On October 8, 2015, Karey Brooks and Claire Truesdale represented Aseniwuche Winewak Nation (“AWN”) at the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in the Daniels v Canada case on whether non-status Indians and Metis are “Indians” for the purpose of s.91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. Section 91(24) gives Canada, alone, authority to make laws with respect to “Indians”. The case arose because Canada and the Provinces have for many years been treating non-status Indians and Métis people as “political footballs” for which neither of them will accept responsibility.
AWN, as a community of mixed indigenous ancestry which currently includes people who identify as status Indians, non-status Indians and Métis, has experienced the damage that comes from Canada’s refusal to recognize their community. On behalf of AWN, JFK presented to the court AWN’s unique perspective and made legal arguments about how determining who was an “Indian” for the purposes of jurisdiction, and urged the Court to stay away from the colonial concept of “Indian status” under the Indian Act. The court reserved judgment and is expected to make its decision in several months time.
The hearing can be viewed online here.
AWN’s Factum is available here.
Media coverage of the case can be found here.