Crooked Lake Agency at the Turn of the 19th Century

This entry concerns the history of the Crooked Lake Agency from 1880s to 1913. This history is told from the viewpoint of the colonial authorities who controlled the Agency. Furthermore, this entry concerns four bands that were located on Crooked Lake at this time. These bands are as follows: Ochapowace (#71), Kake-wista-haw (#72), O'Soup or Cowessess (#73) and Sakimay (#74). The general observations made by Dr. D.G.

Anti-Polygamy Laws Imposed by the Federal Government

With the emergence of settler society, many of the social norms of Indigenous groups became seen as morally corrupt, or deviant. The idea of polygamous marriages was foreign to European settlers and it was a stark contrast to the Christian marital norms and the English common law tradition of monogamy. Government officials took it upon themselves to discourage the practice of polygamy and eventually entrenched it into the law in 1890.

Metis Ethnogenesis

Historian Peter Bakker writes that the ethnogenesis of the Metis began out of the pairings of people who were male European fur traders (French) and women who were Indigenous (Cree/Ojibwe). In Contours of a People (see "relevant resources" below), historians Brenda McDougall, Carolyn Podruchny and Nicole St.

Metis Community at Bonne Madon / Bonne-Madon

Bonne Madon was a Metis/French community in Saskatchewan. A primary source interview with Pierre Vandale indicates that his father was able to rent a river lot for farming in this locale. "River lot" is a term that refers to an agricultural plot of land which was preferred by Metis farmers. These lots were designed as long, narrow strips of farmland of which one short edge was connected to a river for ease of access to water. These narrow strips would be individually tilled and lined up against each other.

Metis Community at Maryville, Saskatchewan (Community Farm)

Maryville is a Metis settlement where a farming community was established. Children in this community were required to attend the residential school at Cowessess / Maryville. It was also an area in which Catholic missionaries of the order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate worked to learn the languages of the Indigenous peoples in the area so that they more effectively recruit converts to Christianity. Christian conversion required the forfeiting of Indigenous spirituality and life ways.

Qu'Appelle Industrial School

The Qu'Appelle Industrial School was built in 1884 to fulfill one of the conditions of Treaty 4, which had been signed 10 years earlier. It was the first residential school in the west, and Father Joseph Hugonard was the first principal. This was likely because Lebret/Qu'Appelle was established as the main centre of Catholicism for the Metis and First Nations people in the region - Lebret/Qu'Appelle had been a Catholic mission since 1865. There were fifteen students in attendance the first year. The Grey Nuns of Montreal served as teachers at the school until 1975.

Early to Late 20th Century Demographics at Beauval Indian Residential School

The Beauval boarding school continued to educate Indigenous students from surrounding communities until its closure in 1983. In the 1980s, students were attending from areas including Flying Dust, Waterhen, Ministikwan, Makwa Saghaiehcan and Joseph Bighead. In 1963, six classrooms were added. In 1974, the school was extended to include high school education, and the first grade 12 graduates were produced in 1978. In 1979, the Department of Indian Affairs added a gym, library, and science lab.

Privy Council Committee Report on Aboriginal Marriage

A report put out by a committee of the Privy Council, and approved by the Governor General, established the official stance of the Canadian government on the issue of marriage and polygamy for Aboriginal people in Western Canada. This report was made in response to demands from the Aborigines Protection Society of England that legislation be put in place to protect Aboriginal women from Euro-Canadian men who married and then abandoned Aboriginal wives.

Lebret Indian Residential School

Harold Greyeyes, a student who attended the Lebret Indian Residential School from 1936 to 1944 recalls a typical day in school. The days were long, beginning at 6 am and ending at 9 pm everyday. Activities were strictly regulated due to the influence of principle Fr. DeBretange, a retired colonel from the French Foreign Legion and the second-in-command who was a retired RCMP sergeant. The day's events and tasks were divided into half-hour blocks. The students routinely had prayers, meal times, chores, class room time, and recess.

Split between Metis and Clergy at Batoche

An assembly organized by Louis Riel at Batoche confirmed the split between the Metis and the Catholic Clergy at the settlement (represented by Fathers Fourmond, Moulin, and Végréville). The clergy did not support Riel’s plan for resistance. In the following months this split grew into an estrangement. The clergy threatened to withhold the sacraments from the Metis if they rose up again the “established authority.” As a result, on 19 March 1885 when the “little provisional government of Saskatchewan” was formed the government took over the church and rectory at Batoche.