Metis Issues

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Manitoba Metis Federation is not Legitimate

As a part of the Manitoba Act, the "half-breed" children residing in what became Manitoba in 1870, were promised land. Supposedly, land was set aside for them. Each of those children were to be issued "Script", which was to be exchanged for that land. The vast majority of those children never received any land for that Script, and they received little is any monetary value for it either.

Based upon the issuance of that Script, the Federal Government of Canada then determined that all rights of the Metis people had been extinguished. In effect, the government determined that the Metis people no longer existed, and that any and all rights that they may have had at one time, no longer existed because they had been given script. It was not until the Powley case was decided by the Supreme Court of Canada, that any part of the Federal Government acknowledged that the Metis people had any rights as aboriginal people of Canada.

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) has a current court case in which they are claiming to represent all of the Metis people. This court case has to do with the 1.8 million acres of land that was supposedly set aside for the Metis people in 1870, but that the Metis people were never actually given. Central to that case is the claim that the MMF represents ALL of the Metis people with a possible legitimate claim for land in Manitoba.

I am a direct descendant of several families that received "Manitoba Script" in the early 1870's. Jemima Johnston is my direct ancestor, and she was issued "Manitoba Script". None of those people ever received any land, and they received little if any monetary value for that script.

The Calder's, the Fould's and the Johnston's all received "Script", and all of them are in my ancestry. All of the descendants of those families would have legitimate claims to any land settlement made by the government (Federal or Provincial), in settlement of land claims.

The Manitoba Metis Federation does NOT represent me, or my six siblings. Thee MMF denies us the right to join their organization, even though our family line was in the Red River Valley long before Manitoba existed as a province, and long after Manitoba was established. We can not join ANY of the provincial organizations recognized by the "Metis Nation of Canada" (MNC), because we do not live in Canada. Yet all of us were born Metis, we were all born within the area that is acknowledged as being where the Metis lived and worked, and out father was born in the Red River Valley.

Many (if not the majority) of the descendants of the people that received "Manitoba Script" no longer live in Manitoba. After Manitoba was made a part of canada, those people scattered to the winds. Many families moved after they were evicted from the land they had lived on for many years. They were literally forced off of their ancestral land, and were denied a place in Manitoba.

Others lived in the province for many years after 1870, only moving later for economic or other reasons. They still have as much of a claim to any land as any other descendant of those who lived in the Red River Valley, but the MMF does not even attempt to claim that they represent those people. Instead, the MMF would deny those people any right to a land claim, instead attempting to only allow their members to have any claim to a settlement based on those old land claims.

Unless the MMF agrees to represent ALL Metis people, wherever they may reside, they should not be allowed to bring this case before the courts. They do not represent the Metis people, they merely represent a tiny minority of the Metis people that happen to reside in Mantoba.

The Manitoba Metis Federation does NOT represent me, or any of my siblings, in their claims before the courts.