Based on  The Alberta Métis Letters : 1930-1940 Policy Review and Annotations ISBN 978-0-9809026-0-0


Alberta Métis Policy Relationships


Historical Sketch 1930-1941


1930-31 1932  1933  1934  1935-38  1939  1940-41



site map / index



Maurice L'Hirondelle

Former President, FMSA




ISBN 978-0-9809026-0-0


 "What we call land is an element of nature inextricably interwoven with man's institutions. ... Land is thus tied up with the origins of kinship, neighbourhood, craft and creed - with tribe and temple, village, gild, and church. ... The economic function is but one of many vital functions of land. It invests man's life with stability; it is the site of his habitation. It is the landscape and the seasons. We might as well imagine his being born without hands and feet as carrying on his life without land.." Karl Polanyi, Origins of our Time: The Great Transformation. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1945. p179.


This section is a review of events as described in close to four hundred letters and reports written between 1930 and 1941 and held in the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Edmonton, and the Glenbow Museum Archives in Calgary. The authors of those documents are bureaucrats, Métis, and politicians.**

This sketch will help you understand the initial development of Métis policy in Alberta. If you are familiar with current Métis governance negotiations anywhere in Canada, the depiction below will seem familiar and current.

A QUICK SKETCH OF EVENTS - 1930 to 1941 follow these links

1930-31 1932  1933  1934  1935-38  1939  1940-41

**The majority of the writers are the executive council of the newly formed l'Association des Métis d'Alberta et les Territoires du Nord-Ouest in December 1932: Joseph Francis Dion, President, Malcolm F. Norris, First Vice-President, James Patrick Brady, Secretary Treasurer, and in January 1934, Peter C. Tomkins elected as Third Vice-President. Some letters and reports are by the politicians responsible for Metis welfare: Joseph M. Dechene, a Liberal MLA, Richard Gavin Reid (CCF Minister of Lands and Mines and Premier in 1934), George Hoadley (CCF Minister of Agriculture and acting-Premier at times), J. E. Brownlee (CCF Premier), W. W. Cross (from 1935 the Social Credit, Minister of Health), William Aberhart (Social Credit Premier) and others; and there are those written by the bureaucrats involved in developing and administering Metis policy: J. Harvie (Reid's Deputy Minister), Frank Buck (Cross' lead bureaucrat in the Bureau of Relief and Public Welfare***), J. Rankine (a solicitor for Harvie and eventually the secretary of the Ewing Commission)  and others. 

***after 1939 the name is the Bureau of Public Welfare.



Based on


 The Alberta Métis Letters : 1930-1940 Policy Review and Annotations

ISBN 978-0-9809026-0-0


 Published by



 Introduction by

Hon. Pearl Calahasen, Alberta Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Dec. 2006.


Supported by



  Métis Settlements General Council (Alberta) - as part of their Métis History Series



Alberta Historical Resources Foundation





  The Glenbow Museum Archives




   The Provincial Archives of Alberta





A searchable CD of the annotations will be available also.