Who are the Métis?
"The advent of the fur trade in west central North America during the 18th century was accompanied by a growing number of mixed offspring of Indian women and European fur traders.
As this population established distinct communities separate from those of Indians and Europeans and married among themselves, a new Aboriginal people emerged – the Métis people – with their own unique culture, traditions, language (Michif), way of life, collective consciousness and nationhood.
Distinct Métis communities developed along the routes of the fur trade and across the Northwest within the Métis Nation Homeland. This Homeland includes the three Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta), as well as, parts of Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Northern United States.
Today, many of these historic Métis communities continue to exist along rivers and lakes where forts and posts were hubs of fur trade activity from Ontario westward. As well, large numbers of Métis citizens now live in urban centres within the Métis Nation Homeland; however, even within these larger populations, well-defined Métis communities exist.
Consistently throughout history, the Métis people have acted collectively to protect and fight for their rights, lands and ongoing existence as a distinct Aboriginal people and nation within the Canadian federation –from the Métis provisional governments of Riel in Manitoba (1869-70) and Saskatchewan (1885) to contemporary Métis governing bodies. This dedication continues to exist as citizens and communities throughout the Métis Nation Homeland keep the nation’s distinct culture, traditions, language and lifestyle alive and pursue their own social and economic development."
Source: Métis National Council > The Métis Nation
Important to note:
Until 1982, the Métis had not been recognized as an Aboriginal people, after decades of struggle.
The Métis Nation first formed in 1816 and was recognized by other Nations within the shared territory.
Nationhood began in the early 1800s and joining confederation wasn't until 1870, where the Crown promised land to the Métis which was very very rarely received. One of the worst crimes against the Nation and its people.
Being mixed does not make someone Métis.
The Métis flag is the oldest flag in Canada.