'The Free People - Otipemisiwak': Batoche, Saskatchewan 1870-1930


From the Author's Preface:

"The purpose of this study is to present, on the basis of both written and oral sources, a new and more comprehensive insight into a Métis community in the North-West in the late 19th century.

Batoche has traditionally been portrayed as the seat of the North-West Rebellion, the site of the Métis last stand and "defeat" to be followed shortly after by their social and economic disintegration. An in depth comprehensive study of the Métis communities along the South Saskatchewan River between 1870 and 1930, in particular Fish Creek, Batoche, St. Laurent (St-Laruent-de-Grandin) and St. Louis (St-Louis-de-Langevin) disputes this view and suggests continuity of political, social and economic activity. There was no mass exodus by the Métis after 1885. In fact, some of the families which sought refuge across the border and further north eventually returned to the "homeland." The society that we see at the turn of the century was one where the family and culture assisted in the identity of its members as Métis; a society determined to direct its own economy and which, by political means, asserted its "rights." Batoche and surrounding communities were beset with many problems facing a society in transition. But for a few decades after 1885, "les gens libres" (the free people) endeavoured to control their own destiny." (no page number).

No digital copy is available, physical copies are available through USASK and Saskatchewan public libraries. 


Publication Information

Payment, Diane Paulette. "The Free People, Otipemisiwak", Batoche, Saskatchewan, 1870-1930.Ottawa, Ont.: National Historic Parks and Sites, Parks, Service, Environment Canada, 1990.

Payment, Diane P.
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