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A Few Metis Communities (1895)

The Report of the Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police Force for 1895 discusses a few Metis communities that were being visited by police, who made notes on their observations of these places and the people who lived in them. Notes about each place are provided below:

Fort Pelly

“There are a few [half-breeds] at Fort Pelly and the vicinity, who have a few cattle, but depend chiefly on freighting for the traders for a living. The corporal at Pelly reports: “I cannot say much for them, they seem to be responsible for giving liquor to Indians.”


“There are but a few families of half-breeds here, who give no trouble.”


“The half-breeds are few in this district and are chiefly located in the Qu’Appelle Valley.”

Willow Bunch

“[The half-breeds are]… very quiet and well behaved.”

Prince Albert

“Very little relief has been given to half-breeds during the past year. It is very probable though that the coming winter may discover, through calls for government aid, many cases of destitution, due to entire failure of crops.”

Egg Lake

“In the Egg Lake district there are ten families of half-breeds, two families having left the district since last year, and gone north where game is more plentiful.”

Moose, Long, and Frog Lakes

“At these places there are about 150 Indians and Half-breeds who make their living principally by the chase. Quite a number of them have a few head of cattle and put in small gardens of potatoes, which turned out very well this year ; this with the supply of fish taken from the lakes enable them to make a fair living. Their hunt during the past year proved very successful, besides, a trader named Laboucane, from near Victoria, has come to reside amongst them, and they are enabled to get goods much cheaper than heretofore.”

Jackfish Lake

“One or two new families have arrived. They [the half-breeds] have been very orderly throughout the year, giving no trouble at all. Very few cases of destitution have been brought to my notice. Nearly all the half-breeds work hard and do their utmost to earn their living and support their families respectably. They have dug and sold 21,000 pounds Seneca roots, at 18 cents per pound. It may be, should the winter be a severe one, that demands for aid in the shape of food will be forthcoming.”

Meadow Lake

“From Turtle Lake only a cart trail for about 12 miles, then bridle path went through heavy timber and muskegs. There is a small half-breed settlement here.”

Lac Ste Anne

“[There is a] H.B.C. Post; large half-breed settlement: R.C.mission and buildings; police station; post office.”


“Flourishing settlement of French and Americans, a few Belgians and half-breeds; post office and police station.”

Buffalo Lake

“Half-breed settlement, near Buffalo Lake; post office, police station; few white settlers.”

Hog Creek

“Stopping place; half-breed settlement.”


SOURCE: Report of the Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police Force. (1895). Ottawa, ON: Queens Printer.

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