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Wolf Lake: The Importance of Métis Connection to Land and Place Open Access


Other title
Metis connection to place and land
Wolf Lake Metis Settlement
Alberta Metis Settlements
Metis displacement
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Roy Denis, Chantal A
Supervisor and department
Kermoal, Nathalie (Faculty of Native Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Andersen, Christian (Faculty of Native Studies)
Bell, Catherine (Faculty of Law)
Faculty of Native Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-11:Fall 2017
Master of Arts
Degree level
This thesis provides an analysis of Métis territoriality by examining the importance of Métis connection to land and place. In utilizing written archival document, as well as unwritten such as maps and photographs, the research sheds light on the connection Métis people had with the displaced community of Wolf Lake, Alberta. In examining the displaced Métis community of Wolf Lake, which became a Métis settlement in the 1930s and was disbanded in 1960, the research reveals the layered connection to specific places. Wolf Lake was once a Métis wintering place, where families gathered to hunt and trap during the winter months. As settlement encroached upon Métis mobility, Wolf Lake became a more permanent year round community. It was a place where Métis families made a living with the land, which fostered their political, economic and social traditions. Such connections to land and place occurred through daily life activities, one based on reciprocity with all living and non-living relations. The colonial system disregarded the sophisticated way of knowing of Métis peoples and communities. Dispossession occurred at Wolf Lake due to colonial understanding of land as a ‘thing’. Therefore governments and settlers harnessed the area for its resources such as oil, gas, and timber, and for its military potential with the establishment of the Primrose Air Weapons Range in 1956. Government initiatives and systems functioned to disinherit Métis peoples from the land. The research renders these histories of forced displacement visible, in order to challenge narratives that erase Indigenous histories, and enables a platform by which Indigenous histories and relations to the land may be reframed. Wolf Lake serves as an important reminder of the existence of Métis territory, and the importance of Métis places
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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