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Virtual Museum of Canada The Making of Treaty #8 in Canada's Northwest
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1899 and After

"Distinction without a Difference:" Treaty and Scrip in 1899

Article Feature By G. Neil Reddekopp and Patricia Bartko

   
metis people with scrip commission members The Treaty 8 and Athabasca Scrip Commissioners who visited northern Alberta in 1899 anticipated that they would meet and believed that they had met two distinct groups - Indians to whom treaty would be offered and Métis to whom scrip would be issued. It was believed that Indians and Métis were distinguished not only by ancestry, but also by employment and preferred forms of land tenure. Historical and genealogical evidence suggests, however, that these assumptions were of limited value. But, however real the similarities were between those who entered treaty and those who applied for scrip, the legal distinction between the two groups would assume considerable importance as early as the 1920s and continues to be of significance today.

For more information on Treaty 8 Revisited: Selected Papers on the 1999 Centennial Conference, visit the Lobstick website

Reprinted from with permission from Lobstick: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 

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