The Métis people originated in the 1700s when French and Scottish fur traders married Aboriginal women, such as the Cree, and Anishinabe (Ojibway). Their descendants formed a distinct culture, collective consciousness and nationhood in the Canadian Northwest.
Distinct Métis communities developed along the fur trade routes. This Métis Nation Homeland includes the three Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta), as well as, parts of Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Northern United States.
The Métis Nation grew into a distinct culture and became a people in the Northwest prior to that territory becoming part of Canada.
The Métis are one of the “Aboriginal peoples of Canada.” To read more about the Metis, click here and note the family history and genealogy section.
In recent years there has been a renewed interest in the settlements awarded by the federal government of Canada to the Métis inhabitants of Manitoba and the former North-West Territories. The records created by the scrip commissions, and the Department of the Interior in its administration of federal land policies, are now consulted by a wide range of users. The records have become particularly important, however, in two key areas: in the debate surrounding Métis allegations into the mishandling of their rights, as an Aboriginal people, by the federal government; and in family histories, especially with those seeking re-instatement under the Indian Act.
The good news is that more than 24,000 of these records have recently been brought online.
What are scrip records and where did the people who received scrip live? This article explains further about scrip records.
This site purports that the scrip process in Canada was valid. The opposite is true as the Royal Commissions into the fraud around the process of Script identified so much fraud that Canada’s claim that this extinguished the ‘Indian Title’ possessed by these people that the evidence was not presented in a Court and therefore was not an valid legal result. The basis for the declination to hear the evidence was the expiry of a moratorium yet it was the Canadian Government which refused to hear the matter until such expiry had occurred.
What the records do is convey to those who do not delve deeply into the process a premise to believe that in fact a valid process had occurred. When all of the legalities and illegalities are considered you find that it only served to be a capital conversion process of a ‘title’ and the devaluation of said ‘title’ by taxes, developmental restrictions and obligations, and that it was not valid to use for any previous land developments that ‘metis’ had already undertaken. When they attempted to cash in their script they incurred legal fees and other professional dues which severely impacted the ability of the metis to use the Script in the manner which one might think. The script could not be applied to land which the metis desired instead they were directed to outlying areas far from settlements and that were not serviced. This made land ownership very onerous as the cost of required development alone far exceeded the expected returns from the land for generations.
At very best the process only served to identify the original people who had all the same rights as any other original inhabitant. In this way they are invaluable as the genealogical records of originals is scant in print and difficult to obtain when it is.