St. Joseph (Walhalla) is place located in northern North Dakota about 30 miles up the Pembina River. During the 1800s, St. Joe’s was a major settlement for Ojibwe and half-breed (Metis). In a way it served as a hub, with roads radiating in all directions towards various other Indian villages and half-breed settlements. One road lead direct to White Horse Plains; another road lead from St. Joe directly to a portage along the edge of the Pembina Mountains; and other less considerable roads diverge from these main roads towards Turtle Mountain, Devils Lake, and other points across the region. Early censuses showed the majority of the population as French Half-breeds, many of them originating from White Horse Plains, and all of them United States citizens once the border was established.
During the issuance of Manitoba scrip, officials from Canada visited St. Joe and St. John, North Dakota, for the purpose of making enquiry concerning a large number of persons who made applications. The officials determined that many of the people making scrip claims were generally regarded as Indians and were receiving treaty annuities as band members in Canada and the United States, but that these people were enticed to remove themselves from the bands with which they were associated, and instead make applications for grants of scrip. Many were swindled by greedy white land speculators who desired to purchase their scrip and enrich themselves at the expense of the Indians. At first the Indians sold their scrip at very low prices, having no idea of its value; and it was discovered that in many instances the white con men had executed false powers of attorney and stole the scrip, not telling the Indians what would happen to them once they had withdrawn from treaty.
The majority of these newly created “Metis” were, in fact, members of the Pembina Band or else were members of the “St. Peter's Band”, the name of the Peguis First Nation at the time.
A good number of these people lost their status entirely after this con game and were excluded from future enrollment with the tribes, or else were forced to seek their fortunes elsewhere in Saskatchewan, Montana, and Alberta.
RED MORE AT: (1887) Sessional Papers of the Dominion of Canada, Volume 6; Volume 20, Issue 6. By Canada Parliament