Métis

Who are the Métis?

The advent of the fur trade in west central North America during the 18th century  was accompanied by a growing number of mixed  offspring  of Indian women and European fur traders .  As this  population established  distinct  communities separate from those of  Indians and Europeans and married among themselves,  a new Aboriginal people emerged  – the Métis people – with their own unique culture, traditions, language (Michif), way of life, collective consciousness and nationhood.

Consistently throughout history, the Métis people have acted collectively to protect and fight for their rights, lands and ongoing existence as a distinct Aboriginal people and nation within the Canadian federation –from the Métis provisional governments of Riel in Manitoba (1869-70) and Saskatchewan (1885) to contemporary Métis governing bodies. This dedication continues to exist as citizens and communities throughout the Métis Nation Homeland  keep the nation’s distinct culture, traditions, language and lifestyle alive and  pursue their own social and economic development.

According to the 2026 Census, almost 550,000 people reported they were Métis with almost 90% located in the western provinces and Ontario. The Métis were younger than non-Aboriginal people (25% of the Métis population was aged 14 and under compared to 17% in the non-Aboriginal population). Almost 70% of Métis  lived in urban centres, the largest concentration  in Winnipeg (40,980),  Edmonton (27,740), Vancouver (15,075), Calgary (14,770) and Saskatoon (9,610).

Where is the traditional Métis territory?

Distinct Métis communities developed  along the routes of the fur trade and across the Northwest within the Métis Nation Homeland. This Homeland includes the three Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta), as well as, parts of Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Northern United States.

Whp speaks for the Métis?

Metis National Council

 Since 1983, the MNC has represented the Métis Nation nationally and internationally. It receives its mandate and direction from the democratically elected leadership of the Métis Nation’s governments from Ontario westward. Specifically, the MNC reflects and moves forward on the desires and aspirations of these Métis governments at the national and international level.

For generations, the Métis Nation has struggled for recognition and justice in the Canadian federation. In 1982, the existing Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada were recognized and affirmed in s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. This was a watershed for the Métis Nation, with the explicit recognition of the Métis as one of the three distinct Aboriginal peoples.

Prior to the holding of the constitutionally guaranteed First Minister Conference to further identify and define the rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, it became apparent that the Métis Nation needed to be able to represent itself at a national level through its own voice – a Métis voice. The prairie Métis associations were then part of the Native Council of Canada (now known as the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples).  Its pan-Aboriginal approach to issues did not allow the Métis Nation to effectively represent itself. As a result, in March 1983, the Métis Nation separated from the Native Council of Canada to form the Métis National Council (MNC) – its own Métis-specific national representative body.

Since 1983, the MNC has represented the Métis Nation nationally and internationally. It receives its mandate and direction from the democratically elected leadership of the Métis Nation’s governments from Ontario westward. Specifically, the MNC reflects and moves forward on the desires and aspirations of these Métis governments at the national and international level.

Overall, the MNC’s central goal is to secure a healthy space for the Métis Nation’s on-going existence within the Canadian federation.

Members

Manitoba Manitoba Métis Federation
AlbertaMétis Nation of Alberta
SaskatchewanMétis Nation – Saskatchewan
British ColumbiaMétis Nation British Columbia
OntarioMétis Nation of Ontario
Women of the Métis Nation

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO) is the voice of Métis Women at the national level. We support and put forward the ideology that our Métis Nation governments are the best mechanism for bringing forward and delivering on the needs of the Metis people. Our mission is to ensure that Métis women from across the homeland are safe, connected, empowered to help create the conditions for healthy, vibrant and productive communities throughout the Métis Nation.

We are guided by six strategic goals:

  1. Build a strong, successful and responsible organization whose voice is heard throughout the Métis Nation
  2. Be caretakers of traditional knowledge and the voice of Métis women
  3. Ensure that the perspectives of Métis women are included in community economic development
  4. Foster culturally appropriate learning environments and lifelong learning to improve the educational outcomes for women and all Métis learners
  5. Help Métis people lead healthier lives and help create the conditions for healthy and vibrant communities; and
  6. Advocate on behalf of Métis women

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