The Metis are recognized as one of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples in the constitution. However, this has not always been so; the Metis people have fought long and hard for their collective rights. The Metis people originated from unions between Canada’s First Nations people and European explorers and fur traders. The were extremely valuable to Canada as skilled hunters as well as a way to bridge the gap between First Nations and European culture. As the Canadian Government expanded west, they tried to take over land that the Metis had been living on for years. They did not worry about making agreements with the Metis people because they did not consider them a part of Canada’s First Nations people. This prompted Metis people, led by Louis Riel to stand up for their rights. Louis Riel stood up for the Metis people and helped establish the province of Manitoba. The Manitoba Act gave the Metis people the rights to their land and made Manitoba a bilingual province. Many Metis people living in Saskatchewan felt threatened as the railway and settlers moved into their territory. Louis Riel once again led another rebellion against the Canadian Govt, this time violent. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=JvxKHSXjnZ8 After being taken into custody, Riel was tried and found guilty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV1Z qCWDdQ0 Although Riel was hung for treason, he is seen as an important part of Canada’s history and a champion of Metis rights. In 1938 the government finally set aside 12 settlements for the Metis people, the first time in history they had provided land for the Metis. The were turned over to the Metis permanently in 1990. The Metis are now formally recognized as one of Canada’s founding peoples, with collective rights protected by the constitution. In 2003 the Supreme Court ruled that the Metis could hunt and fish for food without licenses as one of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.