Memories of Metis Women of Saint-Eustache, Manitoba — (1910-1980)

Posted in Articles, Canada, History, Media Archive, Women on 2015-02-20 15:53Z by Steven

Memories of Metis Women of Saint-Eustache, Manitoba — (1910-1980)

Oral History Forum/Forum d’histoire orale
Volumes 19-20 (1999-2000)
pages 90-111

Nicole St-Onge, Professor of History
University of Ottawa

Introductory Comments

In an article entitled “Hired Men: Ontario Agricultural Wage Labour in Historical Perspective” Joy Parr wrote the following, telling,  words:

Scholars too have claimed that from the beginnings of the province, agriculturalists’ desire for independence combined with the rigorous seasonality of rural work to determine that “no hierarchical labour organization would persist ilz Canadian agriculture.” Yet in each successive generation from the settlement phase onward, rural wage labourers have been essential to the functioning of the province’s persistent and unmistakably hierarchical agricultural system. Through two centuries of clearing, tilling, seeding, and harvesting, the relationships between land and labour and capital and labour have changed, but the reality of the rural hierarchy has been as enduring as the season.

The ‘rural hierarchy’ examined by Parr for Ontario also existed and endured in the Prairie region of Canada. Census data available since 1891 reveal that hired men, over the age of fourteen, were always an important component of farm labour on the Prairie; they represented 13% (6,000) of all rural workers in 1891, 19.4% (84,000) in 1931 and 14.1% (46,000) in 1951. Yet, standard histories of North American agriculture have had difficulty probing beyond the positivist myth that surround the ‘Family Farm’. Few studies discuss in any detail the existence of an impoverished underclass of rural wage workers. Even oral history projects dealing with rural inhabitants have tended to be celebratory; charting the progress of a community since its pioneering days without much regard or analysis to the price paid by some individuals for this ‘success.’ Or, other rural oral history have been apocalyptic lamenting the demise of the Family Farm again without much regard for the consequences ofthis economic and social restructuration for people other than the owners of farms or the businesses that service them…

Read the entire article here.

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Canada’s Métis win 142-year-old land ruling

Posted in Articles, Canada, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2013-03-10 16:43Z by Steven

Canada’s Métis win 142-year-old land ruling

BBC News

Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled the government failed to hand out land grants properly to the Métis indigenous group 142 years ago.

In a 6-2 ruling, the top court said the failure was “not a matter of occasional negligence, but of repeated mistakes and inaction”.

The Métis are descendants of indigenous people and European immigrants.

The land was promised in a 1870 law, to settle a rebellion of existing Métis amid a wave of settlement in Manitoba.

After delays, it was eventually distributed via a lottery that largely benefited European settlers.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), which brought the suit, celebrated the end of three decades of legal challenges over the land-grant provision…

Read the entire article here.

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The Historiography of Métis Land Dispersal, 1870-1890

Posted in Articles, Canada, History, Law, Media Archive on 2012-05-04 13:15Z by Steven

The Historiography of Métis Land Dispersal, 1870-1890

Manitoba History
Number 30, Autumn 1995

Brad Milne

History Department
University of Manitoba

The Manitoba Act of 1870 provided substantial land grants to the Métis at Red River. Section 31 set aside 1.4 million acres of land for distribution among the children of Métis heads of families residing in the province, while section 32 guaranteed all old settlers, Métis or white, “peaceable possession” of the lots they occupied in the Red River settlement prior to 15 July, 1870. Subsection 32(5) guaranteed allotments of land to commute the rights of hay and common in the outer two miles that accompanied many of the old river lots. Additional legislation of 1874 granted $160 scrip, redeemable in Dominion lands, to all Métis heads of families. However, as most students and scholars of Métis history are aware, very little of this land and scrip remained in Métis hands by the late 1870s. Instead, the period from 1870 to 1890 saw the widespread dispersal of the Métis from Red River.

In the last two decades, a virtual “explosion in Métis scholarship” has emerged to determine why this large scale migration occurred.With native political organizations and the governments of Canada and Manitoba embroiled in an on-going court battle, various scholars have received generous financial support to investigate Métis land claims in Manitoba. For two scholars in particular, Douglas Sprague and Thomas Flanagan, the Métis dispersal has become a subject of bitter dispute. Flanagan, a University of Calgary political scientist and a historical consultant for the federal Department of Justice, believes that the federal government fulfilled the land provisions of the Manitoba Act. On the other hand, Sprague, a historian retained by the Manitoba Métis Federation to undertake research into Métis land claims, argues that through a process of formal and informal discouragement, the Métis were victims of a deliberate conspiracy in which John A. Macdonald and the Canadian government successfully kept them from obtaining title to the land they were to receive under terms of the Manitoba Act of 1870. Although Sprague and Flanagan remain the central combatants in this historiographical battle, significant research has been conducted by many other scholars, most notably Gerhard Ens and Nicole St-Onge.

In short, the issue of Métis land dispersal is controversial and is the focus of an impressive historiographical debate. This article will not add to the debate. It is designed to help those who are not specialists in Métis history gain an understanding of the state of the argument over land claims…

Read the entire article here.

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Driving FORCE Métis community significant economic resource

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy on 2012-03-24 23:44Z by Steven

Driving FORCE Métis community significant economic resource

Winnipeg Free Press

Barbara Bowes

Although time has passed quickly, I’m sure you’ll recall that Manitoba recently celebrated Louis Riel Day. For most people, Louis Riel Day is simply another statutory holiday while for others, it is recognition that the Métis people were the driving force behind Manitoba becoming Canada’s fifth province.

Many people and especially new immigrants are not familiar with the term Métis, nor its historical significance. To help bring about a better understanding, we define the Métis people as one of the aboriginal groups that can trace their ancestral heritage to marriages of mixed First Nations and European heritage. And today, 144 years later, our Métis citizens are once again being seen as a driving force in Manitoba’s economy.

Yet, if the Métis people are indeed a driving force in the economy, where are they located? How can they be accessed as potential employees?

Believe it or not, if you checked recent demographic data, you’ll find there are over 100,000 Métis people in Manitoba living in various communities. Over half of this population is under the age of 30 and lives in an urban setting. However, in spite of having the highest rate of post-secondary education completion of all aboriginal groups in the province, the Métis median income is 24 per cent lower than for non-aboriginal people.

As you can imagine, a population of 100,000 represents a significant and relatively untapped resource in terms of employment and business partnerships. The challenge now is how to create a co-ordinated effort to link potential job candidates with employers so they can work together as partners in Manitoba’s economic growth…

Read the entire article here.

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Louis Riel and the Creation of Modern Canada: Mythic Discourse and the Postcolonial State

Posted in Biography, Books, Canada, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion on 2012-01-27 03:02Z by Steven

Louis Riel and the Creation of Modern Canada: Mythic Discourse and the Postcolonial State

University of Manitoba Press
November 2008
314 pages
6 × 9
Paper, ISBN: 978-0-88755-734-7

Jennifer Reid, Professor of Religion
University of Maine, Farmington

Politician, founder of Manitoba, and leader of the Métis, Louis Riel led two resistance movements against the Canadian government: the Red River Uprising of 1869–70, and the North-West Rebellion of 1885, in defense of Métis and other minority rights.

Against the backdrop of these legendary uprisings, Jennifer Reid examines Riel’s religious background, the mythic significance that has consciously been ascribed to him, and how these elements combined to influence Canada’s search for a national identity. Reid’s study provides a framework for rethinking the geopolitical significance of the modern Canadian state, the historic role of Confederation in establishing the country’s collective self-image, and the narrative space through which Riel’s voice speaks to these issues.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Chapter 1: Setting the Stage: The North-West to 1885
  • Chapter 2: Canadian Myths and Canadian Identity
  • Chapter 3: Nation-states and National Discourses
  • Chapter 4: Violence and State Creation
  • Chapter 5: Revolution, Identity, and Canada
  • Chapter 6: Riel and the Canadian State
  • Chapter 7: Heterogeneity and the Postcolonial State
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
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