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Non-Status Communities

The Métis are recognised by the Government of Canada as Aboriginal Peoples. The Government of Alberta has worked cooperatively with this group for many years. It has been a long road. The Métis Association of Alberta was created in 1930 in an attempt to raise awareness concerning the appalling conditions many Métis were living in. It is now known as the Métis Nation of Alberta. In 1934, the Association's lobby efforts led to the creation of the Ewing Commission, a government-sponsored study that examined the socio-economic conditions of the Métis people. This, in turn, led to the creation of Metis Settlements that provided a land base to many dispossessed Métis. Over 5,000 Métis still live on these Settlements, but many others live elsewhere. In the 1996 Canada Census, 45,745 people identified themselves as Métis in Alberta. Under the Metis Settlements Accord of 1989, eight Settlement Corporations were established: Buffalo Lake, East Prairie, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, Gift Lake, Kikino, Paddle Prairie and Peavine. These Settlements have a land base; the Métis Nation of Alberta does not.

There are Aboriginal Peoples in Alberta who are non-treaty; others are from isolated places; while others live in cities. The Government of Alberta in its Strengthening Relationships: The Government of Alberta's Aboriginal Policy Framework (APF)of 2000 stated it wished to "address the concerns and interests of every person of Aboriginal Ancestry in Alberta."(1) The main goal of the APF is to assist in the economic development of all people of Aboriginal ancestry.

As concerns Métis and non-treaty individuals and groups, the Government of Alberta has undertaken an Aboriginal Capacity Building Strategy in order to develop capacity and economic strategies in response to the needs and resources of these communities. As the Government intends to respect all of its treaty, constitutional and legal obligations as concerns public lands, any development that is done must include consultation with those who live on them.

In 1999, Traditional Land Use Studies were done for all of the Metis Settlements. Traditional Values Study: He Taught Them to Value the Land was done in July and covered Buffalo Lake, Kikino, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, East Prairie, Gift Lake, Peavine and Paddle Prairie Metis Settlements. In April of that same year, the Traditional Values Study: Preserving Our Culture and Building our Future was also done and it included the same communities of Buffalo Lake, Kikino, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, East Prairie, Gift Lake, Peavine and Paddle Prairie Metis Settlements. The results of the Studies are kept by the Metis Settlements General Council. Even though the studies cover all of the Settlements, the studies are not considered complete. Any funding for research is made possible because of the Powley Decision of 2003, a Supreme Court of Canada decision. The Canadian government committed 23 million dollars in 2004-2005, of which research, policy development and networking activities would encompass half of the sum, but as grant requests go funding is not always granted.

Publications:

Government of Alberta, Alberta's First Nations Consultations Guidelines on Land Management and Resource Development, November 14, 2007, Final Draft.

Wall, Dennis. The Alberta Métis Letters: 1930-1940 Policy Review and Annotation.Edmonton, Canada: DWRG Press, 2008.

Web Resources:

Métis Nation of Alberta,

Metis Settlements General Council,

Alberta Aboriginal Relations,

(1) Alberta's First Nations Consultations Guidelines on Land Management and Resource Development, November 14, 2007, Final, p. 6.

Albertasource.ca - Alberta Online Encyclopedia Aboriginal Websites and Edukits

Alberta: Home, Home on the Plains

Alberta: Home, Home On The Plains

To make way for western settlement and the building of the railways, in the latter half of the 19th century, Treaties were undertaken by the Government of Canada with Aboriginal People. Discover the settlement era in Alberta with a focus on early settlement, rural life, farming and ranching.

Métis in Alberta

Métis in Alberta

Explore the rich history of the first Francophone community in Alberta through The Métis in Alberta, a fully bilingual website showcasing the origins, the people, and the culture of the Métis who have helped shaped this province into what it is today.

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