FEDERAL COURT RULING ON “INDIANS” PRESSURES HARPER GOVERNMENT

The national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples calls this an emotional and a very hopeful day for all off-reserve natives.

Chief Betty Ann Lavallee says a Federal Court decision that Metis and non-status Indians are “Indians” ends the denial of aboriginal birthrights that has existed for far too long among off-reserve Metis and non-status Indians.

The decision adds to the mounting pressure on Prime Minister Harper to rethink the way Ottawa deals with native populations, who are among the most impoverished in Canada.

The ruling affects more than 600-thousand aboriginal people.

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