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Oh come on, are identity issues that easily navigated, even on an individual level?Yes I am going to get personal, because it’s important that you know where I come from so that you understand why I have the opinions I have, and why others from different backgrounds may agree with me or not.So when I stopped being ashamed (a longer story there) and started to feel a I turned towards the concept of a Métis national identity.That is when I started learning about a larger history than my own poorly understood, ‘boring-anyway’ regional one.The term ‘halfbreed‘ still got tossed around a lot when I was growing up and was pretty ubiquitous in my parent’s and grandparent’s time.You can imagine how confusing it is in terms of forming an identity, to be known by so many ill-defined names.I want to go into the history of the Métis, and talk about and quote some John Ralston Saul (okay I actually have no desire to do that last thing) but this person just asked me a question at a party and his eyes are already drifting over the lithe form of a single neighbour. ” I am impressed with your mathematical skills, imaginary pastiche of all the people who have asked me this question since I moved to Quebec, but no.

But aside from the odd family story that didn’t interest me as a child (but fascinate me now as an adult), I knew very little about our regional history.You, my egg-nog drinking friend who thinks it’s appropriate to quiz me on my ‘background’ are using the little ‘m’ definition. This is the category I’ve encountered most in Quebec.As a racial category, one is little ‘m’ métis when they are not fully Indian or non-aboriginal. This is not the only term that was used, we were also called half-bloods, half-breeds, michif, bois brûlé, chicot, country-born, mixed bloods, and so on.In another post, I talked about Pan-Indianism, and also Pan-Métisism.What this post and those previous two have in common, is that they are about identity.

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