On September 19, Métis communities throughout the provinces and territories celebrate the recognition of Métis rights, known as Powley Day. Métis rights, although protected under Section 35 of the Constitutional Act, 1982, remained largely unrecognized until September 19, 2003, when the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously affirmed the existence and protection of Métis rights in R. v. Powley.
On October 22, 1993, Steve and Roddy Powley killed a bull moose near Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Although the Powley’s tagged their catch with their Métis card, Conservation Officers they were later charged them by Conservation Officers for hunting moose without a license and unlawful possession of moose contrary to Ontario’s Game and Fish Act (Métis Nation of Ontario).
The convictionis prompted a decade- long legal battle for Steve and Roddy Powley against the Crown who was seeking to appeal the initial ruling of the trial judge who ruled that the Powley’s had Métis rights to hunt that were protected by the Constitution. Finally, on September 19, 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a judgment declaring that the Powley’s as Métis had rights to hunt under s.35.
The TDSB celebrates this landmark decision and the recognition of Métis rights.
Follow @UIEC_tdsb and @tdsb on Twitter to see how students and staff celebrate Powley day from across the Toronto District School Board. celebrate Powley Day.
For more information, visit the Urban Indigenous Education Centre website.