Métis lawyer Jason Madden represented the Métis Nation of Ontario, which was granted intervener status for the appeal on Treaty 3 harvesting rights heard by the Supreme Court of Canada May 15 in Ottawa. The appeal, Keewatin et al. v. Ontario, has been advanced by Grassy Narrows First Nation for more than five years. The case is about the Treaty 3 harvesting clause and Canada’s ongoing role in ensuring these harvesting rights are protected when lands are “taken up” in Treaty 3 territory. At trial, the Ontario Court of Justice held that Ontario did not have the constitutional authority to “take up” lands in the Keewatin area of Treaty 3 because of the promise in the Treaty that only Canada could grant these authorizations. The Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the lower court decision and Grassy Narrows was granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Earlier this year, MNO filed written arguments in support of Grassy Narrow appeal. MNO is intervening because Treaty 3 is unique in the history of Crown- Métis relations as the only historic Treaty negotiated with First Nations where Métis as a distinct Aboriginal group collectively adhered to a treaty.
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