Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1982 and are the federal responsibility.
CAP and the Government of Canada sign a Political Accord that acknowledges the CAP Daniels decision and to reaffirm a “renewed relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
CAP participates as a party with standing in the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
CAP continues to undertake legal research, interventions, and political action to demand that the CAP Daniels decision be upheld and the rights of our constituents are protected and respected regardless of their residence off-reserve or Indian Act status.
Mr. Elmer St. Pierre was elected as the National Chief on October 3rd 2020 at the CAP Annual General Assembly.
Chief St Pierre is a lifelong advocate for the rights of Indigenous people, particularly off-reserve and Non-status communities. In 2006 he became the Vice Chief of the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal Peoples and became OCIP Chief in 2019. Chief St. Pierre joined the CAP Board of Directors in 2019.
As National Chief, his top priority is to see the implementation of the CAP-Daniels Decision which he views as one of the biggest issues facing off-reserve Indigenous Peoples. He will also support implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the fulfilment of the 2018 CAP-Canada Political Accord, and supporting CAP’s provincial and territorial affiliate organizations.
Chief St. Pierre hopes to strengthen CAP’s position with the Federal Government through re-instated annual bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister and inclusion at First Ministers meetings.
“At age fifteen, one of my daily chores was to check my dad’s trap line before school. I am proud that he taught me to hunt. My mother was a strong woman who taught me the importance of traditional ways, and to this day, I value traditional knowledge in my life. Culture is a big part of my family; my boys are drummers and my daughters and grandchildren traditional dancers. My lifelong goal has been to do the best I can for my family and community and to help other Indigenous families by advocating for their rights.>
Kim was born in Edson, Alberta, west of Edmonton, Alberta. His late father is Joe Beaudin, who was a citizen of the Métis Nation and his mother Margaret Callihoo, is a descendant of the Callihoo Reserve.
Kim’s Métis roots reach from the Red River in Manitoba all the way to Batoche, Saskatchewan. He is also a descendant of the Callihoo Reserve who signed the treaty in 1876. In 1958, the Michel Band and Indian Reserve 132 were enfranchised. This federal policy was used as a template to apply to reserves all across Canada, however it conflicted with the Canadian Bill of Rights and had to be repealed. Still with a stroke of a pen by the federal government, the Callihoo people became the forgotten people, so Kim understands what it’s like to be a forgotten Aboriginal person in Canada.
This drives Kim to do the work he does today as a well-known Indigenous political advocate, who has served in both political and administrative capacities with numerous Indigenous peoples’ organizations in Saskatchewan. He is also a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work for Indigenous Peoples. As President of the Coalition of Aboriginal Peoples of Saskatchewan for 7 years, Kim raised the profile of a wide range of issues that impact the lives of Métis and Status and Non-status Indians living off reserve. Kim has participated in high-level discussions with the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers and understands how to present issues effectively at the highest level. Kim has worked on Indigenous rights and issues at various governmental tables and continues to be actively involved in ongoing cases. He is also an outreach worker with the anti-gang initiative ‘STR8UP, 10 000 Little Step to Healing Inc.’ in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.>
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All Indigenous peoples in Canada should be rightfully treated with respect, dignity, integrity, and equality, and have a high quality of life founded on the rebuilding of our Nations.