CAP-Daniels Decision: Indigenous Rights are Indigenous Rights

As CAP President, Harry Daniels spent his time standing up for the rights of Métis and Non-Status Indians. We continue his work today.

We’re still fighting
for the forgotten
Indigenous peoples.

The government of Canada must honour their legal responsibilities to Métis and Non-Status Indians.

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  1. Righting Past Wrongs
    Work with our organization on self-government initiatives, resolve outstanding and new Métis and Non-Status Indians land claims and treaties within realistic timeframes.
  2. Honouring Our Traditions
    Work with our organization to identify and define our rights as Indigenous people and develop the mechanism to oversee their implementation and protection.
  3. Providing Access
    Open up existing programs and services to ensure Métis and Non-Status people are included and develop new programs and services that directly target Métis and Non-Status people.

Our Success

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples has been fighting to empower all Indigenous Peoples for decades, including with our president, Harry Daniels, who in 1999 along with Leah Gardner, Terry Joudrey, and CAP filed suit against the Government of Canada for the court to determine which level of government has jurisdiction over Métis and non-status Indians.

Our Success

On January 8, 2013, the Federal Court Judge Justice Phelan granted the first declaration that Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The Federal Government appealed the Supreme Court’s decision which was heard in October 2013, and that ruling was released on April 17, 2014. CAP appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.


Our Success

On April 14, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada made the final decision on this important issue which will significantly impact the relationship between the Government of Canada, Métis, and non-status Indians. Indigenous Peoples are ready to settle claims, implement rights, unlock human potential, and prepare for self-governments for Métis and Indian communities outside of the Indian Act structures.

Meet Harry Daniels

Today and

There has been severe and lasting damage to Indigenous Peoples who were not recognized or registered as off-reserve Indians. Legislation divided families and communities according to externally-created categories and destabilized social structures necessary for communities to function. These categories prevented Indigenous people from defining who belongs to their communities according to their own traditions and continued the cycle of assimilation.

It’s time for the federal government to take action and meet their responsibilities on the rights of all Indigenous Peoples, including Métis and Non-Status Indians. This is a core piece of reconciliation.
While the Supreme Court ruling was a first step, six years later and the Canadian government has done little to act. The effect this has on our communities is severe. The time for waiting is over.

A better future is possible

This booklet is dedicated to Harry Daniels (1940-2004), for making it his life’s work to stand up against injustice and support the Métis and Non-Status Indians of Canada. May we never let that work be in vain.

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"It's time for the federal government to take action and meet their responsibilities to all Indigenous Peoples. Learn more about the @CongAboPeoples Daniels Decision at:"

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