Métis Nation B.C. reacts to Supreme Court of Canada ruling
'Excitement was almost overwhelming,' says Bruce Dumont, president of Métis Nation B.C.
Métis people in British Columbia are celebrating after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling today ended a 17-year-long court battle to bring them under the jurisdiction of the federal government as status Indians.
"The excitement was almost overwhelming," said Bruce Dumont, president of Métis Nation B.C., "after 200 years of suppression [...] finally being fully recognized by the Crown."
The decision means that the federal government now has constitutional responsibility for Métis and Non-status Indians.
"It is a load off your shoulders. We walk proud and we walk tall, we don't have to look back," he said.
Dumont says about 70,000 people identify themselves as Métis in B.C.
"There is a lot of work ahead of us and we are up to the task," he said.
He says there is also a lot of work to be done within the provincial and federal governments following today's decision.
With files from the CBC's The Early Edition.
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