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Powley Day


By Marie-Louise Perron, Knowledge Keeper, Indigenous Initiatives Service

Every year on September 19, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and Métis communities across the province mark Powley Day. This day honours the end of the decade-long battle by the MNO — together with Steve and Roddy Powley — for recognition of ancestral Métis harvesting rights.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the September 19, 2003 Supreme Court of Canada decision in the case of Steve and Roddy Powley, plaintiffs in the R. v. Powley case.

In its unanimous decision in this case, the Supreme Court declared that, as members of the Sault Ste. Marie Métis community, the Powleys had the ancestral right to harvest for food — a right protected under section 35 of The Constitution Act, 1982. It was the first court decision to recognize Métis rights as similar to those of First Nations and Inuit Peoples of Canada.

To mark this important day in Métis history, at a time celebrating its 30th anniversary year, the MNO has produced a feature-length documentary, now available to the public on YouTube, titled The Hunt for Justice: the Powley Story (in English only).

We invite the Saint Paul University community to take the time to reflect and learn about Métis history, and what Steve and Roddy Powley’s courageous action means for the Métis.

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