|The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) was originally established in 1971 as the Native Council of Canada. Its central objective is to represent the interests of off-reserve native people in Canada. Such people include Indians who are not registered under the Indian Act, Indians who are registered but who do not live on reserves, and Metis people residing outside of the prairie provinces.
The CAPís function is to represent the interests of these groups at a national level in the areas of housing, unemployment, and economic, social and cultural development. The CAP also strives to establish a basis for constitutional rights, treaty rights and land claims. The CAP was instrumental in achieving official recognition for the Metis people in the Canadian Constitution in 1983. Since that time, it has worked to define Aboriginal rights under the Constitution. It was a party to the Charlottetown Accord of 1992 which presented proposals for significant constitutional change.|