Borders and the Métis Nation

An Indigenous History of North America

History of the Métis Homeland

Quick refresher: The Métis are a group of people who are descended from primarily French-Canadian, Scottish, and English fur traders who married mostly Cree and Ojibwe women, who then formed their own society with a separate ethnic identity from their parent European and First Nation societies. Intermarriage began pretty much as soon as Europeans and Native people met, but the first distinct Métis identities and societies began to appear in the western Great Lakes area (modern Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and northern Illinois and Ohio) in the 1700s.

In the early 1800s, as white settlers began to enter those areas, a lot of Métis people moved west. South of the Great Lakes Métis, French-Canadian, and British people continued to monopolize trade despite being in what was technically US territory until the war of 1812, after which many migrated north and west. Thus in the area near Lake Winnipeg a society sprang…

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