Métis Nation of Alberta Association

prior to 1991: Metis Association of Alberta

research link: documents / reports / academic papers

Key active links: Joseph Dion  James Brady  Adrian Hope history

Joe Dion (1888-1960 an enfranchised Indian - non-status/treaty Indian - nephew of Big Bear - see Dobbin, 1981) from May 1931 to December 1932 was one of the founders, organizers and secretary of the association. He was elected president of the Metis association in Alberta December 1932 to the spring of 1940 when a provisional Executive Council proclaimed itself leading the association and Malcolm Norris was elected Chairman (according to the Edmonton Bulletin/Journal at the time). From there to 1960 the association was in a state of disarray many consider Dion President during this period, if only nominal.  Adrian Hope became president in 1960 and the association became more organized and was finally registered in 1961 according to Lusty (1977).  The association was known by various names such as the "Half-breed" Association,  The Half-breed Association of Northern Alberta (Dion was mentioned as the Secretary of this association in November 1932), the Metis Brotherhood of Alberta, L'Association des Métis d'Alberta et des Territoires du Nord-Ouest after a meeting December 1932, and l'Association des Métis d'Alberta by 1935 dropping the reference to the NWT, or the Métis Association of Alberta, 1961; and eventually the Métis Nation of Alberta Association.


On December 28, 1932 in St. Albert after many community meetings organized by Dion and the Department of Lands and Mines through the summer including a general province-wide meeting July 15-16, 1932, Dion was elected president.  The association was not registered but became more formalized as a provincial association (source: Dobbin 1981:63). Others on the executive were 1st V-P, Malcolm Norris, listed as a prospector from Edmonton; 2nd V-P Felix Callihoo a rancher from St. Paul; 3rd V-P, Henry Cunningham, Farmer from St. Albert; Secretary-Treasurer, James P. Brady. Peter Tomkins joined the Association in 1933 and was elected to the executive in 1934.  (source: Dobbin 1981:63)

By the 1940s, the association's involvement in the affairs of the Colonies was diminished and concerns were raised about the lack of a legislated role for the association. Because of this lack of a formal role, some felt the Colonies would be left open to manipulation. They would be without the protection of an organization to monitor their collective interests. As Secretary of the Association, Brady wrote a stridently worded letter to Dion on March 19, 1939 about this issue and warned him of the consequences. [Glenbow letters Brady to Dion in J.F. Dion file - scan available on the internet]

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