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Metis (people)

The Métis (pronounced "MEH tee", SAMPA: [me'ti], in French : [me'tis] or, in many varieties of Canadian French, including those spoken by Métis, [mE'tIs]) are a Canadian ethnic group consisting of people whose ancestors were partly of the Cree, Ojibway or Saulteaux First Nations, and partly European fur traders (usually French or Scots). Traditionally, the Métis spoke a mixed language called Michif or Mechif. Michif and Mechif are also used for the name of the Métis people.

The word Métis (the singular, plural and adjectival forms are the same) is French, and related to the Spanish word mestizo. It carries the same connotation of "mixed blood"; traced back far enough it stems from the Latin word mixtus, the past participle of the verb "to mix".

A well-known Métis event was the battle of Seven Oaks.

The most famous Métis was Louis Riel who led them in the failed North-West Rebellion in the area now known as Manitoba. After the rebellion the Canadian government effectively deprived the Métis of land. The province of Alberta distributed land to Métis in 1938 to correct what it believed to be an inequity, but Saskatchewan and Manitoba have not followed Alberta's lead.

Two other famous Métis leaders were Cuthbert Grant and Gabriel Dumont.

The Métis are not recognized as a First Nation by the Canadian government and do not receive the benefits granted to other aboriginal groups. The new Canadian constitution of 1982, however, recognizes Métis as an aboriginal group and has enabled individual Métis to sue successfully for recognition of their traditional rights, such as rights to hunt and trap.

External Link

Métis National Council (http://www.metisnation.ca/)

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