On this Day in Our History: Attempted coup of Metis Nation of Alberta

Monday, October 1st, 2018 11:44am


A Metis organization was in turmoil on Oct. 1, 1993 when the board of the Metis Nation of Alberta suspended its newly-elected president and vice-president following allegations of electoral irregularities. It was described as an ‘attempted coup.’

The president, Gerald Thom, denied the election allegations and refused to accept his suspension. On Oct. 2, eight of the 13 board members were then suspended by the Metis Senate. Police were called. The board and staff were escorted from MNA headquarters.

Two days after that a provincial court order re-instated the board.

By the end of October, the situation began to settle, but not the tensions. The MNA's Senate of Elders dropped all actions against the eight board members charged with attempting to overthrow the new government, read a press statement issued Oct. 29, 1993.

A Court of Queen's Bench-appointed management committee established to investigate all of the MNA's internal workings was eliminated by the Senate Elders.

The Metis Nation of Alberta has to get "back to work", said Senate co-chairman Thelma Chalifoux. "We also take into consideration the financial drain that the destructive internal conflict was causing."

See AMMSA.com for more on this story: