Daniels Case Perspective from Members

The BC Métis Federation wishes to thank our members and supporters who took the time to answer our Daniels v Canada Action Plan survey. These responses greatly assist the BC Métis Federation in responding to the Supreme Court’s April 14th, 2016 decision. The survey was composed of nine open-ended questions. Survey respondents provided detailed and thoughtful answers that will help guide the BC Métis Federation forward in the coming years. This document summarizes the results of the survey. Each question is listed and followed by a general discussion of the responses received.

Q1: How should Métis organizations respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Daniels? 

There was a consensus among the respondents that Métis organizations have a responsibility to actively engage with the Crown in order to ensure that Daniels v Canada creates meaningful change for Métis people. Several respondents argued that the Supreme Court’s statements on Métis diversity should be addressed by Métis organizations. The BC Métis Federation has argued that a restricted definition of ‘Métis’ is both historically inaccurate and inimical to reconciliation. Our organization will continue to fight for an accurate representation of our people’s unique heritage.

Q2: How should Canada respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Daniels? 

The respondents agreed that Canada cannot ignore the Supreme Court’s decision. The respondents further argued that Canada must engage with all Métis groups equally and openly. Public forums were suggested by a respondent as an example of a potential Canadian response to the decision.

Q3: What role, if any, should the provinces have in the relationship between the Crown and Métis people in Canada? 

Several respondents stated that the provinces should have no role in the relationship between the Crown and Métis people in Canada. These respondents argued that the federal government should develop a relationship with the Métis people instead. Other respondents were of the opinion that the provinces should facilitate Métis harvesting rights or provide land to sustain Métis peoples in individual provinces. There was a consensus that the provinces have no right to contravene the Supreme Court’s decision.

Q4: Are you satisfied with the federal programs and services available to Métis people in Canada? 

The vast majority of respondents stated that they were not satisfied with the federal programs and services available to Métis people. This sentiment led Métis people to begin the Daniels case and persists today. The BC Métis Federation is committed to shifting the intolerable status quo.

Q5: Should federal programs and services for Métis people be administered directly by the federal government or indirectly through Métis organizations? 

The respondents generally favoured the administration of programs and services through Métis organizations. There were several, however, who argued that the federal government should be responsible for programs and services. A common sentiment among the respondents was that

Métis organizations need better organization in order to administer programs. Another notion espoused by respondents was that the federal government is overly burdened by bureaucracy and may not deliver services and programs in a responsive manner.

Q6: How can we assist you to be active citizens and to contribute to our shared future of reconciliation? 

A common response among the respondents was that there must be effective communication between Métis organizations and Métis individuals The BC Métis Federation strives to communicate effectively through our website, Facebook, newsletters, and annual reports.

Q7: Is the BC Métis Federation heading in the right direction? 

Respondents generally stated that the BC Métis Federation is heading in the right direction. Some respondents argued that the BC Métis Federation could communicate more effectively with individuals.

Q8: What improvements do you suggest? 

Several respondents argued that there must be an increased emphasis on the diversity of Métis peoples. One respondent stated that better education regarding Métis history in B.C should be made available. Finally, improvements in communication were suggested by several respondents.

Q9: What programs and services are important to you? 

Many respondents argued that education is an important service that must be made available to Métis people. Programs for young people were identified as important. Several respondents mentioned land and harvesting rights. Language training was identified by one respondent. Finally, the notion of Métis self-government was suggested by several respondents.

[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/Daniels-Survey-Responses-September-2016.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the Daniels survey responses in PDF format.[/ilink]

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