Contemporary Metis Justice: The Settlement Way



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C. Bell & Métis Settlements Appeal Tribunal
ISBN 0-88880-392-3
1999 602 pp. Softcover

To what extent can a delegated system of government and dispute resolution incorporate cultural values and enhance the autonomy of Aboriginal peoples? Answers to this question can be found in the recent success of Alberta Metis settlements in negotiating a Metis land base and delegated powers of self-government. The Metis settlements in Alberta have achieved:

  • powers of local and regional government 
  • constitutional protection of collective fee simple title to their land and the structure of regional Metis government
  • a significant share in, and control over, the development of natural resources on their lands
  • the creation of a unique quasi-judicial body, the Metis Settlements Appeal Tribunal (MSAT), with jurisdiction to resolve disputes relating to membership, land dealings, surface rights, descent of property and any other matter the parties involved agree to submit to MSAT jurisdiction 

Professor Bell’s detailed study of MSAT as a unique model of contemporary Aboriginal dispute resolution in Part One of this book, together with the reporting of MSAT decisions in Part Two, is a valuable reference for those interested in exploring the development of Aboriginal justice mechanisms through delegated powers and the adaptation of existing principles of administrative law. This book will also be of interest to those working in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, administrative law, resource management, Metis history, Aboriginal law, and those engaged in the study and implementation of Aboriginal government.