Alexander Morris's Recommendations Regarding Half-Breeds, 1876 - 1880

Document Summary:
Alexander Morris, a Numbered Treaty negotiator for the federal government, talks about three classes of mixed bloods or Métis peoples in Canada:

  • Those who have been completely assimilated into white Canadian society and own farms and homes.

  • Those who identify with the Aboriginals but are pursuing an agricultural lifestyle.

  • Those who identify with the Aboriginals, and are pursuing a hunting and fishing lifestyle.

Morris says that the first class has been "confirmed by the Government in their holdings" and rank among the proper members of Canadian society.

The second has been classified as "Indian" under the Indian Act, 1876, and therefore live on reserves for the purposes of eventual assimilation into white society.

The third holds no rank, and risks starvation with the disappearing buffalo herds. Morris feels they should be brought into treaty negotiations so they can be classified as being Indian for the purposes of assimilation.