Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Metis President Elated by Ruling
Gary Lipinski says court ruling recognizing Metis will pave way for benefits.
A landmark decision from the Federal Court has classified Metis as Indians, placing them under federal jurisdiction.
This gives them hope of receiving the same health and education benefits as status Indians.
Speaking with Bayshore Broadcasting News, Gary Lipinski -- the President of the Metis Nation of Ontario -- welcomes the ruling and says he hopes now the Federal Government will not appeal the ruling and will sit down and begin negotiations with the Metis.
He says in the past, the Federal Government dismissed Metis requests for the same benefits as status Indians say the Metis were nor their responsibility.
Lipinski says this court ruling means that the Government is responsible for the Metis and he hopes Ottawa will now follow up on the ruling and sit down and meet with his people.
He says he expects the potential for benefits will push some people through his door for applications.
According to the 2006 census, nearly 400-thousand Canadians self-identify as Metis, although only about half that number is officially recognized.
Lipinski says in Ontario there are about 73 thousand people who identify as Metis.