Metis people take Canada to court over Manitoba lands Christopher G. Anderson at 3:43 PM ET
[JURIST] After waiting twenty-five years to get their day in court, lawyers for the Metis [Metis Nation website; press release] people of Manitoba delivered opening arguments Monday in a case that will determine whether 1.4 million acres of land - including a portion of Winnipeg, Manitoba's capital city - was illegally taken from them by the Canadian government [official website]. At issue in the case is Section 31 and Section 32 of the Manitoba Act of 1870 [text] which allegedly committed the land to the Metis, a people descended from the marriages of Europeans and Native Americans [Metis National Council backgrounder]. Approximately 100,000 Metis live in Manitoba today. The Metis claim the 40 enactments passed in the one-hundred and thirty-six years since the 1870 act - which effectively nullified their exclusive rights to the land - were all unconstitutional.
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