Metis Community of Lebret


Norbert Welsh is considered one of the pioneering members of the Metis community of Lebret. In his autobiography, "The Last Buffalo Hunter", he notes that as a result of settler crowding, as well as the end of the buffalo and fur trade economy, he left File Hills in 1904 to move to Lebret. It was here that he opened a shop which combined both a store and butcher block. He also ran a livery between Lebret and Troy (Fort Qu'Appelle). In an interview with descendants of Norbert Welsh (Pauline Anderson, Billie/Marie Robison and Norma Welsh), the participants describe the community as a pleasant, happy place, despite the prevalent poverty.

The establishment of predominantly Metis communities has provided a haven for Metis people to engage in cultural traditions. These traditions include community gatherings with cultural-specific music and dancing, Catholic religious practices and the speaking of Metis languages. The broad kinship support systems within these communities have also provided solidarity and solace when faced with racism. Some Metis communities had a high percentage of farmers who used the traditional river lot system - please see related entry. Many Metis communities also existed on road allowances - please see related entry.
Sub Event
The community membership of Lebret was predominantly Metis.