An interview with Vic Valentine, an organizer, administrator and educator who has consistently promoted the Metis and Non-Status Indian cause in Canada and (through his writings) abroad. With a group of Native war veterans, Valentine organized Club Anishnabai at Bear Island in 1949. The strategy behind the club was to organize pressure on government to do something about Native lands to which the aboriginal title had never been extinguished yet which were being encroached on by cottagers and resource companies. From 1953 to 1957, Valentine was employed by the CCF provincial government in Saskatchewan to assess the potential for economic development of the Buffalo region of Northern Saskatchewan. Based in Ile-a-la-Crosse where two of his children were born, he travelled throughout the North and lived in many Metis communities. From 1957 to 1964 Valentine served as co-ordinator of northern research for the Department of Northern Affairs and during this period, in 1959, was named to the Nelson Royal Commission inquiring into the unfulfilled provisions of Treaty 8 and 11 and recommending how to settle them. Through the commission hearings he developed a particular interest in the land claims of the Metis and Non-Status Indians. In 1964 Valentine was appointed chief of economic development in the Indian Affairs branch of the Citizenship and Immigration Department but left the civil service in 1965 to accept a professorship at Carleton University in Ottawa. Since 1965 he has been teaching in the Department of Sociology and the School of International Affairs. Valentine has been closely associated w/ the Native Council of Canada (NCC) since its inception in 1970 and has served on many NCC committees dealing wtih land claims and land claims research. Presently he is serving as special advisor to the Council and the NCC Claims Office.
“Resource Conflicts in Sask. in 1950’s Sets Stage for Land Claims Battles: An Interview with Vic Valentine.” In The Forgotten People: Metis and Non-Status Indian Land Claims, Harry W. Daniels (Ed.), pages 88-99. Ottawa, ON: Native Council of Canada, 1979.