General Métis Frequently Asked Questions
What is the legal test established by the Supreme Court for proving a Métis community's Aboriginal right?
To qualify for Aboriginal rights under section 35, a Métis group must demonstrate: that a Métis community has existed continuously since Europeans established effective control of the area in which the community is located; and that the activity the community seeks to protect as an Aboriginal right has been and continues to be of central significance to the community.
What criteria must be met for an individual to prove they are a member of a Métis community and are able to exercise that community's Aboriginal right?
An individual must first demonstrate membership in a present-day Métis community that can trace its existence back to an historic Métis community with a distinctive culture.
To prove membership, an individual must: self-identify as Métis, have an ancestral connection to an historic Métis community, and be accepted as a member by this community. The Supreme Court decision also stated that self-identification should not be of "recent vintage"-that is, made only to claim an Aboriginal right under s.35.
Did the Supreme Court define a Métis community?
No, although the Supreme Court did establish criteria to help identify which Métis communities can hold site-specific Aboriginal rights. To qualify, a community must have a distinctive collective identity, and its members must live in the same geographic area and share a common way of life. Research to assist with the identification of potential Métis rights-bearing communities is underway.
How do I get my name added to the list of Métis rights holders (how do I get my Métis status card)?
The Government of Canada neither maintains nor prepares lists of Métis individuals or claimants. If you believe that you are Métis, you should discuss this with your local or provincial Métis organization.
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