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Christi Belcourt @christibelcourt
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Speaking with Maria Campbell the other day about when the word “Métis” got adopted by Métis orgs in the 70’s as THE word to blanket all breeds. I’m trying to find the date this happened, but the point is, the word Métis was not used by a majority until very recently. (Con’t).
Before that, some people called themselves Michif, some called themselves Halfbreeds, some called themselves Nehiyaw and some called themselves Métis. It wasn’t until the government told Métis leaders that it would be easier to I.D. us if we organized ourselves under one name.
So at this one meeting they took a vote after a long debate and voted to adopt the word Métis. Some of the Elders present cried. They said they never called themselves Métis and it was against their wishes that the word was adopted.
I think this is one of the most important pieces of unwritten oral modern Métis history. It’s important to know how the government systematically meddled with all Indigenous peoples and over a century sought to separate and dismantle our family and community connections.
For the record I abandoned the word Métis. I prefer Michif or Nehiyaw Michif to describe which people I belong to. Or Manitow Sahkahikan Michif to describe what water I belong to. Métis may have been temporarily ours, but it’s been co-opted to where it’s been rendered nation-less
A lot of tribes viewed as mixed blood would have been viewed as First Nations prior to Treaty/Indian Act. Even if a recognition of their mixedness was acknowledged within communities. The British dealt with English breeds differently than French ones in some cases. (Cont)
Eg. In Northern SK there were many mixed Scottish breeds who entered Treaty (Churchill River) and yet French breeds in Ile-a-la Crosse and Pine House didn’t.
In Ontario the French breeds of Drummond Island weren’t in Treaty but Shingwauk was an Ojibway English Breed who invited the French Breeds in for protection prior to the Treaty because they knew the French Breeds would be excluded.
These arrangements were made before Treaty among Anishinaabek and Breeds who were actually relatives.

It’s really important to continually dismantle the government categories of status/non-status & look at how they systematically dismantled our ways so they could control lands.
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