Daniels v. Canada

In and Beyond the Courts

Nathalie Kermoal (Editor), Chris Andersen (Editor)


In Daniels v. Canada the Supreme Court determined that Métis and non-status Indians were “Indians” under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, one of a number of court victories that has powerfully shaped Métis relationships with the federal government.

However, the decision (and the case) continues to reverberate far beyond its immediate policy implications. Bringing together scholars and practitioners from a wide array of professional contexts, this volume demonstrates the power of Supreme Court of Canada cases to directly and indirectly shape our conversations about and conceptions of what Indigeneity is, what its boundaries are, and what Canadians believe Indigenous peoples are “owed.”

Attention to Daniels v. Canada’s variegated impacts also demonstrates the extent to which the power of the courts extend and refract far deeper and into a much wider array of social arenas than we often give them credit for. This volume demonstrates the importance of understanding “law” beyond its jurisprudential manifestations, but it also points to the central importance of respecting the power of court cases in how law is carried out in a liberal nation-state such as Canada.


"This important collection of original pieces focusing on Daniels v. Canada and the Supreme Court’s decision will have an impact for years to come. Reader’s will appreciate the diverse areas of expertise found in this volume, including Indigenous leadership, political activism, sociology, law, and anthropology."

Christopher Adams, co-editor of Metis in Canada: History, Identity, Law & Politics and Rector of St. Paul’s College

"Articulate, thoughtful, provocative assessments of how we might assess the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision regarding the Metis People’s legal status in Canada."

William Craig Wicken, Department of History, York University

About the Authors

Nathalie Kermoal is a professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and Director of Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research. Her latest book is Living on the Land: Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place, which she co-edited with Isabel Altamirano-Jimenez.

Chris Andersen is a professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and the Editor of Aboriginal Policy Studies. He is the author of “Métis”: Race, Recognition and the Struggle for Indigenous Peoplehood.

Other contributors: Tony Belcourt, Catherine Bell, Deborah A. Bolnick, Brenda L. Gunn, Arend J.A. Hoekstra, Thomas Isaac, Darryl Leroux, Jason Madden, Brenda Macdougall, Austin W. Reynolds, Rick W.A. Smith, Lauren Springs, D’Arcy Vermette

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Daniels in Context
Ch. 2 Harry Daniels and Section 91 (24) of the British North America Act
Ch. 3 After the Hysteria: Understanding Daniels v. Canada from a Métis Nation Perspective
Ch. 4 Daniels v Canada: A Framework for Redress
Ch. 5 The Other Declarations in Daniels: Fiduciary Obligations and the Duty to Negotiate
Ch. 4 Racism, Canadian Jurisprudence, and the de-Peopling of the Métis in Daniels
Ch. 5 Daniels Through an International Law Lens
Ch. 6 Daniels v. Canada Beyond Jurisprudential Interpretation: What to do Once the Horse has Left the Barn
Ch. 7 Outlining the Origins of “Eastern métis” Studies
Ch. 8 Making Kin in a Postgenomic World: Indigenous Belonging after the Genome
Ch. 9 How We Know Who We Are: Historical Literacy, Kinscapes, and Defining a People
Conclusion: The Multiple Lives of the Daniels Case

University of Manitoba Press is grateful for the support it receives for its publishing program from the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund; the Canada Council for the Arts; the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage, and Tourism; the Manitoba Arts Council; and the Aid to Scholarly Publishing Programme.