Do you want more rum in that eggnog? You mean, what is the definition I use for myself and thus present as the definition all others must live by? Oh come on, are any identity issues that easily navigated, even on an individual level? Often we were referred to in the Prairies as the Road Allowance People. You can imagine how confusing it is in terms of forming an identity, to be known by so many ill-defined names.
What I knew but did not understand, is that we were related to pretty much everyone in Alberta, lots of people in Saskatchewan and a bunch of people in northern BC. Heady stuff after generations of stories of ill-use, prejudice and shame. Take this photo for example. The history of these families is a major part of the history of Alberta, yet I never learned about it in school.
Anne in particular. As do many of us, which never ceases to make my partner laugh. What links us is our history, and our present sense of kinship and community. Some of us are closer to our Cree and Stoney relations than others. You should be asking yourself why it even matters that you have a definition for us. The Supreme Court of Canada heard a case involving a father and son who shot a moose out of season and without a license. Exciting stuff, no?
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Well…it turned out to be exciting. For the first time, it gave us a basic legal definition besides half-Indian, half-European to discuss. So much in there to unpack and debate! So many more questions than answers! You can be one or the other legally, but not both! That would be double-dipping…or something. It is, but what identity issues are simple? We are not a soup kitchen for those disenfranchised by past and present Canadian Indian policy and, as such, although we should sympathize with those who bear the brunt of this particular form of dispossession, we cannot do so at expense of eviscerating our identity.
I chafe at the necessity of playing this game at all, where our identities and our rights continue to be defined by the Canadian courts and the Canadian state. This is a good resource , for example, though it is loooooong! Now you know a little about those different views, which will certainly help you navigate the wealth of information out there. You can also read some of the books I linked to above for both contemporary and historical views. Essentially, you can be interested , and like any topic you are interested in, you can start digging. Most of all, remember this. Miigwech and merci beaucoup.
Happy Holidays to you too! In Alberta it tends to have more of a Cree base, in other areas there is more Anishinaabemowin. So yes. Thank you for your view. I think perceptions may change as more becomes public through genealogical research, which has become so simple that almost anyone now can determine ancestry pretty far into the past.
There was always a tradition of Indian blood in our family, but no evidence that passed to our generation. However recent research has given us names and dates that confirm a French and Onondaga mix that ultimately spawned some of the pioneers who moved west and founded the Red River settlement as well as others who stayed in and near Quebec. Would you consider this ancestry to be a part of your family history, or a part of its present identity?
As to present identity, both prior to and since the history was uncovered, a proclivity toward involvement with native culture was clearly evident in a brother, who made it the focus of his academic career, and in daughters who have embraced the northern frontier and a partnered with a full-blood Cree; b adopted an Inuit child.
I would say we are Canadian to the core and reinforced in that identity by our discovery of Metis heritage. I appreciate your response to what can sometimes be seen as a challenging question. I am trying not to trigger defensiveness in people because I have seen it rear up in so many situations, and legitimately so!
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What you are saying about rediscovery and the easier ability to engage in that process is interesting to me, because most certainly I have seen this in my own situation as well. There is a lot about our regional history, for example, that was forgotten or thought irrelevant. Delving into family and regional history used to be extremely difficult. So many pieces missing. So many questions left unanswered.
So few resources to access. A name in a journal or a paper, the names misspelled but birthdates correct and so on. Now, with the work so many people have put into this, there are more accessible records, and more of us can compare what we have learned. I get that. However, there are many who upon learning more about their family, really delve into it in a respectful and earnest manner. Just like there are First Nations individuals who were cut off from their community and family for so many reasons, and have to struggle to regain some sense of their First Nations identity.
Forget the legal definitions…our communities are pretty good at figuring out who is there to exploit and who is there because they mean it. It never occurred to me that there was anything to exploit in being recognized as Metis, nor am I inclined to seek approbation from an historical community. I did look into what is required to gain acceptance by an historical community and found that the paper trail they would have one lay down would challenge the greatest of genealogical scouts.
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I hope this is not considered exploitive by anyone. I want nothing but my family Heritage but it seems even though the research I have done claims my husbands family has metis members there are those who lie about it. I want nothing but my family history to pass on to my children. Who is some Chartier to take this away from others? I consider myself Metis.. I have Native America Blood in me on both sides. Even though the women are my 10th great grandma, I still feel Metis. Note: There is no specified blood quantum.
Metis are not simply persons of mixed blood. We are not a definition to be read from a French dictionary. Having some incredibly distant Indigenous ancestor does not make you Indigenous. We made not operate under blood quantum a colonially imposed measurement , but you cannot simply claim to be us, and be accepted as such. Hi Connie it was my fathers side. I was just trying to spend time when I have it on this chapter of my life and family , Maybe I will never know and you are right ,we ALL came from the same place , I hope you find what your looking for.
My family escaped the reserve system by following a priest down to a then Metis community of Bourbonnais, Illinois. I have 3rd cousins twice removed on Turtle Mtn reserve in North Dakota, but my family did not stay to be imposed upon and headed south in That is what I grew up with. Following my grandmothers home to Canada, I know no community and have never been accepted either by the settlers or by the ndns in any broad way. I belong no where. My dear Patricia.
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I like your comment. Do not bother with MNO.
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Bonne chance. These people have certainly been successful in applying for membership with the MFC. I take it they accept anyone with ndn blood then? Regarding your last comment, it was difficult to find ndn ancestors initially, many years ago.