Relocation and social change among the Swampy Cree and Metis of Easterville, Manitoba

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Waldram, James B.
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In 1964, a community of Swampy Cree and Metis in Northern Manitoba was forced to relocate when a hydroelectric dam constructed nearby caused a rise in the lake leve1 which flooded out the community. In order to effect the relocation, the Manitoba government created an administrative body, known as the Forebay Committee. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the long-term consequences of the relocation for the people involved, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the Forebay Committee in planning and executing this relocation. The relocation is viewed as involving a process of rapid, involuntary modernization in which a traditional, isolated, and relatively uncomplex native community was brought, almost overnight, within the realm of the larger regional and national social, political, and economic systems. The thesis concludes that, contrary to the assumptions of change agents involved in effecting relocations, such projects do not necessarily result in an improvement in the lives of the people involved.