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Home List of Titles The Canadian Metis nation: the identity, demands and growth of an Aboriginal people
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/91722
- The Canadian Metis nation: the identity, demands and growth of an Aboriginal people
- Cavanagh, Edward
- The struggle for the recognition of Métis rights in Canada began in the mid-nineteenth century and continues today. Yet, outside of Canada, there is little known about them. Though regrettably this paper does not explore many transnational perspectives, it does hope to present an explanation of the revival of Métis nationalism lacking the kind of exceptionalism that affects too many Canadian writers on the topic. It presents a narrative account of the Métis struggle, from ‘ethnogenesis’ up until their defeat and dispersal in the late nineteenth century. Then it tracks the re-emergence of a more inclusivist Métis nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s, which was followed by the ‘Métis renaissance’ of the 1980s – all of which attracting the attention of historians, political scientists and lawyers in a fashion unfathomable in other settler societies where very different official racial discourses and classificatory regimes were put into place. The excitement of the Métis renaissance also heralded in a more exclusivist period for the ‘Métis Nation’, who reworked the parameters of their identity accordingly. Gradually, however, more and more non-Nation Métis began to assert their identities in ways that the Métis Nation refused to accommodate (interestingly, this was all very similar to the ways that Métis and non-status Indians broke away from the Aboriginal mainstream during the struggles and campaigns of the 1960s, but the exclusive/inclusive dialectic lives on in Canada). So why the recent surge in Métis numbers? This paper will close by trying to answer exactly this question, offering at the same time a parting analysis of Métis identity, geography and organisation in the present era.
- Publication type
- Conference paper
- Paper presented at 'Connecting Communities: Canada, Australia and New Zealand', the 15th Biennial Conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand (ACSANZ 2010), Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, 04-07 July 2010
- Publication year
- Aboriginal people; Canada; Demand; Growth; Identity; Indigenous people; Metis people
- Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand
- Publisher URL
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2010.