Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Who are the Labrador Métis?

Chris Montague and the Labrador Métis Nation has been making news lately. They had taken out ads which imitate Premier Williams' ads on Stephen Harper's broken promise. Now Danny Williams is the one they say has broken a promise. The Métis say Williams has failed to follow through on a pledge to allow Labrador Métis to hunt and fish for personal use.

In 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously confirmed the existence of Métis communities in Canada and the Constitutional protection of their Aboriginal rights. However, some of their members have been charged with illegal hunting, despite Williams' promise to abide by the Powley ruling, and further allow the Métis aboriginal rights to hunt. Tom Rideout, the minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, said the province cannot act until the federal government makes a key move.
No negotiations have taken place, and none can take place until a … national government accepts the fact that they do, in fact, have the basis for a claim.
The LMN say the government did break a campaign promise, so what's the hangup?

The rights of the Labrador Métis are what's at stake here and the protests will continue by the Métis until this is resolved. So we will probably be hearing more on this. Until I did a some research on the net I did not know much about the Labrador Métis? Here's a little information on them:

Labrador Métis are the descendants of European men and (primarily) Inuit women and today live in coastal communities from Lake Melville south to the Strait of Belle Isle." European men temporarily fished, traded with Labrador Aboriginals. They met and intermarried with Inuit women.
The descendents of these two cultures can be seen within the communities that line the southern coastal and interior waterways of Labrador. The well-established community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay supports a large Inuit-Métis population, along with the smaller communities of Mud Lake, North West River, Cartwright, Paradise River, Black Tickle, Norman Bay, Charlottetown, Pinsent's Arm, Williams Harbour, Port Hope Simpson, St. Lewis, Mary's Harbour and Lodge Bay. The Inuit-Métis have lived, and continue to live, in other parts of Labrador, as well. - Labrador Metis Nation

In 1999 they numbered about 5000.

Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage
Labrador Métis Nation

Update (from VOCM) "President Chris Montague says Ontario will see no power from the Lower Churchill without the involvement of the Labrador Metis. Montague issued the warning at the Opportunities to Develop Renewable Energy Projects with First Nations, Industry, and Government Partnerships conference in Toronto yesterday. He told the delegates Labrador Metis have to be "meaningfully included" in the project before it can proceed."

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