Metis, other non-status aboriginals now 'Indian'

(QMI IMAGE)

(QMI IMAGE)

Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

OTTAWA - The government is considering its next steps following a Federal Court decision Tuesday that grants Metis and off-reservation Indians the same status as other First Nations in a 13-year-long court case aboriginal people call a victory.

This means 600,000 Metis and non-status Indians in Canada are "Indians" under the federal Constitution Act and are entitled to legal access to education, health care benefits and negotiation rights in land claims.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan did not acknowledge the near-certainty that the government will appeal and push the case to the Supreme Court, although spokesman Jan O'Driscoll said the government was reviewing the decision.


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