Aboriginal Rights Litigation, Negotiation, and Practice among the Metis of BC: Community Perspectives on Creating Legal Change

  • Kerry Sloan
Keywords: Metis, British Columbia, jurisprudence, litigant and community perspectives


This paper examines the perspectives of Metis people in the southern BC interior about how to deal with the rejection by the courts of all three Metis rights claims in the province.  The perspectives of those directly involved in the three cases, along with community members in the subject areas (Thompson/Shuswap, south Okanagan, Kootenays) reveal that people generally prefer negotiation to litigation in the BC context, as lack of understanding of Metis history, territories and communities in BC creates difficulties for BC Metis litigants.  Negotiation was viewed favourably by participants, but continuing to practise rights was seen as more important than gaining state recognition of rights.