Metis man applies for money to fight squatting charge
Starting Monday, a Metis man and his lawyer will try to convince a judge to advance them the money they need to fight their squatting case.
Paul is arguing Prosperous Lake is part of a hunting area the Crown gave to aboriginal people shortly after signing Treaty 11 in 1921.
"The Metis were given the option of taking script — a one-time payment of $240 — or taking the treaty," says Paul's lawyer Kenneth Staroszik.
"In Clem Paul's case, his Metis ancestors took treaty. By taking treaty they became status Indians, so this is not a case of Metis rights, it's a case of treaty rights."
The documentation Paul, Staroszik and a historian have assembled to prove Metis ancestry in the area include 691 books, 2,500 articles and 70 historic maps.
In applying to the court for money to fight a case, Staroszik says "There's three things you have to establish. The first is that the party making the application can't afford to finance the lawsuit, and our budget for this case is over $3 million for the six month trial and all the experts. The second is that the case has merit. And the third is that the case is of public importance."
Arguments for the funding begin Monday in NWT Supreme Court and are expected to last three days.