A positive decision in the application would have meant recognition of Metis hunting and fishing rights for OMAA members, as well as saving OMAA money in legal expenses to defend its members facing the charges.
The defence of OMAA members can still continue, but cases must proceed on an individual basis.
This in effect extinguishes our constitutionally-protected Metis hunting and fishing rights," said John Clow, legal council for OMAA.
On this part of the application Judge McMillan ruled: "The applicant OMAA is a corporation which does not enjoy Charter rights and which does not appear to have status or standing to challenge the interim agreement entered into between the MNR and the MNO concerning the recognition and regulation of the latter's Metis members.
Training funds come from Human Resources Development Canada, but OMAA
has a new proposal into the government and various forest industry partners, promoting an opportunity to increase skills in the workforce and add to the value of forestry in the North.
Not only does OMAA seek to set aside the MNO agreement, it attempts to combine 40 different charges against OMAA members for hunting and fishing infractions into one legal action.
McGuire acknowledges that not all members of OMAA are Metis, however OMAA wants the same rights for all its members regardless of their ancestry.
McGuire calls OMAA members the Woodlands Metis, and that they consist of persons declaring themselves to be Metis, non-status and off-reserve First Nations persons, and Inuit.
The recently formed OMAA Equity Corporation (OEC) makes equity investments of up to $40,000 in new Native businesses.
To Wetelainen, the financial arms of the OMAA exist to bring the economic level of Natives up to the level of the non-Native population.
Low-income Natives and non-Natives in rural areas benefit from the work of OMAA Real Estate Limited.
vice-president Henry Wetelainen said the Aboriginal coalition believes that Aboriginal inclusion in the National Forest Strategy is being watered down.