Metis Road Allowance Settlements in Montana
Compiled by Lawrence BarkwellCoordinator of Metis Heritage and History ResearchLouis Riel Institute
A Metis-Cree “road allowance camp” along the railroad right of way near Havre, Montana circa1900. Fred Miller Collection, Montana State University Northern Photo Archives, Havre,Montana.
Elizabeth Sperry has described the numerous Metis road allowance communitiesin Montana:Similar to the “Road Allowance” Metis settlements in Canada, many of theMetis, Cree and Chippewa in Montana survived at the fringe of white settlements on public or county land, or along the railroad right-of-way. These types of communities are illustrated by permanent settlements such as Hill 57 in Great Fallsand Boushie Hill in East Glacier, but also include the temporary camps located near various towns throughout Montana. These temporary camps were utilized primarilyduring the winter months when travel was not practical and employment on farmsand ranches was not available. Fringe settlements were located all along the FrontRange and throughout the intermountain region near the communities of Garrison,