On Thursday when the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the landmark ruling that Métis are aboriginals under the Constitution, Raye St. Denys could only say, “It’s about time.”
“We’ve always known who we are. We are aboriginal people and we’ve known that forever,” said St. Denys, who is from Red Deer and is president of Métis Local 492 of the Métis Nation of Alberta.
About 4,000 registered Métis live in Central Alberta, of about 90,000 across the province.
St. Denys said she would not be surprised if the federal government appeals the latest decision to the Supreme Court. But she hopes it doesn’t because she believes it will only confirm once again that Métis are aboriginals.
She said the ruling will end a lot of unexpected discrimination because some people know what a Métis person is but others do not.
St. Denys looks forward to the day when all the appeals and negotiation are finally over.
“It’s been a long road to get to this point. I hope it comes in my lifetime. I hope it’s finally settled. But I don’t know if it will make a real change for us immediately.”