In addition to the Persons or Organizations named above, here is a list of the organizations who were granted Intervener Status, with their websites – bookmarked to their mission and / or values statement:
Appelant, Respondent and Intervenor Factum are available to consult here
It will be interesting to read the position of each organization, and try to understand the implications. If you have information that can be shared, please do not hesitate to do so (in a respectful manner, needless to say!)
I’m still obsessing over questions regarding identity, community, kinship and blood-quantum in my own quest to reclaim my own identity.
In my previous post, I wrote about my kinship to Louis Riel, whose father, along with many other Lanaudois traveled West in search of a place to remain “Gens Libres” – Freemen. There is no doubt in my mind, and I have provided in previous posts empirical evidence that the concept of Métis predates the Red River and may well have been born in Lanaudière, amongst the Riel, Dubois, Parenteau, Lagimodière…
I’m also meeting so many interesting people along the way who are experiencing a similar internal questioning. What strikes me most is the battle for identity is so personal and a very intimate journey, yet is so overshadowed by a public battle over land and hunting rights. And this war is leaving deep wounds. Inclusion to an official Indigenous Membership vs Settling in with the Settlers.
So – Academics and Policy Makers, be kind. There are people being hurt, no matter how the pie is sliced. Don’t be an insensitive douche when extolling the virtues of your opinion. Everyone’s reality is as real as yours. Remember the bias of perception.
That being said: I don’t know who has the “right” to call oneself Métis. It is not for me to say. But I sure as hell know that I do. The word Métis comes from the very region where I’m from. Like the Riel, Dubois, Lagimodière, Parenteau, etc..etc…etc… Believe me – or don’t – but we called ourselves Métis before 1982; we called ourselves Métis before 1885. I won’t be cruel to kin (even if they are to us) and accuse THEM of appropriation. But I’d like to invite them to examine the facts.
The old families of my community of Lanaudière are interconnected through kinship and marriages. Last names often repeat themselves in every generation. Brothers of one family married sisters of another. People traveled together. I have no doubt that my 9th great grandfathers knew each other – the communities weren’t that distanced from one another, and they farmed, hunted, trapped and traveled together.
If you compare maps, the voyageurs that decided to move out to the Prairies even named of the communities they formed after the ones they left: St-Boniface, St-Cuthbert, St-Norbert are names of places in the Lanaudière and the adjoining Mauricie regions and are also communities in the North West Territories – present day Manitoba.
Louis’ grandmother was named Marguerite Boucher. According to the oral history of my community, Marguerite’s mother was either Ojibway or Montagnais (Innu) from the
“Upper Country” ;
It is unlikely that she was born in the North West Territories. She was christened as Marie-Josephe dit Leblanc, as her “sponsor” was listed as François Leblanc, her educator.
One generation…and it’s gone.
As most of us, we can see that the clergy and the government were quite prompt in assimilating Métis people: when Marguerite returned to Québec, she and Louis’ father Jean-Baptiste retired in Rigaud. On the 1851 Census report, there is no indication of her Indigenous ancestry:
If this is true – isn’t it then also true that the Voyageurs who traveled West were much more likely to meet and marry Indigenous women because their families has already done so – breaking the supposed verboten – Like cousin Louis did?
There are a few misconceptions about Métis identity currently being pandered. It becomes obvious that they are the result of poor research, a deliberate omission of kinship and oral history, or maybe an inability to spend time in the region that gave birth to the ideology of Li Gens Libres!
For those interested in genealogy, we are related through Pierre Enaud (Henault) dit Delorme, my 8th ggrandfather, Louis’ ggrandfather.