Lesser Slave Lake Aboriginal Population Circa 1899: “The Community Quandary; Choosing Between Treaty & Scrip”

By Patricia Bartko

In general, to date, there is less academic material studying the Treaty 8 account (1899 Athabasca District Treaty and Half-breed Commissions) than there is on the Commissions affecting the southern Alberta treaty areas and the eastern (Manitoba) Metis addressing the extinguishment of aboriginal title, integral to the peaceful settlement of the Dominion. Yet, the Treaty 8 process was unique and proves interesting in many aspects for both academic and personal histories. Understanding the Lesser Slave Lake Treaty and Half-Breed account is central to a comprehension of Treaty 8 since the core negotiations and disbursements occurred at the first location of the Commission route, – of Stony Point near Grouard on the north-western shore of Lesser Slave Lake, with subsequent communities taken as adhesions(1) to the Lesser Slave Lake agreement. Crucial explanations and perceptions of both Commissions’ benefits, and significant changes to the process and legacy due to community pressure, which laid the framework for the entire Treaty 8 process, lead one to wonder about the socio-demographic fabric of the Aboriginal community which presented itself at Lesser Slave Lake in the summer of 1899. Who were these families that could affect such a significant impact, and what were the influences and the understanding that led them to make an active choice between treaty or scrip benefits? The following notes attempt to answer these questions through some family tracing and primary source accounting of the Treaty 8 process from a Lesser Slave Lake perspective.

The Community

This selection between treaty and scrip (in effect, a self-identification as an Indian or Metis, which leaves a vastly divergent legacy for the descendants of these families today), is made evident through a temporal comparison of three population counts circa 1899, which each provide for a categorical analysis of Metis and Indian families. These three censuses were the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) count during the winter of 1898/1899, the 1899 Treaty and Half-Breed Commissions’ treaty Indian (Kinnosayoo’s Band) and scrip claimant lists, and the 1901 federal census united with a reconstructed Indian treaty list for the same year. For both the 1899 Commissions and 1901 census years, adjustments(2) were made to reconstruct the complete aboriginal population. This is because it was recognized that the comparison control, the NWMP count of families, was the only accounting of the Lesser Slave Lake population in a single comprehensive report. Yet, there is strong evidence to suggest that some people were likely missed by the NWMP, as they appear in the 1899 and 1901 records as residents of the community.

Table 1 – Aboriginal Demographic Comparison, presents the overall comparative temporal census data, indicating the components of the aboriginal community of Lesser Slave Lake circa 1899. As noted in Table 1, from these sources, the reconstructed 1899 Metis population at Lesser Slave Lake was approximately 647 individuals (as opposed to the official NWMP database recording only 608 individual names), around 182 families present and recorded. Charles Mair, Secretary to the Half-Breed Commission, wrote, “It was estimated that over a hundred [Metis] families were encamped around us, some in teepees, some in tents, and some in the open air, the willow copses to the north affording shelter, as well, to a few doubtful members of Slave Lake Society, and to at least a thousand dogs.”(3) H.B. Round, the Transport Manager for the Hudson’s Bay Company, also recorded in a note to the HBC Commissioner Wrigley, “The following day 21st (June) the Indians again assembled; a vigorous and eloquent address was made by the Chief’s brother Moostoos, to the tribe which resulted in a general shout of approval and shortly after . . . the signing of the Treaty No 8! 240 were paid.”(4) Reverend W.G. White, who resided in this western Lesser Slave Lake area, wrote to his Bishop an accounting of the result for the Commissions, stating, “I hear that about 600 halfbreeds in all have taken scrip here, leaving about 300 to take Treaty. But some of the latter will have nothing to do with it – Kinoosao, Moostoos and their followers were the ones who signed and took the treaty.”(5) These written accounts provide corroboration of the statistical data within this work recording actual family names and structures recognizing, on a personal level, the Aboriginal population of this community which first faced the 1899 Treaty 8 and Athabasca Half-Breed Commissioners. In sum, the total reconstructed aboriginal population at Lesser Slave Lake in 1899, according to the research results (see Appendix I), was about 920 people, plus about “200 onlookers”(6) before the Commissioners, while the official records from the 1899 Commissions only show 854 people. Throughout this paper, background to the adjusted total population figure as present at Lesser Slave Lake in 1899 (which increases by about 64 individuals) is provided.

Two observations from the summary table (Table 1) should be highlighted. First, there is an increase (by over 130 people) to the total aboriginal population in the few months time from the winter to summer of 1899. Second, a shift occurs in the Metis versus Indian components of the Aboriginal community. This shift is from a perceived high majority of Metis (85% according to the NWMP count) to one of a moderate majority (66% or 2/3 according to the 1899 Commission and the 1901 Census lists) as recorded in the Commissions Register and Band paylist. However, there is no dispute within these four years over the fact that the Lesser Slave Lake community(7) was largely Metis. The further outlying communities, such as Whitefish Lake and Sturgeon Lake, were more representative of Indian residents, and were considered only as extensions or satellites of the main Lesser Slave Lake population, but even then only, from a trading and missionary perspective for they were certainly separate communities in geography, people, and practice.

In search of an explanation for these two observations, some evidence presents itself within a more detailed temporal population comparison. Such a comparison was made based on the NWMP nominal lists of Half-breeds and Indians, and attempts to follow through to the federal census year of 1901, tracking the identification of certain families.* This nominal comparison is somewhat of a synthesis of all primary source material.

In regards to the increase in total size of the Aboriginal population, some answers are found within the 1899 Half-Breed Commission – Claims Registers Information and the adjusted 1899 and 1901 Kinnosayoo’s Band paylists. These lists, representing the families claiming Metis or Indian benefits, include some individuals and families that would likely not be considered as original members of the core Lesser Slave Lake community. Some individuals are from the outlying areas such as Wabasca, Sturgeon Lake, Dunvegan, Peace River, and even St. Albert (Alberta Treaty 6 area), Fort St. John (British Columbia Treaty 8 area) and St. Peter’s (Manitoba Treaty 1) Bands. For example, one or both parents may have earlier (or in some cases, later, in another location) taken scrip. The father or mother may be claiming for themselves and/or their children in 1899 at Lesser Slave Lake. Also, some Indians on Kinnosayoo’s list were transfers as is the case in James Prince’s family. It is also possible that some “Metis” families travelled to Lesser Slave Lake to ensure their participation and receipt of benefits, particularly since they would have been aware of scrip from the earlier disbursements to the south.

As to the apparent shift of some families from the Metis category to the Indian, this may be explained in two ways. One, the NWMP’s perception of some families appears to have been based on character traits. While the Indians were assumed to be less capable of dealing with the so-called “civilized world” which was ever encroaching with the inevitable settlement of the area post-treaty, anyone who demonstrated intelligence, confidence, and appeared successful and stable was assumed to be more Metis in blood than Indian. * For more detailed information and data, please contact the author.

Indeed, it was intended in the provisions of the treaties of the Dominion, that the federal Crown would take care of the Indians as wards of the state until or unless they were able to take care of themselves.(8) The Government, the missionaries, the traders, and, loosely, the Non-Aboriginal population held this patronizing and ethnocentric view as is evident in the following statement by Reverend W.G. White who was serving the Lesser Slave Lake area (based at Whitefish Lake): “Of course we can scarcely expect the Government to understand the timidity of these poor bush people as they look upon them as a set of stupids. Now that I have heard the terms, I have no doubt that Treaty will be best for the Whitefish Lake people.”(9)

In Charles Mair’s first-hand account of the 1899 Commissions, he notes the surprise and disappointment that certain members of the parties felt when their stereotypical expectations of the Indians were contradicted by the reality before them:

The crowd of Indians ranged before the marquee had lost all semblance of wildness of the true type. . . it was plain that these people had achieved, without any treaty at all, a stage of civilization distinctly in advance of many of our treaty Indians to the south after twenty-five years of education. Instead of paint and feathers, the scalp-lock, the breech-clout, and the buffalo robe, there presented itself a body of respectable-looking men, as well-dressed and evidently quite as independent in their feelings as any like number of average pioneers in the East. . . . One was prepared, in this wild region of forest, to behold some savage types of men; indeed, I craved torenew the vanished scenes of old. But, alas! One beheld, instead, men with well-washed, unpainted faces . . . It was not what was expected . . .(10)

Beyond appearances, during the Lesser Slave negotiations, Kinnosayoo and his brother Moostoos, representing the Indians, made “a few brief and sensible statements, varied by vigorous appeals to the common sense and judgement, rather than the passions, of their people….Here were men disciplined by good handling…. who led inoffensive and honest lives, yet who expressed their sense of freedom, and had in their courteous demeanour the unmistakable air and bearing of independence.”(11)

Likewise, those that presented themselves to the Half-Breed Commissioners had characteristics that were accepted as only Metis, although this research exercise into primary records reveals that some “Indians” too chose scrip.

The most noticeable feature of the scrip issue was the never-ending stream of applicants . . . . They were unquestionably half-breeds, and had received Christian names, and most of them had houses of their own, and, though hunters, fishermen and trippers, their families lived comparatively settled lives.

Here, too, there was no reserve in giving the family name; it was given at once when asked for, and there was no shyness otherwise in demeanour. There was a readiness, for example, to be photographed which was quite distinctive.

The place, in fact, surprised one – no end of buggies, buckboards and saddles, and brightly dressed women . . . the men, too, orderly, civil, and obliging. . . . The whole community seemed well fed, and were certainly well clad . . . there was such a well-to-do, familiar air about the scene, and such a bustle of clean-looking people. How this could be supported by fur it was difficult to see, but it must have been so, for there was, as yet, little or no farming amongst the old “Lakers.”(12)

Thus, within the NWMP population assessment, made in preparation for the coming summer’s Treaty and Half-Breed Commissions, those who had successful, even leadership characteristics and charisma, were labelled as Metis, and those who seemed to require charitable assistance, such as the widow families, were labelled as Indian.

In fact, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s (HBC) post records, account books and journal entries support this label-by-traits supposition. An analysis of the nominal temporal comparative records for family changes from the Metis to Indian category, or vice versa, shows that 75% of the changes are from the Metis to Indian category. For those that change from Metis to Indian, there is usually a similar interesting factor, that these families or individuals also worked for the HBC post as employees (contract or freemen), or were frequent and successful trappers and traders with the post.(13) Again, their personality traits caused them to be perceived as Metis, whether they were by blood or not, and certainly, those Indians who were successful hunters and trappers wished to continue to do so once they were convinced that the treaty would not affect their living. This was, for example, the case in Benjamin (Whittigo), Giroux, Okemow, Osikatchis (aka Seekachees), Ward, Willier and Witchewasis families across temporal censuses.

In illustration of this observation, the Hudsons’ Bay Company’s records provide several examples. The Giroux family was well-known to the HBC as “savay [sic] as can be”(14) in their fur trading with the post. One of the Sawans came from as far away as Peace River to trade, attracted to Lesser Slave Lake because of the high prices given for furs.(15) Likewise, the Mooskoos camp was successful in the quantity of furs traded, and obviously had enough acumen and self-reliance to choose when and whether or not to trade with the post, as it was recorded, “MUSKOO CAMP – 10 Feb, 1884 – P. Andrews returns from Muskoo camp with over 100 furs. Muskoos have decided to trade with HBCo again.”(16) This was recorded in a trip made by Pierre Andrews, one of the contract HBC Metis employees, a trip made within four days including travel and trading, yielding a good amount of furs from the Mooskoo (aka Moostoos/Willier) camp. The best point that this last reference makes, is that an Indian family, in fact the very leaders chosen to represent the Indian community during the 1899 negotiations at Lesser Slave Lake, was labelled as “Metis” in the NWMP 1898/1899 census. These two men, Mooskoos (aka Moostoos) and his brother Kinosao (or Kinnosayoo) were listed in the NWMP report as Mustus Masinoyonib Willier and Kinosiw and Willier, respectively.

As for those who were identified within the NWMP report as “Indian”, but ended up taking scrip, they too were usually interacting frequently with the HBC post. Examples of these families are the Ayalchekabawiw (aka Kaneeghtawa-tamoo), Maskegosis, and Meskinack (aka Badger). One could surmise that with their trading contacts and connection to the European system, they may have been more accessible to and influenced by those who came up to Lesser Slave Lake for the scrip trade and speculation game. On the other hand, the NWMP could have misjudged the community members. Widow Bella Auger (aka Freeman) was initially listed under the Indian category (probably for wardship under the treaty promises), but true to the family background as evident by the name Freeman, she chose Metis identification and the scrip disbursement.

There were also Hudson’s Bay Company post employees who were identified by the NWMP as Metis, who did choose Metis identification and scrip during the Commissions. These core employees happened to be of the Brillant (aka Noosekeyah), Ferguson, and Lalonde families.

Some families seem to be split over the Indian versus Metis choice, like the Sawan, LeBoucon (Laboucanne/Puskeam) and Courtoreille families. The answer must be that the choice offered to the families (to take scrip or treaty, if they were a Metis family considering themselves to be living the Indian way of life) was made in the way that the families felt best served their needs at the time, according to their understanding of the benefits. Mair provides an account of this offer:

The Government does not make treaty with them [the Metis], as they live as white men do, so it gives them scrip to settle their claims at once and forever. Half-breeds living like Indians have the choice to take the treaty instead, if they wish to do so. They have their choice, but only after the treaty is signed. If there is no treaty made, scrip cannot be given.(17)

Therefore, the second way in which one might understand the overall shift in categories over temporal lines, is in relation to the uniqueness of the northern Alberta aboriginal population, and the consequent unique Treaty 8 features such as land in severalty.


Choosing Between Scrip and Treaty – Influences and Understanding

It is to be noted, however, that it is practically impossible in instructing the Commissioners to draw a hard and fast line between the Halfbreeds and the Indians, and some of them are so closely allied in manners and customs to the latter that they will desire to be treated as Indians. . . and hence, [the undersigned] is of the opinion that it should be left to the judgement of the Commissioners to determine what Halfbreeds, if any, should be dealt with as Indians.(18)

It was because the Government and its Commissioners recognized the similarities in lifestyle of the Metis and Indian population, in addition to the uniqueness of the Treaty 8 area population and their difference from the southern plains Aboriginal populations that they offered a choice between scrip and treaty. These differences were the tribal organization versus family groupings and a settled pro-agronomic lifestyle as opposed to a nomadic hunting/fishing/trapping lifestyle. Furthermore, the interaction between, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in the northern community was limited to the fur trade activity, as opposed to the southern settlement influx of non-Aboriginals. This left the northern community largely Aboriginal in blood and lifestyle, be it Metis or Indian with each continuing generation.

Indeed, it was recognized that many of those identified as Metis (descendants of the intermarriages between the fur traders and the indigenous population) were living the life of Indians, and the Indians were not living a lifestyle suitable to settlement.

From what I have been able to learn of the North country, it would appear that the Indians there act rather as individuals than as a nation, and that any tribal organization which may exist is very slight. They live by hunting, and by individual effort, very much as the halfbreeds in that country live. They are averse to living in reserves; and as that country is not one that will ever be settled extensively for agricultural purposes it is questionable whether it would be good policy to even suggest grouping them in the future. The reserve idea is inconsistent with the life of a hunter, and is only applicable to an agricultural country.(19)

In fact, not only did the Government understand that the usual reserve system might not be applicable (because of the lifestyle) in this area, but they were aware that opposition from some Natives of the region was in direction relation to the fear that “if they took treaty they would be corralled [sic] like animals and not allowed to hunt . . .”(20)

While some historical evidence reported that certain segments of the Aboriginal and missionary communities(21) advocated for the treaty, it is also well documented that many in the northern Aboriginal community were opposed to treaty and its expected influx of settlers. Reverend George Holmes wrote in 1894, “The Indians all through the Peace River District are considerably excited over the proposed Treaty. As far as I can gather, they are determined to refuse either Treaty or Scrip and to oppose the settlement of their country by Europeans. So until the Government comes and the result is known, we shall have rather [sic] anxious time.”(22)

Much of this fear and confusion in the north was due to misunderstandings of the treaty, some of which appears to be owed to the influence of traders, speculators, and the missionaries. At the time, it seems that the HBC would have been more interested in continuing the still productive fur trade in the north with the Indians and Metis, and as the treaty and subsequent settlement process could affect this business, they would not have been overly supportive of a process encouraging northern settlement. It is not a far stretch of the imagination to believe the following NWMP report.

Whitemen and Halfbreed traders are, I believe, importuning them not to do so [sign treaty] by telling them that they will be put on a Reserve and kept there and not be allowed to go off it nor to hunt, and that if they have to depend on the amount of provisions that they get from the Government that they will die of hunger.(23)

The influence felt by the Aboriginal population from the speculators would have been for them to take scrip over treaty, and to take money scrip over land scrip. A most suspicious reflection of the speculators influence is intimated directly in the negotiations between the Metis and the Half-Breed Commissioners as the Metis effected a significant change in the form of the money scrip certificates, making them “payable to bearer on demand.”(24)

Even the Anglican missionary admitted to influencing the Metis not to take land scrip; however, this was for a different reason.

Père LaCombe (SIC) and his colleague had a great scheme that was of inducing the people here to take land instead of money scrip and to go out to Saddle Lake or some where near, where Père LaCombe (sic) has a large tract of country in which he hopes to settle Halfbreeds in order to keep them out of the way of Protestant contamination; and, in the end, secure the land for the Church having the poor Halfbreeds as their tenants.

I did all in my power to warn the people against being caught in this snare and, thank God, the whole scheme fell through.(25)

Interestingly enough, Father Lacombe was beseeched by the Commissioners to join their party as the advisor on behalf of the Aboriginal community as he was already well-respected and known by them in his work throughout the area.(26) In contrast, the local Lesser Slave Lake Anglican priests were not as trusted in their relationship with the people of the area. Apparently, the Indians had “very strong suspicions . . . of our, myself especially, being in league with the Government.”(27) In this respect, Rev. Holmes later explains, “They associate our going out in 1896 with the in rush of people the following spring.”(28) Of course, these American Klondikers were lured by the gold rush of 1898, and although they believed through this country was another route, to cold, many of them ended up turning back from Peace River.(29)

From Father Lacombe’s perspective, he was attempting to improve upon the plight of the Metis of the North West by providing them assistance in the way of education in the agricultural and industrial modes of living on a colony settlement called “St. Paul des Métis” near St. Paul, Alberta.(30) James G. MacGregor writes that “[n]one was more aware of the dangers of the Metis selling their scrip right away than Father Lacombe whose St. Paul des Métis colony was an attempt to help salvage similar natives from their own recent and identical follies. Yet in spite of his ardent and impressive speech, counselling them to accept non-negotiable scrip which they could not sell to the lurking traders, the traders won. The Metis, whom they [the traders] had egged on, insisted that they had a right to sell their scrip if they chose to do so.”(31) Certainly by Mair’s first-hand account, the Metis “had made up their minds. Under the circumstances it was impossible to gainsay their assertion that they were the best judges of their own needs.”(32)

In truth, at the core of the Anglican priest’s manoeuvre and his counselling of the scrip-takers during the Half-Breed Commission’s process, was the enduring fight between the Protestant and Catholic religions for the conversions of the community. Reverend George Holmes wrote in 1898 that he was “refusing children of parents who do not join us – told them we have been here 10 years and its time to choose among us.”(33) Although the Lesser Slave Lake population was primarily Roman Catholic,(34) a struggle over the outlying communities still ensued with Whitefish Lake being one prime example. In 1901, Rev. Holmes wrote “if a school is attempted [at Whitefish] the Government would never do any more than a $300 grant at the most but if the Indians accept treaty, each child would earn in this Home $72 per capita and as far as we can see, Whitefish Lake will be our only field for treaty children.”(35) There was, in fact, a real impact on the Anglican missionaries’ work in Lesser Slave Lake within a year of the Commissions’ first arrival. ” Another serious drawback to our work in our children’s home is the loss of our government support grant owing to our Indians having chosen scrip instead of Treaty.” They “lost” thirty-four children.(36) One notes, once again, the active choice by the population, in this case, by some who were recognized as “Indian” taking scrip benefits as were traditionally only allowed the Metis.(37)

Clearly, from the above, there was also a financial factor to the missionaries’ tendencies to support treaty over scrip, as the government would pay per capita for every Indian child, but only a lump sum for whatever number of Metis children were in their Mission schools. Financial support of the missionaries’ work was strongly desired as the HBC no longer played a supportive role to the community in contrast to its role in the pre-Rupert’s Land purchase (1869). The responsibilities to the native population in Treaty 8 transferred along with the land to the Dominion. However, this financial factor was only a part of the religious orders’ general support of the treaties. The greater reason for supporting the agreements were the provisions within the treaties for the needs of the Indian people, and since the general perception was that they needed assistance, treaties were thought best for the Indians’ welfare. Although this was a sentiment expressed more so in relation to the Indians, it was also a sentiment about the entire Aboriginal population, and not just by the missionaries. The following comment is made by the Indian Commissioner:

A very considerable Halfbreed population will be met with at such points at Peace River Landing, Lesser Slave Lake and Fort Chipewyan and vicinity, and I think it would be well to consider whether it would not be advisable to take them into Treaty with the same privileges as the pure blooded Indians, rather than pursue the course hitherto adopted of extinguishing their title by the issue of scrip once and for all and leaving them henceforth to their own resources. Experience has shown that it would have been better for the Halfbreeds, and probably also for the country, had many of the Halfbreeds of the Saskatchewan been included in Treaty No. Six and in this way have had their interests safeguarded and the introduction of intoxicants into their settlements prohibited.(38)

Of course there perspective prevailed before the Commission parties actually encountered the Aboriginal community of Lesser Slave Lake in 1899, and for this Treaty 8 community at least, they certainly seemed capable of hard negotiations, expressing themselves to the Commissions, and even impressing the Commission parties as to their “advancement.” This particular community was, overall, well-established and successfully providing for itself within the fur trade. If they desired treaty, it was for the perceived benefits such as providing for the needs of the community in the areas of education and medical provisions, and in the protection of the Indian’s hunting and trapping mode of living from the encroaching settlement. Inspector A.E. Snyder spoke of a visit in 1898 with the Lesser Slave Lake Indians: “They are also very jealous of white trappers trespassing upon their hunting grounds and wanted them forbidden to do so.”(39) Some of the Metis of the area who also lived by the “Indian mode” chose treaty benefits for the same reasons. Most Metis took scrip, more money scrip than land scrip, as it was “the bird in the hand,”(40) and to take land scrip they would have to go out to Edmonton for location of the land, the closest Dominion Land Office.(41) It was not until July of 1909 that the Peace River country Dominion Land Office was opened and 70 townships had been surveyed and open to homestead.(42)

Needless to say, changes were on the way, and even as early as 1893, Albert Tate, a Metis from Lesser Slave Lake wrote: “There is a growing feeling among the Indians that their present mode of living by the gun only is not going to last long and when farming enters their [sic] minds it is always the Crossing they talk about … On the other hand their hunting grounds are too far away from the Crossing.”(43) In the meantime, as for the Metis of Lesser Slave Lake (1899), “the ‘Lakers,’ “(44) “[i]t was indeed a gala time for the happy-go-lucky Lakers, and the effects of the issue and sale of scrip certificates were soon manifest in our neighbourhood. The traders’ booths were thronged with purchasers, also the refreshment tents where cigars and ginger ale were sold; and, in teepees improvised from aspen saplings, the sporting element passed the night at some interesting but easy way of losing money . . .”(45) Who, and how are we to judge, retrospectively and ethnocentrically, as to the choices made by the 1899 Aboriginal population of Lesser Slave Lake between the Treaty 8 Indian and Half-Breed Commissions?


Appendix 1

The following are some primary sources used for population comparison:

A) NWMP/RCMP “Census of Indians & Half-Breeds, Athabasca District, Winter of 1898-1999,” from the detailed “List of Half-Breeds at Lesser Slave Lake – 1899”, and List of Indians at Lesser Slave Lake – 1899. NAC, RG-18, Vol. 140, File 539.

B) 1899 Scrip Claims Registers:

Claims Register for 1899 Half-Breed Commission. Alphabetical Sort. NAC, RG-15, Volume 1485, Reel C-11874.

Claims Register for 1899 Half-Breed Commission. Claims 001-601. NAC, RG-15,Volume 1486, Reel C-11874.

Claims Register for 1899 Half-Breed Commission. Alphabetical Sort. NAC, RG-15, Volume 1529, Reel C-11881.

C) (Adjusted) 1899 Paylist for Kinnosayo’s Band Paid as Paid at Lesser Slave Lake. DIAND, Genealogical Research Unit, Kinnosayoo’s Band Paylists, 1899 to 1901.

D) 1901 Federal Census, Athabaska District, “Unorganized Territories” (Section 206), Part A4, pp 1-24 re: Lesser Slave Lake. NAC, RG-2, Record of Privy Council Office, Series 1, Vol.814, Reel T-6555.

E) (Adjusted) 1901 Paylist for Kinnosayo’s Band as Paid at Lesser Slave Lake. DIAND, Genealogical Research Unit, Kinnosayoo’s Band Paylists, 1899 to 1909.



1. Indian Treaty Commissioners, David Laird, J.H. Ross, J.A.J. McKenna, to the Hon. Clifford Sifton, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, dated Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 22, 1899, “Treaty 8 Report of Commissioners for Treaty No.8,” part 2 of “Treaty No.8 Made June 21, 1899 and Adhesions, Reports, Etc.” (1899; rpt. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1966), par. 10.

2. For example, filling in the family count to include spouses who were likely present but not eligible for scrip, or those that were entered on the Kinnosayoo Band paylist later than 1899 or 1901, but received arrears for those years, or for those who were otherwise calculated to be present at Lesser Slave Lake but rejecting treaty and scrip at the time. Further detail will be provided within the attached Appendices publishing the detailed charts used to create the overall reconstruction.

3. Charles Mair, English Secretary to the Half-Breed Commission, Through the Mackenzie Basin – A Narrative of the Athabasca and Peace River Treaty Expedition of 1899, (Toronto: William Briggs, 1908), p. 68.

4. H.B. Round, Transport Manager for the HBC, to HBC Commissioner Wrigley, October 2, 1899. HBCA D.20/69.

5. Rev. W.G. White to Bishop Young, July 1, 1899. Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young. Correspondence from Rev. W.G. White 1899-1902. PAA 70.387, Box A34, File A281/324.

6. Ibid.

7. For the purposes of this paper, the Lesser Slave Lake community is defined as being comprised of the population that resided within and interacted primarily with the settlements and camps on the west side of Lesser Slave Lake or, more specifically, those families who were residents in and around the settlements of the Hudson’s Bay Company Post at Buffalo Lake, just east of Stony Point in the Willow Point settlement, and the Roman Catholic and Anglican Missions. Also in the vicinity of these settlements were family camps, such as the Giroux’s and Willier’s (Moostoos), which would be largely Indian, but also regularly interacting with the settlements as would the Metis living within them. This Lesser Slave Lake population reconstruction includes few members of the farther more isolated communities (i.e. Whitefish Lake) although some were occasional labourers connected to the HBC post and were most likely privy to much of the same treaty and scrip discussions.

8. Indian Treaty Commissioners, David Laird, J.H. Ross, J.A.J. McKenna, to the Hon. Clifford Sifton, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, dated Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 22, 1899, “Treaty 8 Report of Commissioners for Treaty No.8,” part 2 of “Treaty No.8 Made June 21, 1899 and Adhesions, Reports, Etc.” (1899; rpt. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1966), par.5.

9. Reverend W.G. White to Bishop Richard Young, July 1, 1899. Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young, Correspondence from Lesser Slave Lake , 1899. PAA, Accession 70.387, Box A133, Item A281/248.

10. Mair, Supra., p. 54-55.

11. Ibid., p. 55.

12. Ibid., pp. 69, 71, 73.

13. See Appendix 7 for notes on HBC employees and traders.

14. January 21, 1884, entry in post journal. HBC Records, Lesser Slave Lake Post B.115, Document Reference No. B.115/a/10, Years 1881-1885, Reel No. 1M1008, “Post Journals.”

15. August 16, 1884, entry in post journal. HBC Records, Lesser Slave Lake Post B.115, Document Reference No. B.115/a/10, Years 1881-1885, Reel No. 1M1008, “Post Journals.”

16. February 10, 1884, entry in post journal. HBC Records, Lesser Slave Lake Post B.115, Document Reference No. B.115/a/10, Years 1881-1885, Reel No. 1M1008, “Post Journals.”

17. Mair, Supra., p.58.

18. Clifford Sifton, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs to His Excellence the Governor General in Council, June 18, 1898. Treaty negotiations between the Indian Affairs Dept and the native people 1891-1899. NAC, RG-10, Vol. 3848, File 75236-1.

19. J.A.J. McKenna, Private Secretary to Clifford Sifton, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, April 17, 1899. Ibid.

20. Rev. Henry Robinson to Bishop Young, September 14, 1899. Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young, Correspondence from Lesser Slave Lake , 1899. PAA, Accession 70.387, Box A133, Item A281/248.

21. James G. MacGregor, Father Lacombe. (Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, Edmonton, 1975), p. 308-309.

22. Rev. George Holmes to Secretary, Church Missionary Society, April 3, 1894 (Lesser Slave Lake). Original Letters, Journals and Papers, Incoming, Church Missionary Society, 1880 – 1900. PAA, Accession 70.72, “G”, c.1/10.

23. Extract from Report of the Corporal of the NWMP, Stationed at Fort Smith, Slave River, dated October 31, 1898. Treaty negotiations between the Indian Affairs Dept and the native people 1891-1899. NAC, RG-10, Vol. 3848, File 75236-1.

24. D.J. Hall, “The Half-Breed Claims Commission,” Alberta History, Volume 25, No.2 (1977), p. 6.

25. Rev. George Holmes to Bishop Richard Young, June 27, 1899 (Lesser Slave Lake). Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young, Correspondence. from Lesser Slave Lake , 1899. PAA, Accession 70.387, Box A133, Item A281/248.

26. James G. MacGregor, Father Lacombe. Supra., p. 307.

27. Rev. George Holmes to Bishop Richard Young, September 27, 1898. (Lesser Slave Lake). Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young from Reverend George Holmes, 1898-1900. PAA, Accession 70.387, Box A35, File A281/148.

28. Rev. George Holmes to Bishop Richard Young, May 28, 1899. (Lesser Slave Lake). Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young. Correspondence from Rev. George Holmes 1899. PAA, Accession 70.387, Box A32, File A281/149.

29. Mair, Supra., p.46.

30. Raymond J.A. Huel, Proclaiming the Gospel to the Indians and the Metis. (Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, Western Canadian Publishers, 1996), p. 212-214.

31. James G. MacGregor, Supra., p. 312.

32. Charles Mair. Supra., p. 68.

33. Rev. George Holmes wrote in to Bishop Richard Young, September 20, 1898 (Lesser Slave Lake). Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young, Correspondence from Lesser Slave Lake , 1899. PAA, Accession 70.387, Box A133, Item A281/248.

34. NWMP/RCMP Records file, “Census of Indians & Half-Breeds, Athabasca District, Winter of 1898-1999.” NAC RG-18, Vol.1435, File 76, Part 2. (See Appendix 8.)

35. Rev. George Holmes to Bishop Richard Young, January 31, 1901 (Lesser Slave Lake). Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young. Correspondence from Rev. George Holmes 1901. PAA 70.387, Box A32, Item A281/150.

36. Rev. George Holmes to Bishop Richard Young, March 30, 1900. (Lesser Slave Lake). Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young. Correspondence from Rev. George Holmes, 1898-1900. PAA 70.387, Box A35, Item A281/148.

37. The Government policy was clearly that the Indians should be disallowed from scrip and taken into treaty (proof as provided in the Half-Breed Commissions’ Claim Registers or Applications). The offer made by the Commissioners was meant in regards to some Metis choosing treaty protections/provisions instead of scrip as per personal lifestyle or needs.

38. A.E. Forget, Indian Commissioner, Northwest Territories to Secretary, Dept of Indian Affairs, January 12, 1898. Treaty negotiations between the Indian Affairs Dept and the native people 1891-1899. NAC, RG-10, Vol. 3848, File 75236-1.

39. A.E. Snyder, Inspector, to Officer Commanding “G” Division, RNWMP, October 28, 1897. NAC, RG-18, Vol. 140, File 539.

40. Charles Mair, Supra., p. 68.

41. Rev. W.G. White to Bishop Richard Young, October 10, 1899 writing in reference to the Whitefish Lake community. Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young, Correspondence. from Lesser Slave Lake, 1899. PAA, Accession 70.387, Box A133, Item A281/248.

42. “Paddle Wheelers & Moccasins” (Local history booklet written and published by the Sawridge Historical Committee as an Alberta 75th Anniversary project.) PAA 971.231 Sa96, 1980.

43. Albert Tate to Bishop Richard Young, November 21, 1893 [Dunvegan]. Incoming Correspondence of Bishop Young – Correspondence from Albert Tate 1887 – 1899, PAA 70.387, Box A37, File A281/171.

44. A term used by Charles Mair primarily in relation to the local/indigenous Half-Breed population of Lesser Slave Lake. Mair, Ibid., p. 72.

45. Mair, Ibid., p. 74.