Lawyer representing Metis man in Alberta who accepted fish says this could be the case they’ve been waiting for

A Metis man in Alberta is facing charges for accepting fish from a First Nations fisher breaking the fish and wildlife laws.

Dwayne Roth is representing Kenton Klein who accepted 22 whitefish and 20 bags of walleye.

“Kenton has been going up to Fort Chip for many, many years,” said Roth. “He knows a lot of people in the community. Sharing of food between Aboriginal peoples is not that uncommon up here.”

In March 2018, Lee Ladouceur, a Dene man from Fort Chipewyan said he gave Klein the fish as a gift for helping him out.

Klein was then caught with the fish and charged with eight counts under both federal and provincial laws for accepting fish.

According to a statement provided by Alberta Fish and Wildlife, “Fish caught under the authority of a Treaty Right are only able to be shared with family members of the individual who caught the fish, and may not be gifted to any other persons who are not also an Indian.”

Fort Chipewyan is one of Alberta’s oldest settlements and is home to the Dene, Mikisew Cree and Metis.

The northern remote hamlet sits on the shores of Lake Athabasca, one of the largest sources of food for the people who live there.

Sharing harvested food between First Nations and Metis has always taken place.

We help one another,” said Elder Raymond Ladouceur. “Since I can remember since I was a child my grandfather did that, my parents did the same and I did that since I was young.”

The community of Fort Chipewyan is on edge.

Lee Ladouceur is also facing charges for fishing without an Indian Domestice Fishing License.

Raymond Ladouceur says society has to change.

“I think white man’s got to start realizing, let us have our ways the way we were,” he said. “Help one another, feed one another. It’s shameful to try to charge us, charge the people. I disagree with that. Let us live the way we lived, we never bothered anybody, we help one another.

“What if I went south, somewhere south in the city and there’s a white man that’s hungry there and has nothing for his family, I can’t give him some fish to feed his family? That’s totally wrong.”

Robert Grandjambe is Cree and owns a dog team that he takes tourists out on.

He regularly has a net out on Lake Athabasca which he pulls to feed his family and his dog team.

“They put in so many laws now that effect the traditional way of life. And one of them is an example of not being able to share. It’s actually illegal to share anything or give anything away anymore. That’s not our law,” said Grandjambe.

“Why is it that another group of people has infringed on somebody’s way of life it’s really not fair.”

Grandjambe also said there needs to be some boundaries when it comes to harvesting.

“We should not be able to kill 15 moose a year it’s our right to do so but we should not be allowed to because we’ve evolved as a human species to take and take and take we don’t know when to stop,” he said.

“We’ve become a very greedy nation.”

Another issue, is the Crown doesn’t feel Klein is a historic Metis in northern Alberta. Klein has lived in Athabasca most of his life and can trace his roots to the Red River, but he was born in Saskatchewan.

“So we have to look at ‘what is a historic Metis?’” Roth said, “We’re trying to say that it’s the Metis Nation from the Red River to the Rockies. That is our historic Metis community and we’re putting that to the test as well.’

Roth said there has not been a case that has been successful in establishing Metis hunting and fishing rights – but this one could do just that.

“To have that precedent out there that there is Metis rights in the heart of the billion dollar oil sands industry will change the dynamic,” said Roth. “It will provide the Metis communities with a bit more leverage when it comes to dealing with oil sands industry because they will be able to say ‘here’s a case that establishes that we have Aboriginal rights in this area.’”

Neither Lee Ladouceur or Klein can speak with the media while their case is before the court.

The judge in the case has set aside 23 days for the hearings that are expected to take place in early 2020.

Video Journalist / Calgary

Tamara is Métis from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She received a diploma in interactive media arts at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon and has worked as a videographer for CBC in Winnipeg and Iqaluit. Tamara was hired by APTN in 2016 as a camera/editor and is now a video journalist in our Calgary bureau.


28 thoughts on “Lawyer representing Metis man in Alberta who accepted fish says this could be the case they’ve been waiting for

  1. Another blatant exsample of the governments ignorance of land treaties and who they apply to give your heads a shake and stop being the bullies that you are and remember this you are unwanted guest on our land so back off . I hope this goes to the Supreme Court of Canada and is settled once and for all and that the parties that made the arrest are removed from their positions for good

  2. it would be nice to win this in a court and set a precedent. for the last few years conservation always seem to have a file open on me . I always hut according to treaty 8 . last years investigation was I’m from bc hunting in Alberta without an export permit to bring meat home I shot in Alberta. the investigation is always dropped . one conservation officer even drove 6 hrs to see my status card .I wonder what that cost in expense’s to the tax payers . I’m positive 50% of the conservation officers know little of native rights then they lay charges out of ignorance . stand your ground I do

  3. Always the government gets involved and creates problems, the First Nations and Metis have rights given with treaties signed. the treaties are never kept and we are the ones trying to protect the land while other people are not just destroying our earth. I hope this man wins to prove he did nothing wrong while other hunters and sports fishermen are protected and take too much. We are fighting the MNR and proves they favor sports and recreational fishermen as they can lobby the government

  4. In the Province of Saskatchewan the Provincial laws do not apply on First Nations Lands, that’s something to look into in this case, also Provincial Authorities have absolutely no business inside First Nations Lands and that goes for the Federal Authorities, we are after all under Treatise with the British Crown and not the Federal or Provincial Governments. These same laws apply clear across Canada. Them Federal and Provincial Authorities are stepping over their bounds.

    1. Provincial laws certainly apply to First Nations.

      Who issues your driver’s license or ensuring your motorized vehicles are properly registered and insured?

  5. My late dad won a fishing case on cancouver island
    Known as Triple J case
    Theres Sparrow case
    We are presently lustening in BC SUPREME court on Ahousaht nation n 4 other nations right to harvedt and sell fish

  6. As far as I am concerned this is a stupid law. On the one hand it says that a First Nations person can only share with their family and not with a non First Nation person. If I was to follow this to the letter it would cause a dilemma, meaning I could share with my children (they are Status Indians) but not my spouse (who is white). But on the other hand she is my family, so are my In-laws who are also white. Where does it stop? For all the Fish Cops know this individual could have been family, they just assume he wasn’t.

  7. Metis have inherent aboriginal rights. These rights are protected in section 35 of the constitution and these rights are portable rights the metis homeland stretches from eastern Canada to the territories to British Columbia and into the united states. This case should set a precedent for all metis within the metis homeland. Sustainense, trade gift giving for all all aboriginal is a cultural trait which has been around for generation even prior to Canada and confederation.

  8. Unfortunately is whitefolk are all about sucking every morsel of life , every cent out of a hard earned dollar and every ounce of pride out of what was once a flourishing civilization. It’s with great shame and humility I humbly try to perhaps take just a grain of the endless weight of shame I feel for being a descendent of such filth. We are a guest on this living mass we call home, when actually, we whom are ignorant should be calling her mother and treating her as such. We are a parasite breeding and feeding and destroying all that is good on this mother of ours destroying our mothers honey that she shares in countless way to provide what we need to breathe eat swim everything. I am Jeremie Joseph Benoit Robinson, I am proud of my family, I mean no shame to them or my fellow man. But my fellow man needs to educate and not be led astray by the lies we were taught in school and led to believe. Us settlers solely caused the extinction of the mayans , Aztec, and my less privileged knowledge I apologize for the many other cultures left in the wake of smallpox cholera measles, Hang your head in shame white brothers Mother Earth has started the cleanse and nothin gonna stop it. Sorry for my part in the end of days

  9. Wishing successful legal battle for these men. It’s important to call down oppressive laws which infringe on the rights of indigenous peoples.

  10. As a Métis Nation of Alberta member with a family history from the Red River territory, one only needs to look at the Daniels case won at the Supreme Court of Canada in April 2016 to show that Your client is now defined as Indian under 91.24 of the Indian Act.
    He cannot be charged because he is Indian under the Federal Law and any of the Province’s cannot change or challenge that fact any longer.
    Sometimes You have to educate the Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers about the law and how laws are made whether by parliament or the Supreme Court of Canada.
    All the best going forward with Your claim.
    Thanks, Ted

  11. Alberta Fish & Game are at times acting as though they are Judge and jury in the field. I am Metis and was fishing on reserve land with rod and reel. They accused me of sports fishing without a license and breaking the law. As they knew they were on reserve land they wrote out a warning ticket only. So I ask you was I guilty of an offense or was I being harrassed and bullied by an authorative figure in our society ?

  12. My personal opinion is that we can share our catch with family and friends. It is our culture. To share means we don’t expect anything back. It is a gift.
    As far as I’m aware there is no such cultural activity in the non-First Nations environment. Its every individual for themselves.
    Thus we see conflict as the dominant society continues to impose their foreign ways and laws.
    However I do find it disappointing to note the amount of fish given unless of course if it is intended to share with families living, working or studying in urban areas; they too love to eat traditional foods.

  13. The native have every right to the land,but yet the oil businesses are destroying the land,not right,we natives protect the land.

  14. it would be nice to win this in a court and set a precedent. for the last few years conservation always seem to have a file open on me . I always hut according to treaty 8 . last years investigation was I’m from bc hunting in Alberta without an export permit to bring meat home I shot in Alberta. the investigation is always dropped . one conservation officer even drove 6 hrs to see my status card .I wonder what that cost in expense’s to the tax payers . I’m positive 50% of the conservation officers know little of native rights then they lay charges out of ignorance . stand your ground I do

  15. Another blatant exsample of the governments ignorance of land treaties and who they apply to give your heads a shake and stop being the bullies that you are and remember this you are unwanted guest on our land so back off . I hope this goes to the Supreme Court of Canada and is settled once and for all and that the parties that made the arrest are removed from their positions for good

  16. In the Province of Saskatchewan the Provincial laws do not apply on First Nations Lands, that’s something to look into in this case, also Provincial Authorities have absolutely no business inside First Nations Lands and that goes for the Federal Authorities, we are after all under Treatise with the British Crown and not the Federal or Provincial Governments. These same laws apply clear across Canada. Them Federal and Provincial Authorities are stepping over their bounds.

    1. Provincial laws certainly apply to First Nations.

      Who issues your driver’s license or ensuring your motorized vehicles are properly registered and insured?

  17. As far as I am concerned this is a stupid law. On the one hand it says that a First Nations person can only share with their family and not with a non First Nation person. If I was to follow this to the letter it would cause a dilemma, meaning I could share with my children (they are Status Indians) but not my spouse (who is white). But on the other hand she is my family, so are my In-laws who are also white. Where does it stop? For all the Fish Cops know this individual could have been family, they just assume he wasn’t.

  18. Metis have inherent aboriginal rights. These rights are protected in section 35 of the constitution and these rights are portable rights the metis homeland stretches from eastern Canada to the territories to British Columbia and into the united states. This case should set a precedent for all metis within the metis homeland. Sustainense, trade gift giving for all all aboriginal is a cultural trait which has been around for generation even prior to Canada and confederation.

  19. My late dad won a fishing case on cancouver island
    Known as Triple J case
    Theres Sparrow case
    We are presently lustening in BC SUPREME court on Ahousaht nation n 4 other nations right to harvedt and sell fish

  20. Wishing successful legal battle for these men. It’s important to call down oppressive laws which infringe on the rights of indigenous peoples.

  21. Always the government gets involved and creates problems, the First Nations and Metis have rights given with treaties signed. the treaties are never kept and we are the ones trying to protect the land while other people are not just destroying our earth. I hope this man wins to prove he did nothing wrong while other hunters and sports fishermen are protected and take too much. We are fighting the MNR and proves they favor sports and recreational fishermen as they can lobby the government

  22. My personal opinion is that we can share our catch with family and friends. It is our culture. To share means we don’t expect anything back. It is a gift.
    As far as I’m aware there is no such cultural activity in the non-First Nations environment. Its every individual for themselves.
    Thus we see conflict as the dominant society continues to impose their foreign ways and laws.
    However I do find it disappointing to note the amount of fish given unless of course if it is intended to share with families living, working or studying in urban areas; they too love to eat traditional foods.

  23. As a Métis Nation of Alberta member with a family history from the Red River territory, one only needs to look at the Daniels case won at the Supreme Court of Canada in April 2016 to show that Your client is now defined as Indian under 91.24 of the Indian Act.
    He cannot be charged because he is Indian under the Federal Law and any of the Province’s cannot change or challenge that fact any longer.
    Sometimes You have to educate the Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers about the law and how laws are made whether by parliament or the Supreme Court of Canada.
    All the best going forward with Your claim.
    Thanks, Ted

  24. Alberta Fish & Game are at times acting as though they are Judge and jury in the field. I am Metis and was fishing on reserve land with rod and reel. They accused me of sports fishing without a license and breaking the law. As they knew they were on reserve land they wrote out a warning ticket only. So I ask you was I guilty of an offense or was I being harrassed and bullied by an authorative figure in our society ?

  25. Unfortunately is whitefolk are all about sucking every morsel of life , every cent out of a hard earned dollar and every ounce of pride out of what was once a flourishing civilization. It’s with great shame and humility I humbly try to perhaps take just a grain of the endless weight of shame I feel for being a descendent of such filth. We are a guest on this living mass we call home, when actually, we whom are ignorant should be calling her mother and treating her as such. We are a parasite breeding and feeding and destroying all that is good on this mother of ours destroying our mothers honey that she shares in countless way to provide what we need to breathe eat swim everything. I am Jeremie Joseph Benoit Robinson, I am proud of my family, I mean no shame to them or my fellow man. But my fellow man needs to educate and not be led astray by the lies we were taught in school and led to believe. Us settlers solely caused the extinction of the mayans , Aztec, and my less privileged knowledge I apologize for the many other cultures left in the wake of smallpox cholera measles, Hang your head in shame white brothers Mother Earth has started the cleanse and nothin gonna stop it. Sorry for my part in the end of days

  26. The native have every right to the land,but yet the oil businesses are destroying the land,not right,we natives protect the land.

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