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Recognizing that the federal government was about to begin treaty negotiations with the Indians of the Mackenzie River District, the Governor-in-Council authorized the Minister of the Interior, "...in accordance with past practice in such cases, to deal with the claims arising out of the extinguishment of the Indian title of the Halfbreeds resident within the territory covered by the proposed treaty, except those Halfbreeds who have already been dealt with in connection with territory previously ceded by the Indians under treaty" (P.C. 1172, 12 April, 1921). Accordingly, Henry Conroy, and employee of the Department of Indian Affairs and Inspector for Treaty 8, was appointed Commissioner "...to take evidence under oath, to summon persons before him by subpoena and to compel the production of papers and writings" (P.C. 1172, 12 April, 1921).
Unlike previous Commissioners, however, Conroy was only to collect evidence and to transmit this evidence, along with his recommendations, to the Department of the Interior. In his recommendations, Conroy was to take into consideration that the Métis claimant was permanently residing within the territory ceded under treaty. As well, a claimant's rights were to be considered extinguished if, at any time, he/she had joined an Indian band under treaty, even if he/she had discharge themselves from the band. If scrip had been previously issued to both of the claimant's parent, then the claimant's rights were to be considered extinguished; but if only one parent had received scrip, then the claimant's rights would not be affected.
For the first time in the history of the scrip commissions, all eligible claimants under Order-in-Council P.C. 1172, 12 April, 1921, were to receive a one-time cash grant of $240 in lieu of the customary money or land scrip. This change required an amendment to the Dominion Lands Act, which was subsequently passed as 13-14 George V, chapter 44, section 8. Although Order-in-Council P.C. 1172, 12 April, 1921, was originally limited to the area ceded by the signing of Treaty 11, Commissioner Conroy received, and recommended for approval, a few claims from Métis who were resident "...in a small triangular part of the Mackenzie River District, which was previously included in Treaty No. 8, lying southeast of and adjacent to the territory covered by Treaty No. 11 and comprising Fort Smith, Fort Resolution and Hay River,..." (P.C. 471, 26 March, 1924). Since these residents had not been included under a previous commission, Order-in-Council P.C. 471, 26 March, 1924, allowed them to be included under the Treaty 11 Commission "...notwithstanding their residence outside the limits of Treaty No. 11."
During the 1924 season, officers of the Department of the Interior received additional claims by Métis residents of Treaty 11, who "...had no opportunity theretofore to submit their applications to share in the grant in question" (P.C. 1100, 29 July, 1925). The Governor-in-Council authorized the Minister of the Interior to deal with these claims "...in the same manner as were the claims dealt with under Orders in Council...of the 12th April, 1921, and the 26th March, 1924 ..." (P.C. 1100, 29 July, 1925).
First sittings were conducted by Henry A. Conroy throughout the summer of 1921; however, actual payment was not made to claimants until three years later, from 14 June to 15 September, 1924, when a second round of sittings were undertaken by J.A. McDougal and J.F. Moran. Applications from the second sitting were not settled by the Department until June 1926.
Orders-in-Council: P.C. 1172, 12 April, 1921; P.C. 471, 26 March, 1924; and P.C. 1100, 29 July, 1925; Statutes: 13-14 Geo. V, c. 44, s. 8, authorizing the Governor in Council to make grants not exceeding $240 in cash, instead of an issue of scrip, in satisfaction of claims of Métis arising out of the extinguishment of their Indian title.
Henry A. Conroy (P.C. 1172, 12 April, 1921)
Conroy died 27 April, 1922, before the final report was completed; his working papers have not been located.
Original sittings by Conroy in 1921 were held at Fort Smith, Fort Providence, Fort McPherson, Fort Resolution, Fort Norman, Fort Good Hope, Fort Rae, Hay River, Fort Wrigley, and Fort Simpson. Additional sittings were later held by J.A. McDougal and J.F. Moran in 1924 at Fort Smith, Fort McPherson, Fort Resolution, Fort Providence, Fort Liard, Fort Good Hope, Hay River, Aklavick, Fort Simpson, Fort Rae, and Arctic Red River.
172 Métis claims were received by the 1921 sitting of the Commission of which 140 were approved for a payment of $240 each.