In the interviews cited below in "relevant resources", interview participants describe discrimination experienced by Metis people as it relates to obtaining work and disparities in the rate of remuneration between Metis and non-Metis people.
Lack of Access to Education
According to many DIA publications, Indigenous women were believed to be at fault for the conditions and poor health on reserves. This led the agents to believe that Indigenous women needed to be 'domesticated' in ways that served the colonial government and motives. Girls were not taught any skills that would be of value to them outside of the home. Schools focused on teaching Indigenous girls how to be successful housewives.
Although the Manitoba Act was legislated with the purported intent to recognize Metis land rights, it is clear from the actual effect of ongoing amendments to the Manitoba Act, in addition to other bureaucratic delays, that the government prioritized the settling of newly arrived EuroCanadians to Metis people. Following the 1870 and 1885 resistances, many Metis people gave up hope of obtaining land and were forced to migrate to unsettled areas. After 1870, many Metis migrated west to the area now known as Saskatchewan.
A primary source interview with Pierre Vandale states that the government's actions of jailing Metis men following the Riel Resistance resulted in great economic hardship for their wives and families: "I remember hearing many of the Metis men were put into jail at this time therefore this made it very, very hard for the women who were left without their husbands. My father was six years old at the time of the Rebellion. But I remember my grandfather talking about it" (see "relevant resources" below).
A road allowance is land that had been surveyed and set apart by the government for future roads and development - it was the margin between provincial land and Crown land. The state simultaneously denied Métis land rights and also would not allow them to purchase land. The decision to permit Métis families to move onto road allowances was one that further perpetuated their economic marginalization. Some Métis found and occupied abandoned shacks and rail cars as housing was not provided on road allowances.
Mr. Amyotte struggled to raise the living standards for Metis people in Saskatchewan, focusing specifically on creating access to education and housing. In one section of the interview listed in "Relevant Resources" (on this page), Joe Amyotte notes that housing conditions of the Metis were worse in Northern Saskatchewan.
Students at Gordon Residential School were not permitted to advance to grade 8. Students were told that they lacked the intellectual capacity to advance - that is, regardless of academic preparation, achievement or ambition, they would be unable to advance to higher levels of education.
In the aftermath of the North-West Resistance many Metis peoples migrated to different places across the North American West. Many headed to around Battleford and Prince Albert to work as freighters, trappers, and fishermen. Communities included Marcelin, Leask, Birch Hills, Kinistino, Onion Lake, Glaslyn and Meadow Lake. Additionally, many Metis moved to North Dakota and some even to southern Alberta to work as ranchers.
Indian Commissioner David Laird outlined that the government was delaying bringing First Nations people at Ile à la Crosse under treaty because there was no imminent prospect of the region being settled or developed by Euro-Canadians.
With the establishment of the province of Saskatchewan there was new incentive to extinguish Aboriginal title over the territory encompassed in the new province. In 1905 Inspector of Indian Agencies William J. Chisholm recommended settling a treaty to to those nations in the North who had not yet signed onto an existing treaty. This led to treaty negotiations and ultimately the conclusion of Treaty 10 in 1906. Discussion began about the best method of extending treaty rights to Aboriginal peoples in the Ile a la Crosse region.