THE METIS

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					     THE METIS:
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
                June 11/09
        Prepared by Larry McCallum
                Consultant

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           For Personal Use only
               Métis National Anthem –

                                         by Unknown
    In the forest on the river, and across the western plain, a
    s the white man journeyed westward, to the land of the Indian.
   A new race was created, a new nation rose up strong.
   Hardship as its destiny, and its curse to not belong.
   In the land from which they came
   in the land they helped to build.
   They found themselves the alien
   found their vision unfulfilled.
   And despite their valiant effort,
   to defend what they believe.
   When at last the battle ended,
   they were only left to grieve.


   We are proud to be Métis,
   Watch a nation rise again,
   Never more forgotten people,
   We're the true Canadian.


   From across the plain they traveled,
   from Red River to the Peace, searching for their own homeland, that would help them to replace, all the land that had been taken, and
    the dreams that had been dashed,
   Their brave heroes now called traitors, and courageous deeds now past.

         “We are Proud to be Metis”
   We are proud to be Métis,
   Watch a nation rise again,
   Never more forgotten people,
   We're the true Canadian.

   For this newest generation,
   and the future ones to come,
   with the past to motivate us,
   it will help to keep us strong.
    As we build the Métis nation,
   as we watch it rise again,
   our past lost is motivation,
   to inspire our future gain.


   We are proud to be Métis,
   Watch a nation rise again,
   Never more forgotten people,
   We're the true Canadian.


   We are proud to be Métis,
   Watch a nation rise again,
   Never more forgotten people,
   We're the true Canadian.
     The Metis of the East & West
   THE METIS OF THE EAST:
•   Eastern mixed-bloods were as important to the early economic system as they would become in the west
•   Metis of the east: Mid-Ontario to the Maritimes
•   The eastern Metis did not become a distinct society as they did in the west
•   The final fate of these Metis was to integrate into the European Society of the time or, to integrate into the First
    Nations societies.
•   Although there are people of aboriginal ancestry living in those areas today, they are considered by the Metis to
    be mixed-blood. The Metis culture is basically non-existent for them as it hadn’t developed yet.

•   THE METIS OF THE WEST: Reasons why the Metis became largely a western phenomenon
•   They were more numerous in the west than in the east
•   They were bi-lingual
•   They were skilled hunters
•   They were religious
•   They developed a mind-set around being Metis
  The Red River Metis and the Fur
            Trade Era

- The demand for furs in Europe created an economic
   boom for traders/companies and provided a new source
   of livelihood for FN
- Inter-marriage created a new nation of people, the
   mixed bloods later known as the Metis
- Prior to 1821, there were two main economic rivals: The
   Hudson Bay Company owned and operated by the
   English and the North West Company owned and
   operated by the French
- The French Metis worked for the N.W.Co. and the
   English Metis worked for the H.B.Co.
Metis Dependence on Fur Trade
Metis Role and Dependence on the Fur Trade:
- Trade created an interdependence between the FN,
  Metis and settlers
- Competition was healthy
- Bilingual Metis became middle-men for the FN and
  trading companies
- Metis became suppliers of pemmican and meat to
  traders/explorers
- Metis provided transportation services with the Red River
  Cart and York boats
- Trades items: guns, ammo, utensils, etc.
- The concept of profits/money for a livelihood was
  accepted
            Ruperts Land 1670
   1670-owned by the
    H.B.Co. by virtue of a
    land grant by the
    English monarchy
   **The Metis people
    were settled in the
    Red River area at this
    time. Their presence
    was accepted by the
    H.B.Co. due to their
    value in the fur trade
The Traditional Metis Homeland
Territory of Assiniboia 1812 and the
         Selkirk Settlement
   Metis lived there for 150
    years or so
   In 1812, Lord Selkirk,
    part owner of the
    H.B.Co., received a land
    grant in order to bring
    over starving, mainly
    Scottish settlers. This
    became known as the
    Selkirk Colony
   This land grant happened
    to be in the heart of Metis
    land
        The Selkirk Settlement
   Initial relationship was friendly as they
    both shared the struggle to survive
   The Metis began small scale farming; the
    Scotts learned to hunt and trap
   But, the table was set for land and trade
    issues, especially because the French
    Metis mainly worked for the NWCo and
    the English Metis for the HBCo
        Battle of Seven Oaks 1816
   By 1816, the H.B.Co had a trade monopoly in the Territory of Assiniboia
   They banned trade goods from leaving the territory (maintain their
    monopoly)
   Created a blockade on the trading route so the Metis could not transport
    goods East
   Cuthbert Grant became the first important Metis leader:
   He organized the Metis in an attempt to break the blockade
   In a battle that lasted 15 minutes, the H.B.Co lost 20 men and the Metis 1
   Result: This battle is often seen as the birth of the Metis Nation. There was
    an emergence of a new identity, that of being different. As well, there was
    a new nationalism

   The blue Metis flag was flown for the first time. It became a source of
    pride, identity, nationalism
   This flag is the oldest flag indigenous to North to North America
Flag flown by the Metis at Seven
          Oaks in 1816
         Early Metis Nationalism
   The division of trade between the H B Co. and
    the N W Co. and their role in the fur trade
   Amalgamation of the two companies in 1821
   The HBCo. Grant of Metis land to Lord Selkirk to
    create the Selkirk Colony
   The Red River Colony and its Metis Majority
   Metis leader: Cuthbert Grant
   Battle of Seven Oaks 1816
   Transfer of Rupert’s Land to Canada after
    confederation
    The Red River Settlement 1821-
                1870
   By 1821, the H.B.Co. and The N.W.Co. had
    merged into a single entity. This created
    massive unemployment among the Metis in the
    territories
   The result: The Metis gathered and settled in
    great numbers in the Red River area
   Approximate population was 12,000: French
    Metis at 6,000; English Metis at 4,000; and First
    Nations/Non-natives at 2,000
   This large gathering of Metis enabled the culture
    and identity to grow and to flourish
Settlement pattern (GDI)
  Confederation – 1867
Canada becomes a Country
   First Prime Minister: John A. MacDonald
   As part of becoming a country, Rupert’s Land is
    transferred to Canada without consulting the resident
    Metis. This created anger, more nationalism.
   Later, Ottawa sent surveyors to survey the Red River
    area, again without consulting the Metis residents. The
    Metis saw this as a threat to their land ownership
   A well educated Metis, Louis Riel, stepped forward to
    organize the Metis. They stopped the surveyors
   Ottawa saw the Metis as a threat to
    expansion/settlement and sent an armed force to the
    area to maintain order
THE FIRST RESISTANCE
        First Provisional
Government(temporary gov’t) 1869
   Louis Riel formed the first Provisional
    Metis government in 1869. They had
    several worrisome happenings:
     - settlers
     - armed force on the way
   There is considerable discussion that this
    government was legal under international
    law as this was still a territory
   The government was short lived
           Petitions to Ottawa

   To be allowed into Confederation with an
    elected, representative legislature
   Official form of bilingualism
   Request for representation in parliament
   Recognition of existing land tenure and
    custom
Survey systems
     Second Provisional Government
            1870 is formed
   Was formed to maintain
    order/law in the
    settlement
   It had the power to arrest
    trouble makers
   Executed Thomas Scott
   Put together a petition to
    form a new province with
    the hope of joining
    Canada
   Fought to protect Metis
    land rights
   Thomas Scott
Charged with treason
              Manitoba Act 1870
   Manitoba joins
    confederation as a new
    province when the
    Government passed the
    Manitoba Act of 1870
   Metis not included in the
    government
   Received? 1.4 million
    acres of land in the form
    of scrip (240 acres for
    their children and each
    adult head of the family a
    further 160 acres)
        Affects of Manitoba Act

   Riel fled to The USA to save himself from
    the Canadian militia who were on their
    way to enforce their version of ‘order’ in
    the new province
Metis Scrip(              paper representing valued item such as land   )
•   The displaced Metis
    people were promised 1.4
    million acres of land to be
    distributed as ‘scrip’
•   Scrip had the potential to
    destroy the Metis nation
    as scrip promised land
    somewhere in the
    Dominion (Canada) but it
    never specified where in
    Canada; this led to a
    unity issue for the Metis
    people
                Problems
 Lands were not distributed until 1875
(5 years later)
 Most Metis lost their lands through fraud
  and to land speculators
 Metis were subject to continued
  harassment by new settlers
 Many Metis were forced from their lands
  without any settlement of claim
 Few families stayed to farm
GDI
       The First Metis Dispersal:
   Northern Manitoba
   Present day Alberta
    and Saskatchewan
    (see map)
   Northern USA
GDI
           The Metis begin again:
          The Saskatchewan Metis
   Moose Mountain-Qu'Appelle River area
   Along the South Saskatchewan River at St. Laurent and
    Batoche
   In 1873, Gabriel Dumont set up a Metis community
    government at St. Laurent with himself as president
   The Metis had rules/laws for their people.
   Conflicts arose when Dumont’s government tried to
    arrest HBCo hunters who were not following Metis laws
   The NWMP were called in, and the government quietly
    collapsed
   The Metis continued a lifestyle patterned after Red River
GDI
Gabriel Dumont
        The Second Resistance:
          The Riel Resistance
By the 1880’s, a crisis was again at hand for the
  Metis:
 Buffalo were nearly extinct/livelihood
 Land was again being surveyed and opened up
  to homesteading
 Settlers were moving into the area
 Economic survival was threatened
 Land was being given to railway companies
 In 1881, Ottawa decided to sell, rather than give
  land away, so this made land speculation a huge
  problem
                  Riel Returns
   The French Metis, headed by Dumont, invited
    Riel back from exile in the US to lead the Metis
    struggle
   They composed petition,1.) listing grievances
    and demands, 2.) representation in the Federal
    government; 3.) land rights
   In 1879 the Federal government had amended
    the Dominion Land Act to deal with Metis land
    scrip in the North West, however, when they
    finally agreed to allocate it in 1885, it was too
    late!
     Metis Provisional Government
              March 1885
   The Metis felt a need to defend their
    territory and formed a ‘Provisional
    Government’
   Troops were on their way to Batoche
   The beginning of the Riel Rebellion
    (European Canadian perspective) or, as
    the Metis say, the Riel Resistance.
    Federal Government reasons for
            military action:
   They didn’t want bloody uprisings like
    those in the US
   They wanted to mobilize financial support
    in the east for a nearly bankrupt railway
    system
   Revenge for the execution of Thomas
    Scott
   Establish power/order in the region for
    settlement
             Duck Lake Incident
              March 26, 1885
   Approximately 200
    Metis/First Nations
    against 100 well
    armed police and
    volunteers. The Metis
    suffered 5 dead, the
    police 12
            Battle of Fish Creek
              April 24, 1885
   Approximately 200
    Metis against 400
    army militia
Riel
               Battle of Batoche
               May 9 – 12, 1885
   Metis battle standard

   Videos:
    a. Riel Rebellion
    b. Four Bloody
              Days
Batoche 1885
The steamer
The Church
Troops
      Aftermath of the Resistance:

                    Louis Riel
   Trial of Louis Riel
   Execution on
    November 16, 1885
               Gabriel Dumont
   Gabriel Dumont
    escaped to the USA
   He became part of
    Wild Bill’s Wild West
    Show
   Returned to Batoche
    in 1890 and died in
    1906
GDI
         Second Metis Dispersal
   Northern USA
   Calgary area
   Edmonton area
   Northern
    Saskatchewan
   Willowbunch area
   Fort Qu’Appelle area
   “The Road Allowance
    People”
Mass grave at Duck Lake
                    Issues

   Constitution Act 1982 – recognition of the
    Aboriginal peoples: First Nations; Metis;
    Inuit
   Metis Rights
   Governance
   Identity
   Land Claims
Present day Metis land claim (GDI)
    Metis Land Claim Overturned
   In December, 2007, the Supreme Court of
    Canada ruled against the Metis Land Claim

   Why? Why?


   We remain the ‘landless’ aboriginal people
    in Canada
                           METIS WEBSITES
                       http://www.metisnation.ca/
                          Metis National Council
             http://www.albertametis.com/MNAHome.aspx
                  http://metna.sasktelwebhosting.com/
                           Metis Nation of Sask.
       http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Atrium/4832/metis.html
                             Metis information
                    http://www.jkcc.com/history.html
              History Metis community of Buffalo Narrows
                  http://www.jkcc.com/sakitawak.html
           History of the Metis community of Ile a la Crosse
                          www.metismuseum.ca
                    Metis history, music, culture, etc.
                   http://www.metisnation-sask.com/
                      Metis Nation of Saskatchewan
                         http://www.mmf.mb.ca/
                        Manitoba Metis Federation
                        http://www.mpcbc.bc.ca/
                              BC Metis Nation
                       http://www.metisnation.org/
                          Metis Nation of Ontario
               http://www.othermetis.net/Orgs/Orgs.html
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples: Proposes to represent aboriginal peoples
              http://www.othermetis.net/links/Metis.html
                                Metis links

				
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