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The Depletion of the Bison
Transcript of The Depletion of the Bison
The Hunt of 1875
In the Spring of 1875 a group of Métis started hunting bison before the officially sanctioned hunt begun
Against the Laws of St. Laurent
Gabriel Dumont, the hunt captain, arrested and fined the participants
The Métis charged appealed to Clarke, Clarke issued warrants for the arrest of Dumont and his men
Ruling made the Laws of St. Laurent invalid
Depletion of the Bison
The HBC factor at Fort Carlton (now Saskatchewan)
Believed Métis were inferior, used his power against them
Paid Métis carriers as little as he could
Made their lives difficult
Appointed to a magistrate. Enforced
in his area
Used his increased authority to benefit the HBC
The Laws of St. Laurent
With the rapid decline in the number of bison, the Métis of St. Laurent wrote down and formalized the Laws of the St. Laurent
Written by an elected council
Based on the informal "laws of the Prairies," governed all aspects of life in the community, including the regulation of the bison hunt
"The Captain of the bison hunt was to regulate the hunt and all provisions."
The Hunt of 1875
Read page 171
Compare and Contrast the two accounts
of the 1875 Incident
Were the Laws of St. Laurent unreasonable?
The Bison Hunt
What do we already know about the Bison Hunt and the importance of bison to the Métis?
With Métis law being ignored...
"Everyone took their freedom and ran on the buffalo without any other guide than their insatiable keenness, passion for killing, greed, and avarice. Anarchy and self-interest reigned on the prairie. They exterminated the poor buffalo with more frenzy than ever"
- an Oblate priest of St. Laurent
1600s: 70 million bison
First Nations groups (The Blackfoot, Nakoda, and Sioux) and the Métis relied on the bison --> it was vital to their livelihood
Slaughter of the bison was part of the American government's campaign to force First Nations onto reservations
Bison hunting by European hunters was encouraged
Trade of hides and pemmican
Building of railways in Canada and US divide herds, brought hunters
1000s killed by the day.
Why do we still hunt to near extinction?
Activity: Concept Map
Shape of the Day
What led to the depletion of the Bison and why was the depletion significant for the Métis and other First Nations groups?
1. Understand Laws of St. Laurent
2. Analyze accounts of the Hunt of 1875, compare and contrast
3. Know who Gabriel Dumont is and why he is important
4. Understand the significance and reason for the depletion of the Bison