Indigenous Stories: Bruce R. Dumont, Metis National Council Minister Responsible for Health

Bruce R. Dumont

Indigenous Stories: Bruce R. Dumont, Metis National Council Minister Responsible for Health

By: Bruce R. Dumont | President and Chief Executive Officer
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My father was Cree and French and my mother Cree and Scot with both parents fluent in the Cree language. I come from a family of ten and the fifth oldest of five boys and five girls. We lived in poverty as Road Allowance Metis around Sundre, Alberta, after my parents left the Metis Settlement of Kikino, Alberta in 1943 with 4 children in tow. 

We lived the Metis life as my father hunted and trapped when he wasn't
 working to keep the family fed. My mother tanned hides, did beautiful beadwork and made clothing and bedding. We danced to the fiddle and sang. Every summer we trekked to Lac St. Anne Pilgrimage Northwest of Edmonton.

We squatted in and around Sundre, Alberta until 1957. We moved two bunkhouses by teams of horse's and wagons from 17 miles West of town and lived on the road allowance for 11 years. In 1954 the owner of the land we squatted on tried to burn our house down while we were away and we arrived 
home just in time to put the fire out. 

At the age of ten I bagged groceries and filled vehicles with gas using a hand pump being paid 25 cents a day. The owner sent me to the bank one day for a deposit in a small paper bag. She said take this directly to the bank. I didn't know what was in the bag and brought the deposit slip back for $300. That was a pile of money in those days and I had to walk almost a mile to the bank.

 During High School I had a paper route of 36 papers Monday to Friday and 54 on Saturday. I did the North side of town at noon hour, the East side right after school and the West side on the way home.
We never had plumbing or running water all the time I was going to school. I was also the fire keeper morning and after school.

 My parents bought an old school house in 1954 and moved it onto a lot in Sundre.  Both parents worked in a logging camp for many years as my mother was a cook and my father a contractor. All the boys worked in logging during the summers as we grew from a young age through school               


In 1961, fifty one years ago I left school without graduating. I worked logging with my father and then worked as a Roughneck on the Oil Rigs for about two years.  I decided it was time to get a trade and I took an Electronics Apprenticeship and became a Red Seal Journeyman. 


My working years took me from Logging, the Oil Fields and Electronics in Alberta moving to BC in 1972 working in Logging, for Workers Compensation Board and Metis Politics for the Metis Nation BC and the Metis National Council. My political journey started in the mid nineties and I am not seeking re-election in September 2012.

Posted on May 30, 2012