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Owing to the inability of the Treaty 8 Commissioners to reach certain parts of the treaty area authorized by P.C. 918, 6 May, 1899 - particularly the regions around Fort St. John and Fort Resolution - the Minister of the Interior and Superintendent General of Indian Affairs decided that adhesions should be taken to Treaty 8 during the 1900 annuity payments. To this end, Order-in-Council, P.C. 460, 2 March, 1900, appointed James A. Macrae, an Inspector in the service of the Department of Indian Affairs, as Treaty Commissioner. Since some Métis claims were also known to be outstanding, Macrae was given the added responsibility of Scrip Commissioner "...to investigate ... any such claims which may be preferred to [him]...and to report upon each such claim to the Minister..." (P.C. 460, 2 March, 1900).
According to the terms of his appointment, Macrae was not authorized to issue scrip certificates, but merely to collect evidence and to report to the Minister, which he did in a letter addressed to the Minister on 19th January, 1901 (J.A. Macrae to Hon. Clifford Sifton, 19 January, 1901, RG 15, vol. 782, file 555680, pt. 1). Attached to his letter were two registers in which he recorded and summarized the testimony of 381 claimants (see "[Alphabetical Index] Half-Breed Applicants for Scrip in Territory Covered by Indian Treaty No. 8 who Appeared before J.A. Macrae, a Commissioner, on A.D. 1900", RG 15, volume 1514; and "[Nominal Index] Half-Breed Athabasca Claims [Register], Investigated by J.A. Macrae, 1900", RG 15, volume 1513, both of which are described in greater detail in the "Registers/Indexes" section). The following year the Minister of the Interior was permitted to proceed with the processing of these claims by Order-in-Council, P.C. 576, 16 March, 1901. The claims were subsequently reviewed by James A.J. McKenna, one of the Commissioners associated with the Alberta-Saskatchewan Commission (his 11-page report was present to the Minister on 16 March, 1901; see McKenna to Hon. Clifford Sifton, 16 March, 1901, RG 15, vol. 782, file 555680, pt. 1). Shortly thereafter, the printed scrip was delivered to Henry A. Conroy, Indian Inspector, Edmonton, for delivery to the claimants while travelling on his annual treaty payment schedule (L. Pereires to H.A. Conroy, 23 March, 1901, RG 15, vol. 782, file 555680, pt. 1).
Apparently, the Department continued to receive communiques from Métis residents in the District of Athabasca to the effect that they had been unable to meet with a scrip commission. The Minister of the Interior, therefore, authorized Henry A. Conroy, an Indian Inspector, by a letter dated 7th November, 1902, to receive evidence under oath in support of such claims while making treaty payments in the Lac La Biche and Lesser Slave Lake areas. The Minister was authorized to deal with the 64 applications collected by Conroy over the winter of 1902-03 by Order-in-Council, P.C. 273, 25 February, 1903.
A similar arrangement was made again with Conroy in connection with his annual spring visit to Peace River in 1905. Another 60 applications were collected and the Minister of the Interior was authorized to deal with these by Order-in-Council, P.C. 2113, 29 November, 1905. Requests from Métis residents continued, and Conroy continued to collect scrip applications while on his annual treaty payments visits in 1907 and 1908. The Minister of the Interior dealt with these last claims under Order-in-Council, P.C. 730, 8 April, 1909 (all of the claims collected by Conroy were entered into a separate register, entitled "Supplementary Claims taken by Henry A. Conroy", which is now retained in Library and Archives Canada as RG 15, vol. 1512 and is described in the section "Registers/Indexes").
5 June, 1901, to 19 December, 1901; supplementary claims were later taken by Henry A. Conroy, an Inspector with the Department of Indian Affairs, in connection with his annual visits to the area from 1902 to 1908.
Order-in-Council, P.C. 460, 2 March, 1900; P.C. 576, 16 March, 1901; P.C. 273, 25 February, 1903; P.C. 2113, 29 November, 1905; P.C. 47-1757, 10 August, 1908; and P.C. 730, 8 April, 1909.
James A. Macrae (P.C. 460, 2 March, 1900); Henry A. Conroy's appointment to receive supplementary claims from those Métis who were unable to make an appearance before James A. Macrae originated with the Department of the Interior (not with the Privy Council Office); consequently, Conroy never received the full powers of a Half-Breed Commissioner (see RG 15, vol 782, file 555,680).
The operational records of the Commission are in RG 15, Series, D II 1, vol. 825, file 616753, title: " W.J. Roche, enquiries re. setting of Half-Breed Commission in Manitoba [1901-1903]"; and in RG 15, Series D II 1, vol. 782, file 555680, parts 1 and 2, title: "J.A. McRae [sic] appointed Commissioner to dispose of Half-Breed Claims in Athabasca [1900-1914]".
Sittings of the original Commission under Macrae were held at Fort St. John, Lesser Slave Lake, Peace River Landing, Vermilion, Chipewyan, Fort McMurray, and Wapiscow (this information was taken from a newspaper notice announcing MacRae's itinerary, RG 15, vol 782, file 555680, pt. 1).
The total number of awards collected by Macrae is not documented. A further 64 claims were collected by Conroy in 1903; 60 claims in 1905; 10 claims in 1907; and 20 claims in 1908.