The Native Council of Canada
Up until the 1950s, Metis political interests were represented by a variety of regional andlocal political organizations and activists. In 191, the !ational Indian "ouncil wascreated, under govern#ent auspices, as an u#brella group to advocate for the concerns of Metis and !on$%tatus Indians& these were #ainly urban or off$reserve 'boriginal people.(y 19), it had beco#e apparent that pursuing such a wide variety of interests through asingle organization that was a creation of govern#ent and under considerable govern#entinfluence was proble#atic. *hus the "anadian Metis %ociety e#erged to represent Metisinterests. *his in turn, beca#e the !ative "ouncil of "anada +!"" in 19-1, at the sa#eti#e the !ational Indian (rotherhood +now the 'sse#bly of first !ations was for#ed torepresent status Indians. *he !"" as it was developed was co#posed of provincial andterritorial organizations, usually called !ative "ouncils or Metis and !on$%tatus Indian'ssociations. *he !ative "ouncil of "anada +!"" was for#ed in 19-1 by the leaders of the Metis'ssociation of 'lberta, the Metis %ociety of %asatchewan, *he Manitoba Metis/ederation, and the (" 'ssociation of !on$%tatus Indians. *he presidents of theorganizations at that ti#e were, respectively, %tan aniels, oward 'da#s, 'ngus%pence and (utch %#itheri#. *ony (elcourt was elected as the !""2s first president.arry aniels served as !"" president fro# 19- to 19)1, it was while he was presidentof !"" that he convinced then 3ustice Minister 3ean "hr4tien to include the Metis as oneof the three peoples who would be defined as the 'boriginal eoples of "anada in the"onstitution 'ct, 19)6. %hortly after that the three Metis organizations fro# therovinces withdrew fro# the !""
in order for the Metis to have their own seat at the"onstitutional tals that too place fro# 19)7 to 19)9.*he !ative "ouncil of "anada arose out of a !ove#ber 1, 19-0 #eeting of the Metis'ssociations of Manitoba, %asatchewan, and 'lberta with the (ritish "olu#bia'ssociation of !on$%tatus Indians at 8ictoria, (ritish "olu#bia. %everal subseuent#eetings led to the official launch and opening of a !"" national office in :ttawa in'pril of 19-1. In 19)7 the Metis split fro# the !ative "ouncil of "anada, a pan$'boriginal coalition, to for# M!" as a Metis$specific representative group. *he presidents of !"" up to the M!" split were& *ony (elcourt +19-1$19-6, ;er#it Moore+19-6$19-7, <loria <eorge +19-7$19-5, arry aniels +19-$19)1
and %#oey(ruyere +19)1$19)7. *he !ative "ouncil of "anada continued its operations until 1997,when it changed its na#e to the "ongress of 'boriginal eoples. It is now an alliance of !on$%tatus Indians fro# across the country and Metis fro# areas such as =abrador andthe Mariti#es and other >astern rovinces.
't the ti#e they withdrew, 'udreen ourie fro# Manitoba Metis /ederation was the 8ice$resident of !"". 't the ti#e she was elected she had told MM/ that even though they planned to withdraw, she wouldsearve out her !"" ter#.
arry aniels returned as president and served !"" now "' fro# 199- to 1999.1