Great Depression


During the Great Depression many Metis peoples from the Southern Branch began to move into Prince Albert, live for a year and then apply for relief.

This was a survival strategy enacted as a result of destitution - many Metis people had lived in poverty since the end of the nineteenth century. Please see the related entry on Metis experiences of living on road allowances and scrip distribution. Many Euro-Canadians internalized and projected racist assumptions about a lack of work ethic amongst Indigenous people, including the Metis. They resented the provisioning of Metis people with relief. In particular, Charlotte Whitton, a prominent Canadian citizen and social conservative, blamed the Metis for their condition of poverty. She argued against humanitarian efforts and for the segregational placement of Metis people on reserves.

"C.W. Report re Unemployment and Relief in Western Canada,1932". 29-30.National Archives of Canada, Charlotte Whitton Papers, vol. 25, Manuscript Division.

Sub Event
Metis Migrations to Prince Albert from the Southern Branch