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Trotchie, Clarence (1923–87)

Clarence Trotchie, December 1983.
Richard Marjan (Saskatchewan Archives Board) S-SP-A212196-1, Saskatoon StarPhoenix fonds

Métis activist and leader Clarence Trotchie was born on October 14, 1923, in Round Prairie, Saskatchewan. He came from a large family, and grew up on the outskirts of Saskatoon. His early years were spent like other Métis of his generation, working low-paying seasonal jobs. At the age of 17 he enlisted in the army, only to be discharged when his age was discovered; a year later he re-enlisted, returning home in 1945. His World War II experience had a great impact on him and drove him to become socially and politically active upon returning to his community. In the late 1960s, he worked with other Métis to form Métis Local 11, a local division of the provincial Métis Society of Saskatchewan (MSS), serving as local president for a number of years. In 1971–72 he served as MSS area director and was instrumental in organizing the Native Alcohol Centre. In 1973, the Native Alcohol Centre—the precursor to the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan affiliate, Métis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan—became the responsibility of the MSS, with Trotchie as its director from 1973 to 1978. He was also involved in organizing housing initiatives for Métis families, forming SaskNative Rentals in 1978, and establishing in 1979 the Touchwood Training School at a farm purchased by Trotchie, with the intent of addressing the issues of employment and education and of creating skills training programs for Métis youth. Trotchie was also instrumental in having the Round Prairie Cemetery designated as a historic site in 1973. He died on April 10, 1987, in Saskatoon.

Cheryl Troupe

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