Presentation on theme: "Métis History & Culture. Rupert's Land and the Hudson’s Bay Company 1700’s Hudson’s bay Company Employed Orkney Men, French and English to Establish the."— Presentation transcript:
Métis History & Culture
Rupert's Land and the Hudson’s Bay Company 1700’s Hudson’s bay Company Employed Orkney Men, French and English to Establish the Fur Trade The HBC had a affinity for Orkney Men due to their hardiness. 70% of the Hudson’s bay employees were of Orkney Origin Employees of the HBC took Aboriginal Wives called “Country Wives” creating a New Nation
By 1811, a Scottish nobleman, Thomas Douglas Fifth Earl of Selkirk, gained a controlling interest in the HBC. The London Committee of the HBC agreed to grant Lord Selkirk a 296,960 square kilometre tract of land in the vicinity of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers for an agricultural settlement. The land ceded to Selkirk for a nominal sum of ten shillings was to be henceforth known as "Assiniboia. The Red River Colony
In the wake of confederation (and without consultation with the colony's inhabitants or guarantees of their rights) arrangements were made to transfer the colony and Rupert’ Land to Canada, the stage was set for the Red River Rebellion
Battle of Seven Oaks Part of North West Company-Hudson's Bay Company Rivalry The Battle of Seven Oaks (known to the Métis as la Victoire de la Grenouillière, or the Victory of Frog Plain) took place on June 19, 1816 during the long dispute between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company, rival fur- trading companies in western Canada. Blue North West Company flag Red Hudson’s Bay Company Flag
Sir John A. MacDonald National Policy and the Great Canadian Railroad William McDougall set in motion a process whereby Canada formally requested that Rupert’s land be awarded to Canada as a part of the new nation. The United States was anxious to purchase the land which had belonged to the Hudson’s Bay Company since 1670 and offered the British Government $10,000,000 for it. The Canadian Government eventually did buy it for £300,000 and Sir John A. MacDonald found himself and his country with an additional 1/3 of the North American continent added to Canada. MacDonald appointed William McDougal as the Lieutenant Governor of the huge territory and he set out for the Red River settlement to establish his authority. The Métis in the settlement did not accept the transaction of their land by the British government to Canada and decided to set up their own government. This action was lead by the fiery Métis leader Louis Riel. This situation developed into one of the most challenging of MacDonald’s political career. He refused to deal with Riel and instead of recruiting him into the great Canadian experiment, MacDonald dealt with him as a rebel and thus the Red River Rebellion of began.
The Red River Settlement land-surveying episode set in motion the irrevocable rise in tensions between the Métis and the federal authorities. When surveyors from Canada ignored the lot lines of the Métis farms, Riel took action. A band of Métis occupied Upper Fort Garry and Riel formed a provisional government to negotiate the colony's entry into Canada. Riel assumed the leadership of the movement Riel established a provisional government on December 8, The provisional government's goal was to manage the settlers' lives and protect their material goods and establish a “List of Rights” The Provisional Government of December The Provisional Government of December
Riel had the support of both the Métis and the mixed bloods but English speaking Canadians who had moved into the colony opposed the provisional government. Riel ordered the execution by a firing squad of an Orangeman from Ontario, Thomas Scott, for his constant opposition to Riel's authority. Scott, a native of Ireland, had been captured during an attempt to rescue the local politician, J.C. Schultz, another Orangeman. The murder of Scott placed Sir John A. Macdonald [himself an Orangeman] between the voters of Ontario and Quebec, and turned the event at Red River into a French-English, Catholic-Protestant confrontation. Orangemen in Ontario demanded that Macdonald take action and he did so. His government passed the Manitoba Act in June, The execution of Thomas Scott March 4, 1870
Royal Proclamation of 1869 December 06, 1869 The Queen has charged me as her representative, to inform you that certain misguided persons in Her settlements on the Red River, have banded themselves together to oppose by force the entry into Her North- Western Territories of the officer selected to administer, in Her name, the Government,…. By Her Majesty’s authority I do therefore assure you, that on the union with Canada all your civil and religious rights and privileges will be respected, your properties secured to you, and that your Country will be governed, as in the past, under British Laws, and in the spirit of British justice.
Wolseley’s Proclamation to the Red River Inhabitants
The Red River Rebellion 1885 (L-R): Ignace Poitras, Pierre Parenteau, Baptiste Parenteau, Pierre Gariepy, Ignace Poitras Jr., Albert Monkman, Pierre Vandal, Baptiste Vandal, Joseph Arcand, Maxime Dubois, James Short, Pierre Henry, Baptiste Tourond, Emmanuel Champagne, Kit-a-wa-how (Alex Cagen, ex-chief of the Muskeg Lake Indians)
The Indian Act The Indian Act was implemented under John A. MacDonald which essentially made Indians wards of the state. While the act has experienced many revisions, the Indian act is still in force today. Earlier documents included the Métis.
(e) Provided also that no half-breed in Manitoba who has shared in the distribution of half-breed lands shall be accounted an Indian; and that no half-breed of a family (except the widow of an Indian, or a half-breed who has already been admitted into a treaty), shall, unless under very special circumstances, to be determined by the Superintendent-General or his agent, be accounted an Indian, or entitled to be admitted into any Indian treaty. Indian Act Assented to 12th April, 1876 Indian Act 1876 Halfbreed scrip & Treaty commissions
Indian Act 1879 Paragraph (e) of sub-section three, of section three of "This Indian Act 1876," is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof the words "And any half-breed who may have been admitted into a treaty shall be allowed to withdraw there from on refunding all annuity money received by him or her under the said treaty, or suffering a corresponding reduction in the quantity of any land, or scrip, which such half-breed as such be entitled to receive from the Government." [Assented to 15th, May, 1879.]
Indian Act 1888 A13. No half-breed in Manitoba who has shared in the distribution of half-breed lands shall be accounted an Indian; and no half-breed head of a family, except the widow of an Indian or a half-breed who has already been admitted into a treaty shall, unless under very special circumstances, which shall be determined by the Superintendent General or his agent, be accounted an Indian or entitled to be admitted into any Indian treaty; and any half-breed who has been admitted into a treaty shall, on obtaining the consent in writing of the Indian Commissioner or in his absence the Assistant Indian Commissioner, be allowed to withdraw there from on signifying in writing his desire so to do. Being which signification in writing shall be signed by him in the presence of two witnesses, who shall certify the same on oath before some person authorized by law to administer the same; and such withdrawal shall include the minor unmarried children of such half-breed. Indian Act Assented to 22nd May, 1888
The Reserve System and Treaty December 27 th 1892 Permission to Leave the Reserve was granted by the Indian Agent Many did not wish to enter into treaty and took Half- breed scrip due to this oppressive treatment. Trade was also controlled by the Indian Agent and the Indian Act Those classified as Indians also didn’t have the right to vote until 1960 In addition, Many Half-breeds did not enter treaty due to the realization that they would starve if they were bound to the Reserve and took scrip.
“During the Payment of Several Bands, it was found that in some and most notably in the Red River Indian settlement and Broken head River Band, a number of those residing among the Indians, and calling themselves Indians, are in reality half-breeds, and entitled to share in the land grant under the provisions of the Manitoba Act. Alexander Morris 1880 Are you a Half-breed or an Indian?
Confusion of Identity Treaty & Scrip I was most particular, therefore, in causing it to be explained, generally and to Individuals that any person now electing to be classed with Indians, and receiving the Indian pay and gratuity, would, I believed, thereby forfeit his or her right to another grant as a Half-breed, the matter as it affect himself and his children, was explained to him, and the choice given to Characterize himself. A Very few only decided upon taking their grants as half-breeds. The explanation of this apparent sacrifice is found in the fact that the mass of these persons have lived all their lives on the Indian reserves (so called) and would rather receive such benefits as may accrue to them under the Indian treaty, than wait the realization of any value in their half-breed grant.” Alexander Morris Journals 1880
Right to Characterize themselves List of Names from the Peguis Indian Settlement Badger Beardy Thomas Flett Cameron Whitford Stranger Walker McCorrister Bear Cook Smith
The Saulteaux Village Red River Band List 1840 Desjarlais, Daniel Chartrand, Ducharme, Gladu, Lavallee, Mcleod, Chabolliez Allarie
Flett Fiddler Favelle Halcro Sutherland Spence Sinclair Thomas Tait Cameron Desjarlais Bird Flett Fiddler Favelle Halcro Sutherland Spence Sinclair Thomas Tait Cameron Desjarlais Bird St. Peter’s Indian Band
Métis Meeting with Scrip Commission in Dunvegan 1899 The First Scrip Commission was in 1885 Ten other scrip commissions followed: 1886 (continuation of 1885 work); 1887 (completion of 1885 work); 1889 (claims within the territory of the Treaty Six adhesion); 1899 (claims within the territory of Treaty Eight); 1900 (claims of Métis born in the North West Territories between 15 July 1870 and 31 December 1885); 1901 (claims of Métis resident in the portion of Manitoba outside its original boundaries, and the remaining claims in the Northwest); (claims within the territory of Treaty Ten); (claims within the territory of the Treaty Five adhesion) and 1921 (claims within the territory of Treaty No. 11) The First Scrip Commission was in 1885 Ten other scrip commissions followed: 1886 (continuation of 1885 work); 1887 (completion of 1885 work); 1889 (claims within the territory of the Treaty Six adhesion); 1899 (claims within the territory of Treaty Eight); 1900 (claims of Métis born in the North West Territories between 15 July 1870 and 31 December 1885); 1901 (claims of Métis resident in the portion of Manitoba outside its original boundaries, and the remaining claims in the Northwest); (claims within the territory of Treaty Ten); (claims within the territory of the Treaty Five adhesion) and 1921 (claims within the territory of Treaty No. 11)
Treaty and Scrip Treaty and Scrip Exploitation of Métis Lands in Canada These grants were conveyed to Half- breed family heads and their children by a special warrant called "scrip.“ Notes in the form of money scrip (valued at $160 or $240) or land scrip, valued at 160 acres or 240 acres (65 hectares or 97 hectares) were offered to the Métis in exchange for their Aboriginal rights. Along with the treaties that awarded First Nations territories to Canada, the scrip system enabled the federal government to alot western lands to new settlers, unencumbered by prior rights of use. In 1978 Emile Pelletier’s Investigations found allotments of 240 acres made under section 31. Pelletier then categorized the sale of each grant as legal, illegal, ambiguous or speculative. In doing so, he found that 529 land grants covering 126,960 acres were sold illegally while 580 sales involving 139,200 acres were ambiguous cases. 590 land grants covering 141,600 acres consigned to Half-breed children were obtained by land speculators for resale who earned profits for themselves of 100 percent to 2000 percent
Scrip Speculators Scrip speculators, many of whom were connected to prominent western banks, followed the commissions and bought up scrip at a fraction of its value (about 35 cents on the dollar), only to sell it later to land speculators and homesteaders at a marked up price. Scrip speculators, many of whom were connected to prominent western banks, followed the commissions and bought up scrip at a fraction of its value (about 35 cents on the dollar), only to sell it later to land speculators and homesteaders at a marked up price.
The Scrip System & Westward Migration Historians have recently found evidence to suggest that the federal government knew the scrip system was flawed but chose to ignore it. It may be that the government was using scrip as a form of indirect federal subsidy to assist western development at the expense of Métis land. The result was tragic for the Métis. It left them homeless in their own land. Growing Anti – Métis sentiment started the Migration of Métis Westward into Montana, Saskatchewan, and parts of Ontario
Pre-Rebellion and Post Rebellion 1870 And 1885 Métis communities dispersed into Montana, South & North Dakota, Saskatchewan, Northern parts of Manitoba, Alberta & BC
Métis in Montana The Canadian and US Government paid and issued a Deportation order for all “Métis” and Indians that entered into Montana due to the Rebellion. There was wide spread fear that the “Métis” would be subject to punishment from their participation in the Northwest Rebellion as did the Rebellion Leader Louis Riel The Buffalo Soldiers escorted the Canadian Indians and “Metis” to the border where they were put on trains and shipped to Lethbridge. Many did not make the Journey The 10 th Cavalry
Montana Métis Locations The Larger the Circles indicates greater Métis Population in Montana Towns such as Dupuyer, Lewistown, Havre, Sweetgrass, and Chouteau had the largest populations.
Public Outcry and Government Intervention in Montana & Canada The Montanian News May 30 th 1890 A general cry is being sent up against the Cree Indians from across the boundary line, who are roaming around through Choteau county without any visible means of support. A small outfit passed through town [Choteau] yesterday presenting a disgusting sight. Their presence this side of the line should not be tolerated by the government as it has a bad effect on the Indians who belong on the reservation, causing the old longing to roam, to return and making them dissatisfied with the restraint put upon them, while the stranger is allowed to do as he pleases. Oust the Crees. The Montanian News April Crees to be deported. Canadian Authorities agree to look after their Indians. Helena, Mont. April Finally Canada has taken official action in regard to Cree Indian matters and the present outlook is that all Crees in the United States will be deported within the next four weeks. Little Bears Band and Métis Escorted across the 49 th Parallel
Métis who were under deportation orders by the US Government escaped back across the Montana/Canada border and hid in the protection of Ear Mountain Work is currently being done to rename it “Métis Ridge”
The Métis Buffalo Hunt The Métis Nation became a dominant force on the plains during the late 1700s and way into the 1800s. They were an highly organized body of people. They enacted laws, rules and regulations around the buffalo hunt which later became the "Laws of the Prairie" and the beginning of law enforcement in the area and subsequently adopted by the North West Mounted Police. The initiation of these laws brought the Métis Nation the solidifying process of self-government. The hunt involved organizing hundreds of men, women, children, Red River carts and horses for the westward journeys extending hundreds of miles to where the buffalo grazed. On the return trip, tons of processed buffalo meat and hides had to be transported. The buffalo hunts provided the Métis with an impressive organizational structure and by 1820 was a permanent feature of life for all individuals on or near the Red River and other Métis communities. There were usually two organized hunts each year: one in the spring and one in the autumn. The buffalo hunts of this time were carried out through almost militaristic precision and the combined force of a Métis hunt was larger than an other force of its time. Paul KanePaul Kane's oil painting "Half-Breeds Running Buffalo
Way of Life of the Métis The plains people were not solely hunters of buffalo. To rely on one staple resource alone was risky in the Plains environment, as there were periodic shortages of buffalo, and it was mainly the gathering and preserving work of women, based on their intimate understanding of the Plains Environment. Midsummer camp movements were determined not only by the buffalo but also by considerations such as the ripeness and location of saskatoon berries, the prairie turnip, and other fruits and tubers. Many of the foodstuffs women gathered were dried, pounded, or otherwise preserved and stored for the scarce times of winter. Women fished, snared small game, caught prairie chickens and migratory birds, and gathered their eggs. A high degree of mobility was essential for people effectively to draw on the varied resources of the Plains.
The Métis Sash (L'Assomption Sash) Blue - Is for the depth of our spirits. Green - Is for the fertility of a great nation. White - Is for our connection to the earth and our creator. Yellow - Is for the prospect of prosperity. Black - for the dark period of Métis suppression and dispossession of our Métis lands. Red - Is for the blood of the Métis that shed throughout the years while fighting for our constitutional rights. Blue - Is for the depth of our spirits. Green - Is for the fertility of a great nation. White - Is for our connection to the earth and our creator. Yellow - Is for the prospect of prosperity. Black - for the dark period of Métis suppression and dispossession of our Métis lands. Red - Is for the blood of the Métis that shed throughout the years while fighting for our constitutional rights. The sash does not only hold sentimental and cultural value to the Métis. It also served practical functions. The Métis used the sash as a tumpline (scarf that holds heavy objects to the back) first aid kit, rope, clothing, wash cloth and towel, saddle blanket and the ends of the sash would also serve as an emergency sewing kit on trips and buffalo hunts
Métis Music and Dance The Métis are famous for their fiddle music. The Métis are famous for their fiddle music. Fiddles were introduced to the Métis by the Scottish and French.
Metis Dance Métis “JIG”
Métis Modes of Transport Métis cart Train arriving from the North of Calgary circa 1870 Each wheel was said to have its own peculiar shriek, announcing the coming of a train from a great distance. (Grease or oil would have only mixed with the dust, wearing down the axles.) As it was, a cart often used four or five axles on the trip to St. Paul from the Red River settlement. Harness was made from a buffalo hide, often in one piece. Carts moved single file, except when in danger from Indians, when they traveled several abreast. Each driver controlled five or six carts strung out behind him, each ox tied to the cart ahead.