Our Constitutional Rights
“ Another Chapter in the Pursuit of Reconciliation and Redress…” A Summary of Daniels v. Canada at the Supreme Court of Canada
About This Document
This is a summary of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Daniels v. Canada,
2016 SCC 12 (“Daniels”). It has been prepared for the Métis National Council (“MNC”) and its Governing Members. It is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. It does not necessarily represent the views of the MNC or its Governing Members.
Who Was Involved in the Case?
The representative plaintiffs were well-known Métis leader Harry Daniels (now deceased), Gabriel Daniels (Métis), Leah Gardner (a non-status Indian from Ontario), Terry Joudrey (a Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia) and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (the “Plaintiffs”). The case was filed against the federal government as represented by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (the “Respondent” or “Canada”).
At the Supreme Court of Canada, the MNC, Métis Settlements General Council and Gift Lake Métis Settlement intervened on behalf of the Métis Nation. Groups such as the Assembly of First Nations and Chiefs of Ontario amongst others intervened on behalf of First Nations and non-status Indian groups. Alberta and Saskatchewan also intervened.
What Did the Plaintiffs Ask For?
The Plaintiffs asked for three judicial declarations:
- that Métis and non-status Indians are in s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867;
- that the federal Crown owes a fiduciary duty to Métis and non-status Indians; and
- that Métis and non-status Indians have the right to be consulted and negotiated