R V. Powley - Facts and Procedural History

Facts and Procedural History

A Sault Ste. Marie father and son, Steve and Roddy Powley, were charged in 1993 with possession of a moose they had shot out of season and without a licence. The pair pleaded not guilty on the grounds that, as Métis, they had an Aboriginal right to hunt that was unjustly infringed by Ontario game laws. The Ontario Court of Justice agreed and dismissed the charges. The Ontario Attorney General appealed that decision to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which upheld the acquittals and denied the appeal. The Ontario Attorney General then appealed that decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal which also upheld the acquittals and denied the appeal. Finally, the decision was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, where a unanimous court upheld the decisions of the lower courts and defined a ten-step test for Métis rights based on modified tests from the previous Indian Aboriginal rights decisions in R. v. Sparrow and R. v. Van der Peet.

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