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|Sub Category:||Métis of Canada|
|Location:||Northwest Territories, Canada|
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|The Metis were officially recognised as one of Canada's three Aboriginal peoples in the Constitution Act of 1982 (s 35). Their number is estimated at somewhere between 300,000 and 800,000. Most Metis live in Western Canada in over 300 communities. The Metis people were born from the marriages of Cree, Ojibwa, Salteaux and Assininboine women with French and Scottish fur traders, commencing in the mid 1600s. The Metis Nation itself developed in the 18th and 19th centuries.|
|Subsequent to the annexation of the northwest by Canada in 1869, the Metis found their political economy destroyed. While the Manitoba Act (1870) and the Dominion Lands Act (1879) acknowledged Metis claims to Aboriginal title, the federal government took measures to extinguish such claims. The Metis traditionally worked as trappers, guides, interpreters, farm labourers, dock and factory workers and canoe and boat paddlers. They developed a unique language called Michif. |
The Metis Homeland covers areas of contemporary Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The Metis are signatories to the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement which took effect in June 1994.
Presently the Metis seek land and resources rights and self-government rights. The Metis nations do not seek sovereignty from Canada but rather, greater control over their own lives and Metis affairs. Land rights would be exercised in traditional areas of Metis residence in what is considered the Metis Homeland. Metis self-government involves the establishment of local government on Metis Homeland as well as the right to self-governing institutions away from that base. This would include access rights to adequate revenue to permit provision of services pertinent to the particular requirements of Metis people and of comparable quality to those provided by federal and provincial governments.
The interests of the Metis people are represented by National Metis Council which comprises representatives from the five Metis provincial organizations: the Metis Provincial Council of British Columbia, the Metis Nation of Alberta, the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan, the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Metis Nation of Ontario.
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