June 19, 2008

Metis Step Up Drive to Have Prairie Provinces Honour Their Hunting, Fishing Rights


EDMONTON - Metis Nation-Saskatchewan leaders are meeting with Premier Brad Wall's government to begin talks on what could be a breakthrough on hunting and fishing rights - after a decade of legal wrangling.

CEO Brian Kembel says the negotiations come after Metis in the province won more than five illegal hunting cases in court. It's hoped there will be an interim agreement by the fall.

Alberta and its Metis are expected to square off in court in a test case next year.

Manitoba, meanwhile, is waiting for a decision on an illegal hunting case before deciding on whether to fight more cases in court.

At issue is how each province is complying with a 2003 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that said Metis have the aboriginal right to hunt and fish for food.

Ontario has a harvesting agreement with its Metis community that allows people to hunt and fish within a broadly defined region around their traditional home area.