In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development) that Métis and non-status Indians are considered Indians under s. 91(24) of the 1982 Constitution.
So what does this actually mean for the Métis Nation and its citizens, and what does it mean for those people in Eastern Canada claiming to be Métis?
In a nutshell, the Daniels Decision says that Métis and non-status Indians are legally “Indians” under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. This means they now fall under the federal government’s jurisdiction for various programs and actions.
The ruling makes it possible for the Federal Government to work directly with Métis and non-status Indians (as members of their particular communities) in ways that weren't possible before the ruling. While it doesn't necessarily create a new fiduciary or consultation mandate (one already exists between Indigenous communities and Canada), it does create an avenue for funding to be allocated directly from the Federal Government to Métis and non-status Indian communities
One thing that the Daniels Decision does not do is confer "status" or recognition of every individual claiming to be Métis or non-status Indian. Aboriginal/Indian status (or in this case Métis and non-status Indian status) is generally NOT an individual identity. Rather, it is a community identity that is conferred upon members of that community, which is recognized by the Federal Government as having a provable historical and contemporary existence as a verified indigenous community.
The government cannot be expected to work directly with every individual claiming to be Métis or non-status Indian, and it cannot be expected to verify or vet everyone claiming to be covered under the Daniels Decision. Therefore, things like program funding or educational assistance that may be granted to Métis and non-status Indians post-Daniels probably won't be allocated directly to individuals. Rather, funding will be allocated to organizations and communities who are verifiable as Indigenous, with the apportionment of funds and programs determined by the communities themselves.
This aspect of the ruling might seem unfair to some Métis and non-status Indians who claim indigenous status based on genealogical connections to (often) unverified ancestors (e.g. "eastern Métis"), but without some measure of control, the application of Daniels would be impossible.