This paper chronicles the inclusion of the Métis in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, their battle for a seat in the Constitutional Conferences that followed and their litigation journeys since 1990. The paper examines the lethal combination of section 35, section 52 and the urgings of the Supreme Court of Canada that reconciliation is to be accomplished by negotiations. The negotiated agreements that result from their court “victories” have been implemented (or not) according to the shifting winds of provincial politics. Métis rights are governed not by laws, but by policies and guidelines that the Métis know nothing about. Many of these policies are not published anywhere, are often not available for public scrutiny and are made without consultation. Section 35, which recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal rights of the Métis, appears to do so in a manner that is not transparent or accountable, with the unfortunate result that Métis live, unlike other Canadians, with no law.
"The Métis and Thirty Years of Section 35: How Constitutional Protection for Métis Rights Has Led to the Loss of the Rule of Law."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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