Métis Culture in Alberta

The Métis Association of Alberta was founded in 1928 to represent the interest and concerns of the Métis people of Alberta. Its primary objective was to secure an autonomous land base for the Métis people. Other objectives included obtaining improved education, health, and social and economic conditions. Joseph Dion, Jim Brady, Malcolm Norris, Felix Callihoo and Peter Tompkins provided leadership.

After intensive lobbying by Métis leaders and others, the Ewing Commission, composed of Métis leaders and representatives of the government, was to, “Make inquiry into the condition of the Half Breed population of Alberta, keeping particularly in mind the health, education, relief and welfare of such population” (Dobbin, 1981).

With autonomy being their most important goal, the Métis Association of Alberta leaders wanted a cooperative venture with the Alberta government. The Ewing Commission, however, clearly did not believe the Métis people were capable, stating, “It is perfectly true that these people are like children, helpless and irresponsible” (Dobbin, 1981). Following the recommendations of the Ewing Commission Report 1936, the Province enacted the Métis Betterment Act for the establishment of the Métis Settlements.

Watch this video to learn more about Métis identity

Cultural Team

  Cultural Team, L-R: Beatrice Demetrius, Bailey Oster, Marilyn Lizee, MNA President Audrey Poitras, Norma Spicer, Juanita Marois, Cordene Gerlat. Missing: Terry Boucher.

Who we are: The MNA cultural team is a group of volunteers from the MNA provincial office. The team formed in October 2011 in recognition of the importance of sharing and promoting the unique history and culture of Métis people, families and communities. By using historical materials from the Genealogical Research Centre (GRC) we work to ensure historical Métis events, traditions and cultural practices are accurately recorded in standardized format.

Our Goal: The team shares a common vision of developing Métis cultural presentations and informational packages highlighting the uniqueness of Métis culture, history, and heroes. Presentations and informational packages will be based on a consistent format and referenced historical material from the Genealogical Research Centre.

Our Objectives: We will continually work to research and reference historical and cultural material, develop and maintain resources to be held in the GRC, and work to engage MNA Members to contribute personal stories, photos and artifacts to add to our collection.

Importantly, the teams wants to share and promote Métis cultural and heritage to external stakeholders, including federal, provincial and municipal governments, schools, and other partners.

For more information about Métis culture, please contact:

Tel: (780) 455-2200
Toll Free: 1-866-678-7888
Email: culture@metis.org