Landmark ruling swells number of Canada aboriginals

Metis National Council President, Clement Chartier talks to media in Vancouver on March 2, 2016More than 600,000 Metis and non-status Indians are “aboriginal” under Canadian law, the Supreme Court said Thursday in a landmark decision that gives them legal status after a protracted battle. The Metis are descendants of French fur traders and North American Indian women who settled in western Canadian provinces in the early days of European colonization, including a large community that settled in Manitoba province’s Red River Valley. Long referred to as “half-breeds” by the British Crown and later by the Canadian government, their status as indigenous people had never been fully recognized.

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