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Maurice L'Hirondelle

Former President, FMSA



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

In 1939, tensions within the Métis Executive Council grew. Essentially, the association was in disarray, accused of lack of integrity, of poor leadership, and of being unable to represent a collective Métis voice on important issues such as grazing rights on Métis land, evictions from land in areas like Grande Cache/Moberly, membership issues, relief project issues, and so on.

Meanwhile, the province forged ahead identifying land for Métis settlements, colonies, organizing local boards, and working out regulations for Métis administration. Dion and Tomkins were active in this process.

Norris and Brady hoped to have the association play a province-wide role in protecting collective Métis rights, and they prepared resolutions for local colony boards that stated the association was recognized as representing collective colony interests. With the help of Tomkins, the Atikameg Board passed this resolution, and perhaps one other passed it too, but that was as far as their attempts got. The province had no intention of allowing the association to represent the Métis. For one thing, the legislation gave no formal role to the association. As well, the province dealt only with individual Colonies, ignoring the association. It justified this approach by saying that the association was disorganized and not cohesive enough to provide leadership or a common voice. It was this stance by the province that helped fragment the association.