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Exploring the issue of Métis identity

Exploring the issue of Métis identity

The Law Society of Upper Canada
December 15, 2004

What does it mean to be Métis in the 21st century? How has the Métis identity developed? How will it change? These were some of the questions explored by more than 250 participants at the Law Society’s public legal education event held at Osgoode Hall on November 16, 2004, Louis Riel Day.

"The forum is a demonstration of the Law Society’s commitment to promote discussion and recognition of Métis rights,” explains Josée Bouchard, Equity Advisor at the Law Society. “We hold these public legal education events to encourage the exchange of information, ideas and action on legal issues relating to the rights and needs of equality-seeking groups.”

Entitled “I am Métis: Affirming Métis Rights Post Supreme Court of Canada Decision on R. v. Powley, the event was held in partnership with the Métis Nation of Ontario, the Métis National Council, Rotiio>taties Aboriginal Advisory Group and the City of Toronto.

Emceed by Marisha Roman, Aboriginal Issues Coordinator at the Law Society and member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, the Louis Riel Day commemoration featured a number of legal and academic experts on Métis rights and Métis legal history, including Jean Teillet, Jason Madden and Dr. Victor Lytwyn.

"The history of the law and its involvement and reaction with First Nation communities and the Métis has not always been a happy one,” Frank Marrocco, Q.C., Treasurer of the Law Society, said during his welcoming remarks. “Several years ago a determination was made [by the Law Society] to reach out to the communities that we represent for the purpose of expressing support for their aspirations and their attempt to redress grievances rooted in our history.”

The Honourable Mr. Justice Todd Ducharme of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was the keynote speaker at the reception. “This event provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the fact that Riel’s quest for justice did not end at the gallows. His cause has been taken up by many others, many of whom are in this room,” he said. “The life of Louis Riel says much about what is required to be an effective advocate for justice, whether one’s cause of justice is the Métis, justice for Aboriginal people more generally, or justice for any other people who have been marginalized or oppressed.”

View the Photo gallery.




































































Jason Madden, General Counsel, Métis
National Council; Jean Teillet, Aboriginal rights
lawyer, Pape& Salter



Second row:

Marisha Roman, Aboriginal Issues Coordinator,
Law Society of Upper Canada; Dr. Victor Lytwyn,
author, historical geographer, Aboriginal and
treaty rights consultant




Brian Ewolfson, Co-chair, Rotiio>taties
 


Participants. Third from left is Gary Lipinski,
Co-Chair and Chief Negotiator for Métis
Nation of Ontario


Participants
 


Jason Madden, General Counsel, Métis National
Council; Jean Teillet, Aboriginal rights lawyer,
Pape& Salter; Dr. Victor Lytwyn author, historical
geographer, Aboriginal and treaty rights consultant



Charles Fox, Assembly of First Nations Ontario
Regional Chief; Tony Belcourt, President, Métis
Nation of Ontario
 


Marisha Roman, Aboriginal Issues Coordinator,
Law Society of Upper Canada


Allan McIlay, Louis Riel descendant
 


Spirit Wind


Vern Harper, Cree Spiritual Elder; Senator Earl
Scofield
 


The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice
of Ontario


Allan McIlay, Louis Riel descendant; Vern Harper,
Cree Spiritual Elder
 


The Honourable Mr. Justice Todd Ducharme, Ontario
Superior Court of Justice


Jason Madden, General Counsel, Métis National
Council; The Honourable Mr. Justice Todd Ducharme,
Ontario Superior Court of Justice; Jean Teillet,
Aboriginal rights lawyer, Pape& Salter;
 



The Honourable Mr. Justice Todd Ducharme, Ontario
Superior Court of Justice; Vern Harper, Cree Spiritual
Elder; Frank Marrocco, Q.C., Treasurer, Law Society
of Upper Canada; The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry,
Chief Justice of Ontario


The Honourable Mr. Justice Todd Ducharme, Ontario
Superior Court of Justice; Frank Marrocco, Q.C.,
Treasurer, Law Society of Upper Canada; The Honourable
R. Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario
 


The Honourable Mr. Justice Todd Ducharme,

Ontario Superior Court of Justice;

The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry,

Chief Justice of Ontario


Source : The Law Society of Upper Canada 

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