Harry Daniels, Métis, 1940-2004
He was one of the founding members of the modern Métis Society of Saskatchewan and of the Métis Association of the Northwest Territories, and he served as vice-president of the Métis Society of Alberta, where he had earlier served as a community fieldworker. He was vice-president and later president of the Native Council of Canada. The Native Council of Canada (NCC) was founded in 1971 by the leaders of the Métis Association of Alberta, the Métis Society of Saskatchewan, the Manitoba Métis Federation and the BC Association of Non-Status Indians. The Presidents of the organizations at that time were, respectively, Stan Daniels, Howard Adams, Angus Spence and Butch Smitherim. Tony Belcourt was elected the NCC’s first president. Daniels also served as the first president of the Métis National Council (1976 to 1981). In 1981, as the president of the Native Council of Canada, he convinced then Justice Minister Jean Chrétien to include the Métis as one of the three peoples who would be defined as the Aboriginal peoples of Canada in the Constitution Act, 1982. Shortly after that, the three Métis organizations from the Prairies withdrew from the NCC in order for the Métis to have their own seat at the Constitutional talks that took place from 1983 to 1989. Near the end of his career, from 1997 to 2000, he served as president of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. A longer biography appears in Native Leaders of Canada.