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significant dates, considered accurate (most citations verified using one reference each; references not necessarily original documents)

Alberta Canada, Métis Settlements - Significant Dates (1763-2005)

*Parallel events (Nunavut development)

* Commentaries

* Micro events, archive-based Métis Association-government relations 1930-41

1763  October 7   Royal Proclamation re: Indian Country and Hunting Lands

1870  Manitoba Act, 33 Victoria, C.3 (more)

1875 The Northwest Territories Act   

1879 Dominion Lands Act, 42 Victoria, C.31 

1899  Treaty 8 and "Half-Breed" Commission

1905  July 2    The Alberta Act and the Saskatchewan Act

1930  Natural Resources Transfer Agreement, Schedule 1, Constitution Act (1930).  It stated that the provincial game acts applied. (more)

See detailed Métis policy history of 1930 in Alberta here

1932 December 28  in St. Albert birth of L'Association des Métis d'Alberta et des Territoires du Nord-Ouest, with Joseph F. Dion a teacher at Kehiwin as the first president. (more)

1933  February 27    Alberta Resolution: government  to report back to Legislature on study into Metis concerns and issues (UFA/CCF Premier Brownlee)

1934   February 27    J. Harvie, Deputy Minister of Lands and Mines, reports to his Minister, Reid, on study of Metis concerns and issues. Recommends setting up a Commission. (UFA/CCF Premier Brownlee)

1934  April 14    J. M. Dechene, Liberal MLA, motion in Legislature to act on February 27,1933 Resolution defeated 34-17. (UFA/CCF Premier Brownlee)

1934  December 12    The Ewing Commission established (UFA/CCF Premier, R. G. Reid)

1935  Order-in-Council (O. C.) 706-35. "Regulations Respecting the Locating of Half-Breed Land Scrip in the Province." "on any vacant and available Provincial lands." (Martin, F. 1989: 258 and note 33 on page 292)

1936  February 15    The Ewing Commission reports (Social Credit Premier Aberhart)

1938  July 26   Meeting in Joussard. W. W. Cross, Minister of Health, Social Credit, Metis association members from the area, Pete Tomkins, E. A. Braithwaite a former member of the Ewing Commission and others. Norris writes that "the purpose of this meeting was to arrive at some understanding as to what is to be done for the Metis people." (This meeting is referenced in a September 2, 1940 Norris memo. See also letter from Norris January 30, 1939)

1938  July 28   W. W. Cross, Minister of Health, presents proposal to the Alberta Cabinet, Social Credit, and it is accepted. (see next few days).

1938  July 29  Letter from Cross to Tomkins appoints him as the temporary "Official Administrator of the Metis Colonies." Surface rights and revenues guaranteed in this letter. Tomkins' duties are to report on colony lands and the number of Metis he feels will arrive on those lands. The Minister indicates that he wants the report delivered by three members of the executive and strongly suggests but not directly that they be Dion and Brady, cutting Norris out of the initiative. Tomkins is paid $100 per month with no travel expenses supplied.  The report is due in 60 days from the date of the letter. (see Cross letter in on-line Glenbow file GLEN 338 p99/100)

1938  August 1  The Alberta Social Credit government goes public with information on the Metis land deals. (see the Edmonton Journal)

1938  August 5  Pete Tomkins takes up his appointment as the temporary "Official Administrator of the Metis Colonies." (see Glenbow on-line file GLEN 338 p99/100, letter from W. W. Cross to Tomkins)

1938  November 22    The Métis Population Betterment Act Royal Assent.

1938  November/December  With the Royal assent of the Metis Population Betterment Act, the first centralized government Metis-specific administrative body is formed within the Bureau of Relief and Public Welfare with Frank Buck the lead bureaucrat, Edward Ainslie Braithwaite a member, and Pete Tomkins and Joe Dion as "Metis organizers." The group is called the "Metis Committee."

1938-1939  Orders-in-Council establish Metis Colonies (see research page)

1939 February 3   O C 155/39 (Alberta) Joseph F. Dion appointment as Commissioner of Oaths. (Glenbow on-line Dion letters in file 334, page 41)

1940  February 29  O C 258/40:   "Constitution of Metis Settlement Associations regulations". Recommended by W. W. Cross. (See letter F. J. Buck to Clerk of the Executive Council of the Alberta Government, March 6, 1940 found in the Provincial Archives in Edmonton: Acc # 88.553 Box 1 file 11 and Acc#70-414 box 38 file 1698.) (Amended OC 947/41 that later became Alberta Reg. 634/57. See Bell 1994:118 note 80)

1940  March 15    The Métis Population Betterment Act, 1940 amended

1941  January 31 Alberta Bureau of Public Welfare reports on "Activities in Connection with the Betterment of the Métis People." (Alberta Native Affairs, 1984) refers to the removal from Metis lands of the Marlboro area that includes "between five hundred million and six hundred million feet of mature Pine and Spruce timber, virgin forests" (p21) and Touchwood Lake area that includes "several lakes in which commercial fishing is carried out." (p22) (Alberta Native Affairs, 1984: Section 6)

1943  November 20    Order-in-Council 1785-43 Métis Population Betterment Trust Account

1947  March 25    Diamond Jenness presents statement titled "Plan for Liquidating Canada's Indian Problem Within 25 Years" to the Special Joint Committee on the Indian Act of the Senate and the House of Commons. (See also same themes in Federal government's 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy)

1951  A new Indian Act

1952  Amendment to The Métis Population Betterment Act. Minister now appoints two board members and the Provincially appointed Supervisor is the Chair of the local board. Two members elected (see Bell, 1994:6)

1959  The Nelson Commission on Treaties 8 and 11

1960  Alberta Order-in-Council (OC) 192/60. Rescinds Wolf Lake lands for Métis Settlement. (Martin, F. 1989: 293 note 53)

1960  Alberta Regulation (AR) 110/60 S. 13, 14. Limits role of churches on Settlements and prohibits church run schools on Settlements. (Martin, F. 1989: 293 Note 19)

1960  Alberta Regulation (AR) 112/60. Common Trust Fund to be shared by all Settlements. (Martin, F. 1989: 293 Note 59)

1967  Northwest Territories Council moves from Ottawa to Yellowknife

1968 July 29  Richard Poitras initiates litigation against province for misappropriation of Trust Fund  more (reference Edmonton Journal Nov. 1989) (Martin, F 1989:293) See also Feb 1974 and July 1977

1969  March 24   In Poitras v. A-G Alberta, (1969), 7 D.L.R. (3d) 161 (also reported: 68 W.W.R. 224). Riley Judge of the Alberta Supreme Court decided the the Metis Association could not take action against the Attorney-General pursuant to the /Judicature Act/, R.S.A. 1955, c. 164 for various reasons.  This did not preclude other action later if a means could be found.  See the complete text hereSee also Feb 1974 and July 1977

1969 Summer   Métis Association of Alberta proposes The Métis Task Force

1969  Nisga'a of British Columbia go to court ( Calder v. Attorney-General of B.C.)

1969  Federal government makes public White Paper on Indian Policy

1970 June 4   Indian Association of Alberta presents "Red Paper" rejects "White Paper"

1970  Indian Brotherhood of the NWT established to deal with concerns about Treaties 8 and 11

1972  (see 1968 - Poitras) A report that Alberta Premier Lougheed feels "that the misappropriation (of Trust Funds) question should be decided by the courts".

1972 February   The report of the Métis Task Force

1972  Métis and Non-Status Native Association of the NWT incorporated

1973  The Paulette Caveat (a declaration of prior interest in the land)

1973  Aboriginal title confirmed by Supreme Court (Calder v. Attorney-General of B.C.)

1973 Yukon Native Indian Brotherhood presents a land claim proposal for status and non-status Indians in the Yukon, "Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow. The federal government agrees to negotiate, implying some recognition of rights.

1973 The Liberal Canadian government announces that it will establish an Office of Native Claims to negotiate "comprehensive claims," claims for land not covered by treaty, and "specific claims," claims based on treaties, the Indian Act, or other legislation.

1974 February 5 Statement of Claim filed in Supreme Court of Alberta for revenues from Oil and gas development: "Keg River Metis Settlement Association v Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta action No. 83520" (ref: Martin, F. 1989:294)  see also July 1968 and July 1977

1975 May 28    The Alberta Federation of Métis Settlement Associations incorporated

1975  Berger opens the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry 

1975  Federation of Métis Settlement Associations continues lawsuit (asking $350 million in compensation) against Alberta Government for misappropriation of Trust Funds with new lawyer: Angus MacDonald of Edmonton

1976  The Dene of the NWT present draft agreement-in-principle

1977 Spring    Alberta Bill 29 denies land claims

1977  The Métis Association of the NWT submit a claim discussion paper

1977 July 6  Class action claim on behalf of all Settlements and members: Maurice L'Hirondelle et al v Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta Action No. 100945. (Martin, F 1989:294) see also July 1968 and Feb. 1974.

1979 June 16-18    Federation of Métis Settlement Associations organizes weekend elders conference: attending are Adrian Hope, Maurice L'Hirondelle (Chairman), Robert Aulotte, Fred Martineau, Adolphus Ghostkeeper, Joe Cardinal, Richard Poitras, Sid Beaudry.

1979 June 18   On the Sunday morning of the Elders Conference, the Provincial government raids Settlements' offices and seizes documents relevant to litigation. [p. 4 "By Means of Conferences and Negotiations" We Ensure Our Rights. Background and Principles for New Legislation linking Metis Aboriginal Rights to 'A Resolution Concerning an Amendment to the Alberta Act (Resolution 18)'. Edmonton: Federation of Metis Settlement Associations. July 1986] (Martin F. 1989:294 note 66)

1979 Alberta Ombudsman reviews relations between the Federation/Settlements and the provincial government. "In his report the Ombudsman recommended that a committee be established to review and recommend changes to the Métis Betterment Act and regulations." [p. 4 "By Means of Conferences and Negotiations" We Ensure Our Rights. Background and Principles for New Legislation linking Metis Aboriginal Rights to 'A Resolution Concerning an Amendment to the Alberta Act (Resolution 18)'. Edmonton: Federation of Metis Settlement Associations. July 1986]

1981  Métis Association of Alberta publishes "Metis Land Rights in Alberta"

1982 June 30  Alberta Federation of Métis Settlement Associations publishes statement on Metis aboriginal rights: "Metisism: a Canadian Identity"

1982 March 31  Order-in-council 422/82 establishes "A Joint Métis-government Committee" to review The Métis Betterment Act and regulations (Martin, F. 1989:294 note 74)

1982 April 17     Constitution Act signed

1984 July 12     "A Joint Métis-government Committee" chaired by Grant MacEwan reports to Minister of Municipal Affairs

1984 December 15    The Final Report of the Alberta Committee on Tolerance and Understanding

1985 April     First Ministers' Conference on the Constitution

1985 June 3    Peter Lougheed presents to the legislature "A Resolution Concerning an Amendment to the Alberta Act (Resolution 18)"

1986 July  Alberta Federation of Métis Settlement Association develops: (BMOC) "By Means of Conferences and Negotiations" We Ensure Our Rights. Background and Principles for New Legislation linking Metis Aboriginal Rights to 'A Resolution Concerning an Amendment to the Alberta Act (Resolution 18)'

1987 March    First Ministers' Conference on Aboriginal peoples and the Constitution  

1987 March 27    Policy Statement on Native Education in Alberta

1987 June 17    "Implementation of Resolution 18" discussion document

1987 December 11    Alberta-Metis Association of Alberta Framework Agreement signed

1988 September    Metis Association of Alberta releases "Metis Futures"

1988  Agreement-in-principle: Canada and the Dene Nation and the Metis Association of the NWT

1989 June 20    Referendum of Settlement members on the Settlements Accord. Passed. Suggests litigation re: Trust Fund misappropriation be ended.

1989 July 1     Alberta-Métis Settlements Accord.

1989/90  Disputes over Settlements' Accord in Paddle Prairie which pulls out of and then re-enters agreement: Windspeaker 24 Nov. 1989 and 16 and 26 Jan. 1990  

1990 April    Dené/Métis of the NWT sign final land claim agreement but agreement was rejected in July

1990 November 1    Métis Settlements legislation is implemented. Settlements get $310 million over seventeen year transition period. Any litigation or action re: Trust Fund misappropriation Court of Queen's Bench actions numbered 83520 and 100945 or others are extinguished by the Part 5 METIS SETTLEMENTS ACCORD

1990  O.C. 515-90 Administrative structure of the Metis Settlements Appeals Tribunal (Note: rescinded Nov. 2004)

1991  The federal Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) appointed

1991-1992  Metis Nation Accord with provinces and Canada - part of the Constitutional Accord - is drafted

1992  The Charlottetown Constitutional Accord defeated

1999  April   Oil companies dispute jurisdiction of Settlements Appeals Tribunal to settle contract dispute with Elizabeth Settlement

2003 March    Settlements Ombudsman, Harley Johnson, appointed. Reports to Pearl Calahasen, Alberta Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

2003  September 19  Supreme Court decision in Ontario Powley case thought to be positive for Alberta Métis hunting rights (more  R v Powley 2003 S. C. J. No 43). It includes The Powley Test the Supreme Court statement on Metis aboriginal rights determination

2004 Spring    Alberta Bill 30 (full text). Amendments to The Métis Settlements Act. Plus an amendment to Bill 30 

2004 September 31  Interim Harvesting Agreement with Settlements General Council and, September 28, 2004 with MNAA (signed by Alberta Government; are the result of Powley 2003; but each states the agreement does not "...affect, abrogate or derogate from, or recognize or affirm any constitutional or aboriginal rights ..."). Read the Interim Harvesting Agreement resulting from Powley (2003) between Alberta and the Settlements General Council

2004 November  Métis Settlements Amendment Act, S.A. 2004, c. 25 Amends the Métis Settlements Act (RSA 2000 cM-14) describes among other things the Executive Committee of the Appeal Tribunal and the Tribunal Selection and Review Committee.  Received Royal Assent May 11, 2004 and various times for different parts coming into effect (Alberta Legislature website, Feb. 2005)

2004-2005  Transition, Assessment and Planning Process in place to assess the implementation of the Metis Settlements Accord and then to plan for the transition in 2007 when the financial terms of the Metis Settlements Accord and provincial transfers are complete. There is an Accord Review Committee/Council that has issued its assessment report (May, 2005) and planning is underway with the help of a Joint Steering Committee and a technical advisory team that takes recommendations (after they have been approved by both the General Council and the Alberta government) and works out the technical details and returns to the committee further questions and issues that need further refinement. Issues include the Futures Fund, taxation for Settlement residents and members (the government expects some sort to be a source of revenue), and equalization and transfer payments both between Settlement Councils and between the Alberta government and the General Council. (source: interview conducted by D. Wall June 2005)

2005 January.  Métis Settlements General Council agrees to open office in Ottawa.  Garry Parenteau (former President of the Federation of Métis Settlement Associations) is hired as the Federal Liaison.

2005 May 31.  Federal Cabinet meets with 5 aboriginal groups and signs accords and framework agreements on housing, health, economic opportunities, negotiations, lifelong learning.  The organizations include Métis National Council (MNC), Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and the Native Women's Association.  The meeting was organized by the Privy Council Office (PCO) and the Métis Settlements General Council attempted to be included but decisions were made on April 19, 2005 to include only the five mentioned organizations, although the PCO knows the MNC does not represent the interests of the Métis Settlements General Council.


Métis Settlements significant dates and parallel events.