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Who are the Métis People?
“Métis people are people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry and one of three recognized aboriginal peoples in Canada.” (1)
” [The Métis] is …. a specific community of people — defined as the Métis Nation — which originated largely in Western Canada and emerged as a political force in the 19th century, radiating outwards from the Red River Settlement [in Manitoba].” (1) Map (2)
“…. in 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the Daniels case that the federal government has jurisdiction over Métis people, and that both members of the Métis Nation and Non-Status Indians are “Indians” as defined by the Constitution Act.” (1) :
Picture of Métis leader Harry Daniels (3)
Symbols of Métis People
Historically, the Métis sash had many uses: carrying items, coat tie, tourniquet, rope, towel, washcloth, saddle blanket and more. (4) : Picture (5)
Colours on the sash have significance such as described here by Métis BC Nation .
There is an important history related to the Métis flags that is very well told by Calvin Racette in a video from the Gabriel Dumont Institute. Picture (8)
Red River Cart
“Likely originating in both French and Scottish traditions, the Red River cart was constructed entirely of wood and was tied together with leather. It was easily repaired and was wonderfully adapted to prairie conditions; its two high, deeply dished wheels made it stable, and it could be drawn through mud and marsh. Wood and leather produced an ear-piercing squeal audible for kilometres. The cart was buoyant and could be floated across streams, yet it was strong enough to carry loads as heavy as 450 kg. Two shafts attached to the axle were strapped to a pony or ox.
The Red River cart was first used by the Métis to bring meat from the buffalo hunt and later in farm work.” (1) : Picture (7)
“The Métis incorporated so much colour and decoration into their clothing that their craftsmanship became an art form. … The Dakota Sioux and Cree people, in fact, referred to the Métis as the flower beadwork people because of the preponderance of flower designs in their beadwork. Thus, floral beadwork has become one of the most distinctive symbols of the Métis.” (6) : Pictures (4)
“Michif is mainly a combination of Cree and French, but the language also borrows from English and other Indigenous languages, including Ojibwa. Michif is considered an endangered language, with probably fewer than 1,000 speakers in North America.” (1)
All of the following books are available by request from our SWSW Library. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Be sure to mention the school you are currently working with in your request.
The Métis Alphabet Book by Joseph Jean Fauchon
An alphabet book exploring Metis history and culture.
7 copies in our collection.
The Flower Beadwork People by Sherry Farrell Racette :
A vibrantly-illustrated picture book telling the social history of the Métis.
23 copies in our collection.
Riel’s People : How the Métis Lived by Maria Campbell
This book blends words and drawings to describe how the Métis lived and hunted; the houses they lived in; the clothes they wore and the food they cooked; what they taught their children and what they believed. The story culminates in the Métis rebellions of the late 1880’s led by Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont.
3 copies in our collection
The Métis : Memorable Events and Memorable Personalities by George and Terry Goulet
An insightful picture into the history, heritage and culture of the Metis people.
6 copies in our collection.
Indigenous Healing by Rupert Ross
Imagine a world in which people see themselves as embedded in the natural order, with ethical responsibilities not only toward each other, but also toward rocks, trees, water and all nature. Imagine seeing yourself not as a master of Creation, but as the most humble, dependent and vulnerable part.
Rupert Ross explores this indigenous world view and the determination of indigenous thinkers to restore it to full prominence today.
Copies on order.
Professional Development Opportunities
UBC MOOC, Free Course – Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education : Advancing education in classrooms, organizations and communities through the teaching and learning of Indigenous ways of knowing. (Starts Tuesday, January 24th)
BC ORFF – First Nations Songs for the Classroom with Sherryl Sewepagaham : An interactive workshop learning and playing First Nations drum songs. (Saturday, January 21st)
MPSD2017 ProD – Three Crows Productions – Residential School Professional Development (Thursday, Jan. 19, 3:30 to 6:00 pm)
Mission District Professional Development Day – Several workshops related to indigenous education are being offered by our MPSD colleagues and some guests. Please check your yellow brochure for choices. (Friday, Feb. 17.)
- Historica Canada (The Canadian Encyclopedia online) found here SWSW Digital Library
- The Canadian Encyclopedia
- CBC News : Indigenous
- Canada’s First Peoples found here SWSW Digital Library
- Digital Journal
- The Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture found here SWSW Digital Library
- Learn Michef : Métis Culture
- Métis Nation of Ontario Region 4 : The Métis Flag