History Matters: Round Prairie Métis made Saskatoon their home in early 20th Century


Excerpt from Article:

"It’s often assumed that indigenous people did not settle in Saskatchewan cities until after the Second World War. That certainly was not the case for Saskatoon.

Beginning in the early 20th century, Métis families from Round Prairie began migrating to the city in search of employment. Thirty years later, the community had effectively relocated to the southern edges of the city.

This movement to Saskatoon was not the first time the Métis had left their traditional lands along the east bank of the South Saskatchewan River in the Dundurn area. Fearing retribution for their involvement in the 1885 North-West Rebellion, the Métis had sought refuge in Montana and remained there for almost two decades. 

When the families returned to Round Prairie in 1903-04, they found that the region that had once been ideal bison-hunting grounds was generally poorly suited for agriculture. Some families tried farming the marginal land, while others carved out a hardscrabble living through traditional harvesting, serving as farm labour for white settlers, or cutting cordwood and fence post

This marginal existence prompted Métis families to look to Saskatoon — just 40 kilometres to the north — for better opportunities. It was not an unrealistic expectation. The “Wonder City,” as Saskatoon styled itself, was booming before the Great War. Then, the real estate bubble burst in 1912-13, and the city limped through several decades of uneven growth."

Publication Information

Waiser, Bill. "History Matters: Round Prairie Métis made Saskatoon their home in early 20th Century." Saskatoon Star Phoenix. 26 April, 2017. 

Waiser, Bill
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