From Academic Kids

The Métis (pronounced "MAY tee", IPA: , in French: or ) are one of three recognized Canadian aboriginal groups whose homeland consists of the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and the Northwest Territories. The Metis Homeland also consists of parts of the northern United States (ie. North Dakota, and Montana). The Métis Nation are of individuals descended from marriages of Cree, Ojibway and Saulteaux women to French Canadian and British settlers. Their history dates to the mid-seventeenth century. Traditionally, the Métis spoke a mixed language called Michif or Mechif. Mechif is a phonetic spelling of the Métis pronunciation of Métif, a variant of Métis. The Métis today predominately speak English with French as a strong second language. The encouragement and use of Michif is growing due to outreach within the provincial Metis councils after at least a generation of decline.


The word Métis (the singular, plural and adjectival forms are the same) is French, and related to the Spanish word mestizo. It carries the same connotation of "mixed blood"; traced back far enough it stems from the Latin word mixtus, the past participle of the verb "to mix".


The name, in Canada, is constitutionally applied to descendants of communities in what is now southern Manitoba along the Red River Valley and Winnipeg. The name has also been applied to the descendants of similar communities in what are now Quebec and Labrador, although these groups' histories are different from that of the western Métis.


The Métis National Council defines a person as Métis if they meet the following criteria:

  • self-identifies as Métis
  • of historic Métis Nation Ancestry
  • is distinct from other Aboriginal Peoples
  • is accepted by the Métis Nation.


Much like the Canadian Confederation, the Métis Nation is also divided into 5 administrative regions: Metis Nation of Ontario (http://www.example.com), Manitoba Metis Federation (http://www.manitobametisfederation.com), Metis Nation-Saskatchewan (http://www.metisnation-sask.com), Metis Nation of Alberta (http://www.metis.org/MNAHome.aspx), and the Metis Provincial Council of British Columbia (http://www.mpcbc.bc.ca). The Métis National Council (http://www.metisnation.ca/index.html) represents the Nation's larger interests with the Government of Canada and internationally.


Estimates of the number of Métis vary from 300,000 to 700,000 or more. According to this Statistics Canada (http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Analytic/companion/abor/groups2.cfm) reportage, the number of those who self-indentify as Metis in 2001 was 292,310 throughout Canada. The Province of Alberta has the largest population of Metis (66,055), closely followed by Manitoba (56,795) and Ontario (48,345) respectively.


The Canadian Constitution Act of 1982 recognizes the Métis as being Aboriginal peoples. This has enabled individual Métis to sue successfully for recognition of their traditional rights, such as rights to hunt and trap. In 2003, a court ruling[1] (http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/09/19/metisrule030919) in Ontario found that an Ontario Métis community has the aboriginal right to hunt for food, a decision seen as a first step toward granting full hunting rights to the community. This right was given to the entire Nation as a whole a short time later as respective provincial governments came into compliance with this ruling through negotiation with the Métis provincial governments. On May 31, 2005 (http://www.metisnation.org/news/MNCfinal_legal_1.pdf), the Government of Canada and the Metis National Council signed a framework agreement to pave the way for self-government for the Metis in the homeland and illustrating a deeper development of the relationship between the Métis and Canada outside of the judicial system.


Prominent Métis

The most famous Métis was Louis Riel who led what are usually depicted as two rebellions, the Red River Rebellion in 1869 in the area now known as Manitoba, and the North-West Rebellion in 1885 in the area now known as Saskatchewan. Reasonable doubts may be raised about whether either of these events was a rebellion. For example, the actions considered rebellious in 1869 were undertaken by Riel as the leader of a government recognized by Canada as in legitimate control of territory that did not belong to Canada; Canada negotiated the Manitoba Act with this government. After these "rebellions”, land speculators and other non-Métis effectively deprived the Métis of land by exploiting a government program for its purchase, with the government perhaps turning a blind eye. The province of Alberta distributed land to Métis in 1938 to correct what it believed to be an inequity, but Saskatchewan and Manitoba have not followed Alberta's lead.

Another known Métis is Sharon Bruneau.

Two other famous Métis leaders were Cuthbert Grant and Gabriel Dumont.

On May 7, 2004, Métis Todd Ducharme was appointed as a judge of the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice.

Culture:


See also

External links

de:Métis pl:Metys

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