HALF BREED

You call me a half breed and maybe you're right
My eyes they are brown and my skin isn't white.
But let us look back to my family tree,
for we are related, the white man and me.

Two centuries ago when the Indians did roam
over this land which was their home sweet home.
The white man arrived and they took a long look,
around for some women to sew and to cook.

You can bet your forefathers they took time to choose.
They prettiest maidens who couldn't refuse.
To live with the strangers from over the sea.
Ah hybridization had made history.

The best from the old world with looks from the new
were molded together, our ancestors knew.
That crossing produces a much stronger strain,
and so we were born, it was Canada's gain.

Today as is natural our numbers have grown.
And yet out proud story is mostly unknown.
We seem to be classed with the old unicorn,
a mythical creature who never was born.

But each day our voice grows a little in strength.
We've bonded together o'er Canada's length.
So next time you're tempted to call me a "breed,"
remember I grew from a White-Indian seed.

A mixture of Nations the French men did see,
And this is the reason they called us Métis.


--By the late John and Eleanor Anderson from Kinosota



MIKI'SIW Métis Association

Métis People

The Métis Nation

The advent of the fur trade in west central North America during the 18th century was accompanied by a growing number of mixed offspring of Indian women and European fur traders. As this population established distinct communities separate from those of Indians and Europeans and married among themselves, a new Aboriginal people emerged - the Métis people – with their own unique culture, traditions, language (Michif), way of life, collective consciousness and nationhood.

Distinct Métis communities developed along the routes of the fur trade and across the Northwest within the Métis Nation Homeland. This Homeland includes the three Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta), as well as, parts of Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Northern United States.

Consistently throughout history, the Métis people have acted collectively to protect and fight for their rights, lands and ongoing existence as a distinct Aboriginal people and nation within the Canadian federation –from the Métis provisional governments of Riel in Manitoba (1869-70) and Saskatchewan (1885) to contemporary Métis governing bodies. This dedication continues to exist as citizens and communities throughout the Métis Nation Homeland keep the nation’s distinct culture, traditions, language and lifestyle alive and pursue their own social and economic development.

--- Description from The Métis Nation

National Definition Of Métis

  • "Métis" means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of Historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.
  • "Historic Métis Nation" means the Aboriginal people then known as Métis or Half-breeds who resided in the Historic Métis Nation Homeland.
  • "Historic Métis Nation Homeland" means the area of land in west central North America used and occupied as the traditional territory of the Métis or Half-breeds as they were then known.
  • "Métis Nation" means the Aboriginal people descended from the Historic Métis Nation which is now comprised of all Métis Nation citizens and is one of the "aboriginal peoples of Canada" within the meaning of s.35 of the Constitution Act 1982.
  • "Distinct from other Aboriginal peoples" means distinct for cultural and nationhood purposes.