I have a membership card from one of the Métis National Council's Governing Members - can I hunt?

Yes, if you can also provide proof of an ancestral and ongoing connection to a historic Métis community in the territory where you are hunting. However, because the Métis National Council's Governing Members are at different stages in the development of their respective registry systems across the Homeland, a membership card alone may not be sufficient as proof. You must ensure you meet all three elements of the Powley test.

Are Métis harvesting rights the same as Indian harvesting rights?

In general, yes. Métis and Indians are to get the same priority allocations to the harvest. However, 1 some places Indian harvesting rights have been extinguished or are now set out in a treaty. In such cases, Métis may have harvesting rights that are different. On the Prairie Provinces, Indians may have two layers of constitutional protection - s. 35 rights and the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (NRTA). Métis in Manitoba and likely Métis in Saskatchewan and Alberta, as a result of the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Blais, cannot claim the additional protection of the NRTA. This does not mean that Métis do not have constitutional protection for their harvesting rights in the Prairies, it simply means that Métis harvesting on the Prairies has only one layer of constitutional protection - s. 35.

Are there limitations on my harvesting rights?

Yes. Conservation, health and public safety are all possible limitations.

What is the extent of the territory my Métis community can harvest on?

In Powley, Steve and Roddy were hunting just outside the city of Sault Ste. Marie. They were well within the traditional harvesting territory of this Métis community. Therefore, the Court did not have to decide and did not decide on the exact extent (i.e. specifically how far outside of Sault Ste. Marie) of the traditional hunting territory of this Métis community. Traditional hunting territory usually refers to the area that was historically used and currently used by a Métis community in order to sustain itself. Determining the extent of the traditional hunting grounds of Métis communities will need to be addressed through land use studies, negotiations and agreements and/or litigation.

Is there anything else I should keep in mind for this fall's harvest?

In line with the Métis Nation's values of conservation and ensuring public safety, please continue to exercise your rights responsibly and respectfully. There is going to be a need for a transition period for governments to come to grips with what the Court has said. This does not mean you should not exercise your community's right to hunt if you meet the Powley test. It just means that until governments sit down with the Métis Nation's governments to negotiate there is going to be some level of uncertainty and we cannot provide definitive answers to all questions. Please continue to be polite, be calm, be respectful and harvest responsibly this fall.