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The Métis - Looking Back, Moving Forward

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Clayton Bussey

on 13 December 2013

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Transcript of The Métis - Looking Back, Moving Forward

Looking Back
Moving Forward
"Deeds are not accomplished in a few days, or in a few hours. A century is only a spoke in the wheel of everlasting time" (Riel, 1885).
The Metis
Looking Back, Moving Forward
Self- Determination and
Self-Representation Through Resistance and Hope
The Métis peoples have played a pivotal role in the formation of the country of Canada, especially in the west. The first Metis were born in the late 1600's; the offspring of European men (trappers and traders) and their Aboriginal or "country" wives. During the height of the fur trade in the 1700-1800's, many fur traders, especially the French, married Aboriginal women, especially Cree. Through these marriages a unique new culture developed that incorporated language, values and traditions from both the French and the Cree peoples. The Metis, with their intimate understanding of both European and Aboriginal culture, were invaluable to the success of the western fur trade.
(Prefontaine, 2007)(Vowel, 2012)(Clarke, 2013).
The Government of Canada actively and systematically attempted to assimilate the Métis and other Aboriginal peoples in Canada through
as well as through
Official Policy
from the mid 1800's to the late 1900's.
The British North America Act of 1869

Canada became a country
Also called the Constitution Act
In 1869 the Hudson's Bay Company ceded control of Rupert's Land to the Government of Canada
The Metis, who were the original inhabitants of the land, set up a Provisional Government and pressed Canada to create the Manitoba Act, under which lands were granted to the Metis.
Canada's requirements under the Manitoba Act were never fulfilled and many Metis left for Saskatchewan.
(Magnet, 1994)
The Gradual Civilization Act of 1857

Declared that Indians who were "sufficiency advanced in education or otherwise capable of managing their own affairs" would be "enfranchised", i.e. given the vote and integrated into Canadian settler society.
Sought to encourage Canada's Aboriginal People to relinquish their land, language, culture and existing rights in exchange for full British/Canadian citizenship.
(Hanson et al., 2009)(Clarke, 2013)
The Indian Act of 1876

Designed to protect lands that had been set aside for Aboriginal people.
Title to the land belonged to the Crown, which administered the land on behalf of the Aboriginal people through the representative of the Minister of Indian Affairs (the Indian agent).
"Status Indians" were wards of the Crown. They were treated as "incompetent" and were unable to make decisions for themselves.
The Metis were denied any status under the act.
(Hanson et al., 2009)
Louis Riel
was born in October, 1844, in St. Boniface, Red River Settlement, to Julie Lagimondiere and Louis Riel. He was educated by the church, and was eventually sent to Montreal to study for the priesthood. Riel returned to Red River Settlement in 1869 where he became a leader of the Métis people. He then became the President of the Provisional Government of Manitoba and negotiated the province of Manitoba’s entrance into Canadian confederation during the Red River Resistance. Riel fled to exile after 1870 but returned to Canada in 1884 at the request of Gabriel Dumont, who needed help at Batoche. Riel sought to preserve Métis rights by negotiating with the government of Canada but was unsuccessful. Riel led the Métis who were defeated during the 1885 Resistance at Batoche, and was eventually captured and taken prisoner. In November of 1885 Riel was tried and convicted of treason against Canada. Riel was later hanged (Prefontaine, 2013)
Who are the Metis?
Metis Leaders
Legislation and Court Rulings
Constitution Act 1982
After their long struggle, the Metis are officially recognized as being one of the distinct Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Granted unspecified rites to Metis peoples (Hanson et al., 2009).
Powley Case 2003
Granted hunting and gathering rights to Metis peoples.
The court established the “Powley test” to determine the who/what/how in the administration of Métis rights.
The case served to standardize the definition of Metis (Teillet, 2003)
Manitoba Metis Federation Inc v. Canada 2013
Manitoba Metis Federation lays claim to 1.4 million acres originally granted to the Metis in the Manitoba Act (Yuen, 2013).
Supreme "Court concluded that the Government of Canada failed in its duty of diligence, in that 'a government sincerely intent on fulfilling the duty that its honour demanded could and should have done better'”(Yuen, 2013).
Residential Schools

1840 - First residential school set up with goal to assimilate Aboriginal children through education.
1920 - All Aboriginal children (including Metis) aged 7-15 years required to attend school. Children removed from their families by priests, Indian agents and police officers.
1931 - 80 residential schools operating in Canada.
1948 – 72 residential schools with 9,368 students.
1979 – 12 residential schools with 1,899 students.
1996 - The last federally run residential school, the Gordon Residential School, closes in Saskatchewan.
2013 - The Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission takes place.
(Assembly of First Nations 2007)
Western Land Grants

Dominion Lands Act created in 1871
Purpose was to pave the way for colonization.
The Land Grants required that a uniform land survey of the three Prairie Provinces as well as the railway right of way in British Columbia be undertaken prior to any new settlement.
The Metis resisted the land survey as it did not honor their traditional "River Lot" system of land ownership.
(Library and Archives Canada, 2013)
The Red River Resistance 1869

The Resistance was the first crisis the Canadian government faced following confederation in 1867.
The Canadian Government sent surveyors to survey Metis land for the township system.
The Metis prevented the surveyors from surveying their lands and set up their own Metis Provisional Government to negotiate with Canada.
The Metis Provisional Government was in essence the government of Manitoba, and they negotiated with Canada the terms of Manitoba's entry into confederation.
(Garneau, 2012)
The 1885 Resistance

The Canadian Government planned to settle the west and sent land surveyors to re-divide up the land the Métis had held for generations.
Gabriel Dumont called on Louis Riel in his exile and the Metis decided to make a stand at Batoche.
A few smaller battles occurred in the region and the Canadian government responded by sending in troops commanded by General Middleton.
The Battle of Batoche lasted from May 9 to May 12, 1885. The Metis lost.
Louis Riel was captured and eventually convicted of treason and hanged.
Gariel Dumont escaped to live in exile.
(Morin, 2006)

Self Identification
Metis Scrip 1870's to 1920's

Scrip was designed to extinguish Aboriginal title and fulfill the requirements under the Manitoba Act.
Metis were required to either become "Canadian" and accept the Scrip or become “Treaty Indians”.
Scrip was given to heads of Metis families and eligible children and they could exchange it for land or money.
Metis families were unable to obtain patents to their traditional land or obtain land together in larger parcels due to the lottery system of grants.
Many Metis either sold their Scrip or were cheated out of it by government delays and land speculators.
Scrip had a negative affect on the Metis collective rights and contributed to the dispersal of the Metis.
(Augustus, 2008)
Gabriel Dumont
was born in December 1837, in St. Boniface, Red River Settlement, the third child of Isadore Dumont and Louise Laframboise. Dumont was a Bison hunter from the age of 14 on. In 1851 he participated in the Battle of Grand Coteau where 300 Metis defeated a much larger contingent of Yankton Dakota to assert their rights to the hunt. When the Bison began to dwindle in the early 1860’s, Dumont started a ferry service and a store at Batoche, where he eventually became the political and later on the military leader of the Métis who lived there. Dumont led the Métis who were defeated during the 1885 Resistance at Batoche, then fled and lived in exile in the United States, spending some time performing in a Wild West Show. He returned to Canada in 1893 after receiving land-scrip and passed away at the age of 69 in 1906. Gabriel Dumont is regarded by many today as a Canadian folk hero. (Prefontaine, 2007)
"We Métis are the descendants of Indian women who lived freely on the Plains of Western Canada and who were masters of their realm. We Métis are also the descendants of French Coureurs de Bois, who worked for both the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company in order to make commerce in the fur trade. Our heritage is of a unique race, which has the right to live freely and proudly and to be masters of our destiny. We are also called "Bois-brûlés" because of the colour of our skin but we prefer the name Métis from the French verb "métisser" to mix races."

(Riel, L., as cited in Préfontaine, 2003)
Rupert's Land is the historic homeland of the Metis, who were thought to be distinct from other mixed-blood populations because they "developed a group consciousness" (Prefontaine, 2003) and their own distinct culture.
Metis Resistance
"We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future. The story should be written down to pass on." (Riel, 1885)
"We may be a small community and a Half-breed community at that - but we are men, free and spirited men and we will not allow even the Dominion of Canada to trample on our rights" (Riel, L., as cited in Brown, 1996)
Gabriel Dumont Institute

GDI was formed in 1980 with the goal of promoting the renewal and development of Metis culture through research, materials development, collection and distribution of those materials and the design, development and delivery of Métis-specific educational programs and services.
GDI offers accredited educational, vocational and skills training in partnership with other Saskatchewan Universities.
(Gabriel Dumont Institute)
Metis Learning Resources

In traditional Metis society education was mainly focussed on the skills needed to live off the land, but also included music and art.
Knowledge was passed down from the
through the
Oral Tradition
Contemporary Metis groups are curating and archiving traditional Metis knowledge for dissemination via new media.
The Metis are collaborating with local education authorities in the creation and dissemination of a new
Culturally Responsive
Metis curriculum which is place based and recognizes the many contributions the Metis have made to Canada.
The Metis are using internet technologies to host and deliver much of the new curriculum.
(Gabriel Dumont Institute)


is the official language of the Metis Nation.
It is a combination of Cree and Metis French.
It is thought that there are currently less than 1000 people who speak Michif today.
The Metis peoples are currently using computer and recording technology to protect, teach, and revive the Michif language.
(Western Region Metis Women's Association, 2013)
Music and Dance

The Metis are famous for their
Fiddle Music
; an oral tradition handed down through the generations.
Unique aspects of Metis fiddle include vigorous foot tapping as well as various bow techniques.
Red River Jig
is a style of dance that is widely known and central to the Metis identity.
Today many Metis are harnessing the power of the internet to perform and share Metis music and dance.
(Roberts, 2009)

The Metis were known by other Aboriginal peoples as the "Flower Beadwork People".
The Metis specialized in the creation of horse tack and garments that were readily identified by their colourful floral patterns.
The colourful floral designs influenced much of the art produced in the Northern Plains, and continues to influence Metis artists today.
Contemporary Metis artists are gaining increased exposure and recognition through the use of internet technologies.
(MCSBC, 2013)
“Métis means a person who self-identifies as a Métis, is distinct from other aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.”
as Metis is an individual decision.
means that Metis individuals are separate from the Indian and Inuit Aboriginal peoples.
Historic Metis Ancestry
means that one's Metis family lived in the area surrounding the Red River Settlement during the latter half of the 18th century.
Accepted by the Metis Nation
means that the Metis alone are responsible for deciding who their citizens are.

Riel could not have known at the time that his words would resonate so loudly for so long...
The Metis have experienced a renewal in Canada in the last generation and are building momentum towards a brighter future. Many Metis are reconnecting with their heritage as the shame of the past is decreased through healing and cultural awareness. At the same time, the Metis are using the power of technology to form a
Metis National Identity
and governance structure, as well as to research and compile historical data in support of
land claims
and assertion of
hunting/gathering rights
through the courts and the
Legislative Process
While oral histories are still an important part of cultural preservation for the Metis, many are now using the power of computer technology to preserve and promote aspects of
Metis Culture
such as
, and
. Many Metis are also leveraging the power of technology to develop and deliver
Culturally Responsive Education Curriculum
and archive and transmit cultural knowledge.
By the early 1900's the Metis were in disarray. The Metis had been dispossessed of their land and had dispersed across the western provinces. The Refusal of Canada to recognize and rectify Metis grievances left many Metis in a state of abject poverty. Many were forced to live along highway and railway allowances and were known as the "Road Allowance People" (Prefontaine, 2007).
The Future looks bright...
St. Antoine De Padoue.
Retrieved Dec 2013, from http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/04840
Riel's Provisional Government
Retrieved Dec 2013, from http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/29/redriverresistance.shtml
Metis Camp circa 1880
Metis killed during Batoche Resistance
Copyright held by Leah Dorian
Retrieved December 2013, from http://leahdorion.ca/gallery.html

Prezi created by Clayton Bussey
for UBC ETEC 521
December, 2013

The Metis, although disenfranchised, remained together and settled in many transient communities such as Crescent Lake and Little Chicago. Because the Metis were considered squatters and did not own title to the land they paid no taxes; consequently they received no services. The marginal existence endured by the "Road Allowance People" perpetuated many social problems in these Metis communities including poor health, a lack of self-esteem, and limited employment opportunities (Prefontaine, 2007).
But hope remained; the Metis were able to persist and maintain their culture, self-determining communities and Michif language. The Metis, while continuing to push Canada for recognition and reparations, also served their new country through contributions in both WWI and WWII .
(Prefontaine, 2007)
Rupert's Land.
Retrieved Dec 2013, from http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas/glossary.aspx?alpha=r&id=270&lang=En
The Metis flag was first used by Metis resistance fighters in 1816. It is the oldest Canadian patriotic flag indigenous to Canada.
The Métis National Council adopted the following definition of “Métis” in 2002:
Steve Powley. Rerieved Dec 2013, from http://www.learnmichif.com/culture/the-powley-case

Adrien Theriault. Retrieved Dec 2013, from www.acadiens-metis-souriquios.ca/join-aams.html
Land Claims. Retrieved Dec 2013, from www.mmf.mb.ca/news_details.php?news_id=98
Red River Settlement.
Retrieved Nov 2013, from www.vivaorange.com
The Metis also established a homeland at Batoche, where they thrived until the Resistance of 1885.
Louis Riel was the first to use the term Metis to refer to the population of French half-breeds who resided at Red River Settlement prior to the Resistance of 1869 (Prefontaine, 2003)
Proclamation of Canadian Confederation. Retrieved Nov 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Confederation
Scrip Coupon. Retrieved Nov 2013, from http://scaa.sk.ca/ourlegacy/exhibit_scrip
Sample Land Grant Document. Retrieved Nov 2013, from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/001007/f1/001007-01.jpg
(Metis Culture and Heritage Resource Centre 2013)
(Metis National Council, 2002)
Metis Musician Sierra Noble
Metis Artis Christi Belcourt
Verna Demotigny and George Fleury
Gabriel Dumont. Retrieved Dec 2103, from
Lois Riel. Retrieved Dec 2013, from
Metis flag. Retrieved Nov 2013, from http://www.canadiandesignresource.ca/symbols/metis-nation-flags/
Gabriel Dumont Institute
Genia Leskiw
Proud to be Metis

Assembly of First Nations (2007). Residential Schools – A Chronology. Retrieved from http://www.rememberingthechildren.ca/history/

Augustus, C. (2008). Métis Scrip. Our Legacy. University of Saskatchewan Archives. Retrieved from

Brown, S. H. (1996). Strangers in Blood: Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country. University of Oklahoma Press.

Canadian Law. (n.d.). The Constitution Act, 1982. Retrieved from

Clarke, D. (2013, Oct 8). The Métis. Retrieved from http://prezi.com/yerjuv7kivea/the-metis/

Gabriel Dumont Institute. (n.d.). Overview of GDI. Retrieved from http://www.gdins.org/node/126

Gabriel Dumont Institute. (n.d.). Celebration. The Virtual Museum of Métis Art and Culture. Retrieved from http://www.metismuseum.ca/exhibits/celebration/

Gabriel Dumont Institute. (n.d.). Learning Resources. The Virtual Museum of Métis Art and Culture. Retrieved from http://www.metismuseum.ca/exhibits/resources/

Garneau, R. D. (2012, Nov 2). A Complete history of the Métis Nation. Retrieved from

Hanson. E., Crey, K., Cruz, C., Deutsch, J., Huang, A., LeBlanc, V., Lee, A., . . . Wilson, J. (2009). Métis. Indigenous Foundations Arts UBC. Retrieved from http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/?id=549

Hanson. E., Crey, K., Cruz, C., Deutsch, J., Huang, A., LeBlanc, V., Lee, A., . . . Wilson, J. (2009). The Origins of the Indian Act – Indigenous Foundations. Retrieved from
http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/government-policy/the-indian- act.html?type=123

Library and Archives Canada (2013). Land Grants of Western Canada, 1870-1930. Retrieved from
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-grants-western-canada-1870- 1930/Pages/land-grants-western-canada.aspx

Magnet, J. E. (1994). Métis Land Rights in Canada. Retrieved from

Métis Culture and Heritage Resource Centre Inc. (2013). The Métis Flag. Retrieved from http://www.metisresourcecentre.mb.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27:t he-metis-flag&catid=1:history&Itemid=2

Métis Community services Society of BC (2013). Métis Art. Retrieved from

Métis National Council (2013). Citizenship. Retrieved from

Morin, D. (2006). Back to Batoche. Retrieved from
http://www.museevirtuel-virtualmuseum.ca/sgc-cms/expositions- exhibitions/batoche/html/about/index.php

Préfontaine, D. (2003, May 30). Métis Identity. Retrieved from http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/00726

Prefontaine, D. (2007, Apr 17). Gabriel Dumont. Retrieved from http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/06280

Prefontaine, D. (2007, April 17). Métis History. Retrieved from

Prefontaine, D. (2013, March 14). Louis “David” Riel. Retrieved from

Riel, L. (1885). As quoted in the Montreal Star Newspaper. Retrieved from http://www.metisresourcecentre.mb.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66:q uotes&catid=4:quotes&Itemid=2

Riel, L. (1885). Buffalo Trails and Tales - Quotes. Retrieved from http://www.metisresourcecentre.mb.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66:q uotes&catid=4:quotes&Itemid=2

Roberts, J. (2009, May 14) Métis Music and Dance. Retrieved from
http://abdc.bc.ca/uploads/file/ABDC%20-%20Services%20- %20Aboriginal%20Voices/14%20Aboriginal%20Voices.pdf

Teillet, J. (2003). R. v. Powley, A Summary of the Supreme Court of Canada Reasons for Judgment. Pape & Salter Barristers and Soliciters. Retrieved from: www.pstlaw.ca/resources/Powley%20summary-final.pdf

The Western Region Métis Women’s Association (2013). A Bit About Michif. Retrieved from

Vowel, C. (2012). You’re Métis? So which of your parents is an Indian? Retrieved from

Yuen, M. (2013, Mar 13). Manitoba Metis Federation v. Canada: the Eternal Constitutional Oversight of the Courts. Litigation Blog. Retrieved from http://www.davis.ca/en/entry/litigation/manitoba- metis-federation-the-eternal-constitutional-power-of-the-court/#sthash.P5Ha2jDj.dpuf

Other Resources:

Ginsburg, F. (2008). Rethinking the Digital Age. The Media and Social Theory, 1, 127.

Kawagley, A. O., & Barnhardt, R. (1998). Education Indigenous to Place: Western Science Meets Native Reality.

McGregor, H. E. (2012b). Curriculum change in Nunavut: towards Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit. McGill Journal of Education, 47(3), 285-302.

Robb, M., & John, C. (2005). Our Words, Our ways: Teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners. Retrieved from http://education.alberta.ca/media/307199/words.pdf

The Canadian Press. (2013, Jan 9). Federal Court grants rights to Métis, non-status Indians. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-court-grants-rights-to-m%C3%A9tis-non-status- indians-1.1319951

Images and Graphics:

Adrien Theriault. Retrieved Dec 2013, from www.acadiens-metis-souriquios.ca/join-aams.html

Gabriel Dumont. Retrieved Dec 2103, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Dumont_(M%C3%A9tis_leader)

Lois Riel. Retrieved Dec 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadians

Métis Killed During Batoche Resistance. Retrieved Nov 2013, Glenbow Archives NA-363-48

Metis flag. Retrieved Nov 2013, from

Proclamation of Canadian Confederation. Retrieved Nov 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Confederation

Red River Settlement. Retrieved Nov 2013, from www.vivaorange.com

Riel's Provisional Government. Retrieved Dec 2013, from

Rupert’s Land. Retrieved Dec 2013, from http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas/glossary.aspx?alpha=r&id=270&lang=En

Sample Land Grant Document. Retrieved Nov 2013, from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/001007/f1/001007-01.jpg

Scrip Coupon. Retrieved Nov 2013, from http://scaa.sk.ca/ourlegacy/exhibit_scrip

St. Antoine De Padoue. Retrieved Dec 2013, from http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/04840

Steve Powley. Rerieved Dec 2013, from http://www.learnmichif.com/culture/the-powley-case

Thomas Moore. Retrieved Nov 2013, from Library and Archives Canada NL-022474

Leah Dorian Image. Retrieved Nov 2013, from http://leahdorion.ca/gallery.html

YouTube Videos:

Gabriel Dumont Institute. Retrieved from youtu.be/2t4aqwsDGbk

Genia Leskiw. Retrieved from youtu.be/RbKknrxiwL0

Métis Artist Christi Belcourt. Retrieved from youtu.be/JwNHNm9dw6Y

Métis Musician Sierra Noble. Retrieved from youtu.be/NGtckNUY7b8

Proud to be Métis. Retrieved from youtu.be/bhc4Pi-BIq8

Verna Demotigny and George Fleury. Retrieved from youtu.be/5cjaEjw6x-U

Voyageurs Vignette. Retrieved from youtu.be/M_YsuqkkBa8

Full transcript