Discrimination Towards Metis Commercial Fishermen at Buffalo Narrows


Within the context of Metis political organization, Adams discusses how discrimination against Metis people in the Buffalo Narrows community impacted their ability to engage in economic development and survival. For example, Adams describes incidents in which Metis commercial fishermen were violently confronted by individuals who disapproved of them selling to the Co-op instead of Waite's fishing outfit, harming their ability to make a living. Adams clarifies that discriminatory treatment was being enacted by non-Indigenous individuals, implied by his comment that racist remarks were being made by "white fellows."

Beginning in the 1940s, the CCF provincial government began to involve itself in the economic affairs of Northern Saskatchewan through programming such as market regulation of the fur economy, resource management/development and conservation. While these programs were implemented to secure the sustainability of resource harvesting while also opening the northern part of the province to resource exploration, they were imposed without consultation of the Indigenous peoples in the area and severely restricted their hunting, fishing and trapping activities. As a result, the government cut Indigenous peoples off from their source of income, resulting in poverty for many. The struggle to gain recognition of Indigenous hunting, fishing and trapping rights continued into the 50s and 60s, as indicated in Adam's interview. This discrimination compounded the economic difficulties caused by pre-existing conditions of government restriction on Indigenous hunting, fishing and trapping activities.