The Northern Saskatchewan Database Platform: An online tool for socio-economic analysis, The Census, 2001 to 2016
To facilitate greater Northern Saskatchewan socio-economic research on issue from changing family structures, to Indigenous language use, to the volatility of incomes in the natural resource sector that dominates the Northern economy, we have pulled together in one excel spreadsheet all available Census data for a series of core research topics which will allow for free downloadable data for researchers. This is a foundational database tool which will be updated and expanded on and which could form the core for a Socio-economic Atlas of Northern Saskatchewan and the Indigenous North.
In time, we want to add more administrative data from the Saskatchewan government and expand upon new data which the Métis communities would like to see added to the framework.
The Métis and the Commercial Fishery an Historical & Legal Overview
This project is made up of a suite of three research papers on the Métis commercial fishery in Northern Saskatchewan from the perspectives of interviews with key stakeholders, from a legal review of pertinent case law, and from an historical review using Hudson Bay Company archival records and census records to document contractual and occupational activity through time of the Métis fishery. Key stakeholder interviews can be updated and added to once Covid-19 restriction shave been lifted and we hope to arrange a meeting on the subject with key stakeholders in the near future to discuss the two research papers.
The Métis of Ile-a-la-Crosse and the Impacts of the Pandemics of 1918 and 2020
One hundred years apart two pandemics spread a novo-virus world-wide in a matter of months. This research report looks at the impacts of these two pandemic events The Spanish Flu and Covid-19 upon a small, remote Indigenous village – Ile a la Crosse, a Métis community in North West Saskatchewan which was documented by Catholic missionaries as having lost some 185 residents between 1918 and 1919. Can we trace these deaths in the historical record using Census returns? How has the response to 2020 pandemics differed, how has Civod-19 impacted the community today compared to in the past? As a follow-up on this research program, we would like to plan a NW Saskatchewan Métis history and genealogy workshop to discuss this paper and other research studies underway in the region, past and present, in a post Covid-19 world.
The Ile-a-la-Crosse Historical Database: A Genealogy Resource Tool, 1901 to 1921
As a preliminary step in the process of investigating the impact of the Spanish Flu pandemic on Ile a la Crosse the Policy North research team built a linked Excel database for the community from 1901 to 1921 using the manuscript census returns for 1901, 1906, 1911, 1916 and 1921. Covering thousands of entries, the database represents a genealogical research tool for the Métis and First Nation communities. We want to hear back from Métis community members about how they use the database and how we can help them with their family research.
Covid-19, Housing and High Rates of Contagion in the North: What’s the Link?
Since the start of the pandemic, Saskatchewan’s Far North, a region primarily comprised of Indigenous communities, has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As the pandemic persists, strengthening COVID-19 prevention and response systems in the Far North remains pertinent—especially with respect to alleviating future strain on Northern Saskatchewan’s health care systems. Central to strengthening COVID-19 prevention systems is evaluating and addressing housing security and its impacts on COVID-19 transmission. While Indigenous peoples live in diverse housing conditions across Canada, a large proportion of Indigenous communities are subject to inadequate and substandard housing conditions. The 2016 Census for the state of housing in the Far North parallels such trends, with a significant proportion of individuals living in housing that is overcrowded, unsuitable, in need of major repairs and lacking critical infrastructure, such as access to clean water systems. The precarious state of housing in Saskatchewan’s Far North not only holds the potential to exacerbate social issues rooted in oppressive colonial structures, forced dispossession of traditional lands and disrupted community support networks, but also place individuals at an increased risk of poor health outcomes. Within the context of COVID-19, inadequate housing advances the transmission of COVID-19 across communities by impeding resident’s ability to follow public health orders, such as self-isolation and physical distancing.