An interview with Vic Valentine. An organizer, administrator and educator who consistently promoted the political and social activism of Metis and Non-Statius First Nations in Canada, and through his writing, abroad. With a group of Indigenous war veterans, Valentine organized Club Anishnabai at Bear Island in 1949. The motivation behind the club was to assert pressure on the Federal government to negotiate the protection of Aboriginal title to lands which cottagers and resource companies were encroaching upon.
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 amongst numerous Metis communities. From 1957 to 1964, Valentine served as Coordinator of Northern Research for the Department of Northern Affairs. In 1959, Valentine was assigned to the Nelson Royal Commission, inquiring as to the unfulfilled provisions of Treaty 8 and 11 with recommendations on settling them. Through the commission hearings he developed a particular interest in the land claims of Metis and Non-Status First Nations. 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. Valentine was closely associated with the Native Council of Canada (NCC) since its inception in 1970.
“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.