From 1885 to the 1930s, the Mechif remained a homeless people without jurisdiction. Some moved west to Saskatchewan and Alberta. Others remained in Manitoba. Those in the village of Sainte-Madeleine, near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, remained there as they always had, believing they had the right to do so. But the PFRA Act during the 1930s saw them expelled so the land could become community pasture. George Fleury recalls childhood memories of how his family returned after a day’s work to find all the houses, the church and the store in the village had all been burned to the ground. In both Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Métis became relegated to the fringes of society, with neither government—federal of provincial—responding to their needs.
By contrast, in Alberta the provincial government established the Ewing Commission to investigate how to help the Métis. It created the Métis Settlement Act, giving them a land base in that province. This allowed the Métis in Alberta to thrive and maintain a form of culture connected to the land, unlike their counterparts in Saskatchewan and Alberta.