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  1. Mar 2017
    1. Metis

      The Metis are a group of aboriginal people in Canada who trace their descendants back to the First Nations and European settlers. In the early part of European expansion into Canada the Metis were a tribe of aboriginal people that lived in the North Western part of Canada. The Metis people today are an interesting group because most of them are not direct result of intermarriage between European and First Nations people. The Metis primarily live in the Western Part of Canada and today there are about 500,000 people considered part of the Metis community. They represent about a third of the aboriginal people in Canada today. However, because of assimilation of Metis into European Canadian populations, many people can trace their ancestry back to some aboriginal past. Much of this interaction occurred in the mid 20th century with the fur trade as many European Canadians interacted with Metis tribes. Because of this, today it is hard to define someone who has a clear legal or moral ability to call themselves Metis because of the extensive assimilation into the Euro-Canadian culture. Unfortunately, "a universal consequence of the meetings of people is the rise of a mixed population whose social status is ambiguous..." This is partially true for the Metis today because there it is hard for the Canadian government to discern what people are Metis. When Berger refers to the Metis in this report he is most likely talking about a tribe of aboriginal people who identify themselves as Metis.

      Berry, B. (1968), GENERAL AND ETHNOLOGY: Metis of the Mackenzie District. Richard Slobodin. American Anthropologist, 70: 373–374. doi:10.1525/aa.1968.70.2.02a00330

    1. Metis

      Commonly referred to throughout history as “metis”, “mixed-bloods”, or “michif”, this group of individuals represented a population thought to be half- European and half- First Nation Peoples. More specifically, “Metis” is used to refer to the population that has mixed French Canadian and Cree ancestry living in Canada. Within the context of our studies, however, the term is commonly used in the Mackenzie District to mean mixed blood of European and First Nations ancestry. They have been plagued by lack of opportunity given to them by the Canadian government, or lack of representation. However, before the turn of the 19th century they famously fought for their recognition in the “North West Rebellion”, a stand for their community that took place in 1885. Their struggle to gain proper recognition as a people under the Canadian government is one that represents a common theme in the topics relevant in this article. Much of Metis identity comes from identifying as those who were “dispossessed by Canadian government actions from 1870 on”. The number of Metis in Canada has been estimated to be around 750,000. The 1970s saw groups of Metis from the Dakotas, Canada, Idaho and Montana gather to commemorate their shared heritage and pride. The Metis have been referred to as the “Forgotten People”. The history of these people actually started when male members of the Hudson’s Bay Company married and had Children with Cree women. These children were the first to be identified as Metis. Their history is a long and powerful one, dating back to the 1670s.

      If you select the link to the Manitoba Metis Federation website in the reference section below, you can view the Metis Flag.

      Jacqueline Peterson and Jennifer S.H. Brown, The New Peoples: Being and Becoming Metis in North America (Winnipeg: The University of Manitoba Press, 1985) https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=q8qervZ6nakC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=metis&ots=eb9wxWIATY&sig=ejlZFKH4ZkQVeLLk1hd9fCwdvtY#v=onepage&q=metis&f=false

      Manitoba Metis Federation. “History of the Metis Flag.” Last modified 2017. http://www.mmf.mb.ca/history_of_the_metis_flag.php