Research Paper Number

3/2017

Title

'The Lands… Belonged to Them, Once by Indian Title, Twice for Having Defended Them…, and Thrice for Having Built and Lived on Them': The Law and Politics of Métis Title

Subsequently published in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Keywords

Métis--Land tenure; Métis--Legal status, laws, etc.; Indigenous peoples--Legal status, laws, etc.; Canada

Abstract

To predict what is on the horizon of the Métis legal landscape, we can look to jurisprudence on First Nations' rights, given that Métis rights cases are typically ten to fifteen years behind those of First Nations. With the release of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Tsilhqot'in, the next big issue in Métis law may be Métis title. Scholars have doubted the ability of Métis to establish Aboriginal title in Canada for two reasons: first, Métis were too mobile, and second, Métis were too immobile. This paper critically analyzes these positions and argues that the case for Métis title in Canada is a strong one. As such, the federal government would do well to establish a land claims process for resolving outstanding Métis title claims.