‘Alternative’ Metis Nation Alert; Frauds exposed from the west to the east

Updated October 26, 2018:  News reports on fraudulent ‘status’ cards and police investigations, and APTN interview with professor researching the ‘eastern Metis’ groups.

This is not new news, it has been reported in previous years, but it doesn’t seem to quell the ongoing efforts of those who would take advantage of a history not well known nor those who would reward them in the name of ‘reconciliation’ or any other feel-good motivation.

Although I’m aware of several well-known & award winning Canadians who have been exposed as having usurped Indigenous identity on which to build a career, i.e. Joseph Boyden, I’ve just learned of another, the Order of Canada and several other prestigious awards recipient, David Bouchard.

Bouchard, who claims Metis ancestry, was exposed for using the officially recognized Metis (Michif) Nation for his own background and gain, after it was discovered he didn’t meet the required ancestral lineage. He responded by creating ‘alternative metis’ groups, which appear to be based in some idea of a pan-Indigenous society. Let’s make it clear, Indigenous nations are nations as much as any other in the world.

Bouchard originally participated in the 2002 creation of the official BC Metis Nation arm of the recognized Metis Nation, but his application and involvement was rescinded when he failed the organization’s own requirement of meeting a current line of five direct generations to the prairie Michif people, history, culture, etc.

His ancestry was related to one Algonquin woman ancestor born in 1621. In 2008, he added to his lineage, a Chippewa grandfather and a grandmother from the middle-U.S. nation, the Osage,  circa 1800s. The details to these were provided in 2013 by a U.S. genealogist who declared Bouchard a Metis. Unfortunately that’s not how citizenship inclusion works. The research declared Bouchard as having mixed ancestry, but that research must then be taken to the Canadian situated and recognized Metis Nation for verification and then it is they who grant inclusion into the nation. It is understood that an updated application was not submitted to the Metis Nation.

Although Bouchard’s level of involvement in the 2011 creation of the alternative group, the “BC Metis Federation” is unclear, he went on to create his own alternative national group, the Metis Federation of Canada in 2013, with Karole Dumont as first registrar and Sebastien Malette as “legal advisor”.  Neither of these groups require lineage linked to the Michif history.

One does not simply proclaim oneself to be Metis any more than one may proclaim to be Scottish or a Canadian. There are parameters to be met and a connection to any long-lost or Indigenous ancestor is not one of them. Nor does claiming ancestors prior to the ethnogenesis of the Metis Nation make anyone Metis. How is it people don’t recognize there were no Metis until then? They ignore the fact the Michif don’t call their own originating ancestors, Metis. They are recorded as they were, by their original nationhood.

The level to which these people have done damage to the reputation of the recognized Metis Nation and to the people who they sign onto their organizations with the same level of ancestral connections – which is to say non-existent to barely, has many in the Indigenous communities stating these kind of mis-representations could be considered  fraudulent.

They harm the recognized Indigenous peoples by mis-representing history, snatching opportunities in employment, awards, grants, scholarships and any other avenue meant to lend a hand up to the marginalized, and they mislead thousands of people into unwittingly believing they too belong to a community.

They go further though. They have members who seek out and harass anyone who speaks out about them by swarming on social media, contacting employers to claim all sort of reverse harassment, to threatening lawsuits.

The Metis Nation is an established nation with history of verifiable detail for centuries. For example, as a member of this nation, I could only state on my application my “Metis” – my Michif ancestry, not my Cree, Haudenosaunee, or any other Indigenous nation to which I’m related.

The details of these organizations are publicly available, as are the officially recognized Metis Nation on their own and the Government of Canada’s websites, yet award, grant or bursary organizations, employers, and especially the Canadian media have not thought to act on determining who is officially recognized, as they hand out opportunities meant for the Indigenous. The unfortunate result are long waiting lists for recognized nation members often held back for years, if not entirely rejected.

There is no pan-Indigenous society or ‘nation’ that one with any hint of Indigenous ancestry can run to for representation. Any who claim this are frauds. If one feels they belong to an Indigenous nation, then seek out the particular nation you believe you’re connected to.

For those who falsely claim Indigeneity, you are doing so at the cost of opportunity for my child, myself or  my relations, although I suspect you already know that. I can only say – shame on you. May you face the price for impinging on the last bastion of our sovereignty – our identity.

A visual on who may qualify as a Metis Nation citizen

BC Metis Nation order to rescind membership: David Bouchard MNBC membership application rescinded

November 2018 Metis National Council & Manitoba Metis Nation release statements in protection of Metis Nation sovereignty and definition.

What’s Under a Fight to Do Right?

Sometimes I’m asked why do I bother to work for Indigenous causes, or any cause really, when it seems the odds against achievement are so damned overwhelming or insurmountable? Someone asked, “Why are you bothering to waste precious time”? It’s a question I’m not sure I can fully answer because how do you describe a longing intensely emanating from your very core? How do you describe desire that overwhelms your own overawed senses and fatigue to work to make something right?

Why do we push on even when it feels like we’re only speaking into a complete void of apathy & disinterest or even in the face of real, ruthless retaliation? I suppose sometimes it does seem futile and somewhat Don Quixote-ish. I know it certainly feels like that from time to time. Maybe it’s more simple than we can know. In some way in our lives, something was triggered by an act of inequity, a brutality, and/or a fear.

I’m not sure when the force was set in me to eventually strive to become an agent for action. Maybe it took a culmination of events to instill a sense that attaining justice was about more than writing letters to the Editor. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s just that real change usually requires that step and a dozen more to make a dent in an issue.

What kind of events does it take to wake a burgeoning fire for equity? My experiences started early within family abuses based in the consequences of inter-generational traumas inflicted by colonialism. They were enforced in incidents like the group of men who – for a laugh – sicced a dog on 7 yr. old me to, “get that little redskin” and who enjoyed the moment their dog gripped onto my ankle; or the neighbor screaming, “get out of here, you dirty little Indian” as she chased me down the street when I was 10; or being cheated out of the fruits of my labor as an adult &/or having false accusations leveled at me.

I suffered through much of that pain on my own, until I could learn how and where to turn for help. I didn’t get help all the time, but when I did, it was searingly potent & it was that, I believe, that triggered the move from thinking I could be a difference to working on it.

How could I possibly stay silent in the face of inequities to which I can speak, when the people who I hold in the highest esteem today, are those who stood with me and for me, when I couldn’t? How could I possibly dishonor their teachings, their strengths of conviction, & their compassion? How could I possibly ignore the work they took on to show me how important it is to take a stand for what’s right, so I could stand for myself? How could I keep all that conviction I learned and earned for only myself?

These lessons didn’t come easily, there was a lot of hard work with many, many doubts, and certainly, I don’t win at everything. But my heroes showed me what strength of character is and in its most defining word, their power. They helped bring me to my own esteem and value. Although I’m not professionally trained in many aspects of what I do, my passion & willingness to learn is the biggest driver of change – for the good, preferably. So it is for all of us.

One of my efforts entails seeking real sovereign recognition and benefits for Indigenous communities. For that to happen, Canada has to step back and re-create its foundation in the honor it already earnestly claims. Technically, legally, there is no Canada without this relationship. The time is now for Canadians to put their money where their heart is and state with us, as the truest powers that be, that the partnership with Indigenous peoples precedes the enrichment of only some people and/or corporate interests. The inherent rights of the Indigenous greatly bolster the effort to serve the whole.

One crucial aspect my heroes provided was taking the mystery out of those intimidating forces called – “the Government”, or “the Principal”, or “corporate executives”. They’re no one other than our own neighbors who may have had a few more lucky breaks. Outside of those suffering from psycho/sociopathy, they have the same issues, fears, needs and flaws as the rest of us. And just like the rest of us, they sometimes need to be shown when their work could be better or is just plain destructive.

There’s only one group of people capable of that. That would be me – and you. Anything we can lend to this cause or any other to do life better is valuable, & I guarantee, so is everything we get back for that. It all begins and ends within ourselves; where there is decency, lies the fire.

RL

Indigenous Prayers – Poetic Haikus In Motion

Youth dancer – Jingle  Dress dancer, Nekwakwas,  Squamish Nation PowWow, July 2018

Softly she enters
The prayers of her music
Ancestral healing

RL

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Youth dancer – Fancy Dancer,  Skweltapis Megmagalus Ned      Squamish Nation PowWow, July 2018

A bold soul dances
Rejuvenating spirits
The grandfathers smile

RL

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Traditional Dancer, Denise Ann John, & fave Nova Scotia sis, August 2018

Ethereal calm
Calling to the grandmothers
Replenishing gifts

RL

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bert dancing 2

Traditional Dancer, Bert One-Breath Milberg, & fave big bro, Nova Scotia, August 2018

A Warrior’s heart
Gifted reverent power
A shelter of strengths

RL

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For non-Indigenous friends, a little info note about powwows…  A powwow is a social event where we sing and dance in honour of our ancestors; to pray to, for & with them and Creator, and to enjoy the good humour, kindnesses and company of our relations.  The day’s highlight are the competitive dances that enthrall with their colours, intricate detailed regalia, and the sheer physical power put into the dancing. Then there are various food vendors that’ll test your capacity to eat heartily.

All are invited to share in these events to not only enjoy the day’s events, but also to support Indigenous artisans and craft makers, who provide beautiful, genuine Indigenous work in all sort of art genres for sale.

You won’t have to wonder about the protocols, i.e. how one may participate in the dancing or when you may take photos, or when to stand for a prayer, etc. All powwows have an MC that announces or directs these points as they arise.  A quick tip: the standard invitation for anyone to join the dancing begins with the call: “Inter-tribal dance”.

Hiy hiy and congratulations to all for a really wonderful 2018 Powwow season.

RL

Headline to Headline; Let’s Play

Big day in Canadian news today and this makes it a good day to play, which headline is real?

“City of Victoria To Remove Statue of Depraved, Racist Drunk and Canada’s 1st Prime Minister”

or

“Sports Officials Unable to Find Non-Indigenous Team Names, Despite Entire Universe”

If you said neither, you’d be wrong. Well, almost wrong. Headline one is all truth, but only part of it was actually published. You can probably guess they didn’t print the “Racist” part or the “depraved” and “drunk” parts either. However, Victoria, BC did elect to take down the statue of John A. MacDonald, with the city’s Mayor explaining, ‘Indigenous people do not need to walk past this painful reminder of colonial violence each time they enter the doors of their municipal government.’  See the story details behind this move at “RECONCILIATION AND REMOVAL OF JOHN A. MACDONALD STATUE FROM STEPS OF CITY HALL“.

Of course, reaction to this event is fairly predictable. Outrage about ‘erasing history’ and insult to Canadian history, which might have deserved a hint of sympathy if actual history hadn’t of course, already been erased and ignored. Particularly the parts about the brutal terrorism and murder committed by MacDonald in the name of cleansing the “Indian problem” from the landscapes of their home in favour of European settlers looking to escape the tyranny of their own homeland.

The United Nations have a name for these acts that many Canadians are unable to accept for the black mark that it is, because it firmly rests upon their ancestors. It’s genocide, and just that one word alone is enough to cause shudders of distaste from the capital city that’s removing the statue, to the cliff edges of Newfoundland. If pushed, these people will make some allowance instead, for the term: Cultural Genocide.

In the end, as far as the descendants of ongoing traumas are concerned, the Indigenous Peoples, semantics do little for the scars of the policies then or the ones still being created in the name of “Reconciliation” today. That there are some Canadians who recognize their own real history and want to begin anew in how to present it and make amends, I raise my glass and hands to them.

No one, in the name of decency, wants to venerate genocidal sociopaths. The real history is that it took that kind of person to build Canada’s foundation. If Canada wants to change its historical record to the decency it claims world over, recognizing this is a start. Desires to instead teach Canada’s history from a realistic place in a real effort to uplift the marginalized and defeat repeating history, are the real heroics of this story.

The second headline is from one of my favorite Indigenous satire news magazines ever, Walking Eagle News!  Read Tim Fontaine’s take here, on our ongoing efforts to inform North America that it’s long past the due date to retire the remaining team names, logos, & mascots depicting caricatures and stereotypes of the Indigenous/Native Americans.

This work began in the 1950s, but it has only been since the advent of social media that we’ve been able to make a dent in the social consciences of both Canada and the U.S. I encourage you to read more in detail at the Change The Mascot organizationThe American Psychology Association has published several reports on how these images perpetuate harm to both Indigenous people and the communities that surround them.

To anyone who recognized both headlines are the truth, you win. Spread the word.

RL

 

Getting Arrested? Piece of Cake; The 2nd Dino Age Is Over – Part 2

In Part 1, I shared my unintended practise run in taking ‘bold action’, as it’s called when one is willing to step in and interfere with business as usual. I’m referring to the Kinder Morgan (KM) case to build a bitumen pipe through Burnaby Mountain.

The plethora of issues surrounding that are really only now becoming more widely-known. Some include highly unusual, if not illegal government proceedings; significant spill dangers for the inlets surrounding Vancouver; the lack of emergency plan and no way for an entire university, an elementary school, and several neighbourhoods on that mountain to escape in the event of a fire or explosive emergency.

These buildings and neighbourhoods are all situated within meters to blocks from the current 60 yr. old oil tanks and potentially new ones that would hold the highly toxic bitumen mixture. The economic story is yet another picture that’s been distorted in the name of “national interests”. As, Sue Andrews noted, “For the addition of 2,500 temp jobs mostly to foreign workers, 90 permanent jobs and $50M a year in taxes. Pathetic. One TV series brings in $60M a year”. Also for the record, Alberta made more money from liquor and gambling over the last 2 years than selling 3 million barrels of bitumen per day.

refinery fire wisconsin

April 27, 2018, Fire rages after explosion at Canadian-owned oil refinery in Wisconsin https://globalnews.ca/video/4171316/fire-rages-after-explosion-at-canadian-owned-oil-refinery-in-wisconsin

Next is the issue of getting arrested for protesting unjust decisions or actions. In protection of Kinder Morgan interests, politicians, some media (who have thrown-out all pretense of non-biased reporting) and employees of the Fraser Institute writing op-eds have been working overtime to inject the fear of action by inferring that exercising our right to protest is akin to terrorism.

They have loudly and widely reported that the process is now ‘criminal’ without explaining what civil and criminal disobedience means. They have resorted to referring to the: accountants, writers, grandmothers, high school cooks, students, truck drivers, fishermen/women, teachers, etc. as, ‘eco-terrorists’.

They choose these words purposefully, the smoke and mirrors of swaying public opinion. They trot out recent polls that say ‘most British Columbians support the pipeline’, while ignoring that their simplistic polls asking ‘for or against’ does not take into account that many of those who are for it initially, have a change of heart when they get more information.

Many are under the impression this pipeline is about getting gas for their own cars or fuel for their homes. When they realize that pipeline has nothing to do with that nor providing ‘huge economic opportunity’, plus our having to pay KM major subsidies, they change their vote. (See the recent poll on the 574,000 BC citizens willing to be arrested).

So, what does this process of action and arrest really look like? It’s all a fairly simple event, really. On this typical day, we began by meeting on the field where the base camp is situated. We received instructions on the rules & what the process looks like. The rules for engagement: say or do nothing to KM employees or the police, stay peaceful, be sober, discard anything that could be construed as a weapon, even a nail file.

We then walked a short distance to the KM gate where some of us chose to sit in front of it, knowing the KM employees would call the police. Arresting officers came out, read the injunction out loud, then warned us of imminent arrest if we didn’t leave. They gave us 10 minutes to think about it.

We used that 10 minutes to stand up and voice our thoughts to the supporters and media that surrounded us, then 2 of us chose to walk away and take our arresting action another day. The other 2 were escorted down a short trail to the side of the KM gate to a temporary outdoor office cordoned off by police tape. Their personal contact details were taken and they received a notice to appear in court on specified date. Then they re-joined us. That process took approximately 15 minutes.

From that point, you can expect to be supported in court by legal advisors to various groups involved in these actions and general supporters. It’s then you will learn if the outcome includes charges dropped or stayed, or a $500 fine and/or 25 hours of community service. Help is available for those unable to pay the potential fine.

Donations are welcomed at Terminal City Legal Collective  or the Raven Trust Fund.

We all need to be aware Canada is a corporation. We are its shareholders and we have a right to speak out when the executive screw up. I raise my hands to all who have warriored up on behalf of their family members now and those to come.

RL

 

The 2nd Dino Age Is Over – Part 1

I went to Burnaby Mountain on May 5th with the intention to support efforts and possibly even get arrested in protest of Kinder Morgan’s plan to build a new pipeline. However, by the end of this day, what I’d received instead was an unexpected teaching on respect and humility. This teaching centred on awareness that our actions are rarely about only ourselves.

The call to come out asked for us to take, or support those taking, ‘bold action’. Bold action is taking a spot in front of Kinder Morgan’s gates to halt movement in or out of their yard – a simple disruption of business. Kinder Morgan sought to halt these disruptions by requesting an injunction to keep all non-employees or contacts away from their gates and fences by 5 meters. If you disobey that injunction order you’ll be arrested for civil disobedience – recently revised to criminal disobedience. It’s not as ominous as that sounds.

The difference between civil & criminal disobedience is that civil means Kinder Morgan is essentially suing us for disobeying their injunction. It was a process too expensive for Kinder Morgan, so Canada acquiesced to pressure and moved it to ‘criminal disobedience’. This means the cases will be heard by the Crown as opposed to ‘Kinder Morgan’ in a civil case.

Don’t misunderstand, this is a serious step and there’s no guarantee how an eventual judge will deal with your case, but the fears of criminal record for life that will inhibit your ability to cross borders, volunteer, get a job, or a place to live is a very unlikely outcome. Several people told their stories of being arrested up to 10 times in various events and life carries on quite normally. Although we learned today, if you’re arrested 3 times in regards to this injunction, they’ll escalate your court date and you could even face jail time.

What you can expect as an arrested protector is a court appearance to plead guilty or not and make your statement about why you were on the protection lines.  The likely outcomes are at most, a $500 fine and/or 25 hours of community service. Support and help is available for those unable to pay the potential fine.

I know what my community envisions when an Indigenous person is arrested. They know it’s rarely the gentle handling we see other people get when they’re arrested. They know we are typically held longer and the appearance of lumps and bruising after being released is common. Despite this and after the education, I joined the willing to be arrested. I mentioned this to a friend sitting with me and his hesitant reaction surprised me. As he began to explain, my phone rang. It was my mother. She asked what I was up to; I told her where I was and that my arrest was imminent.

I’d thoughtlessly made my mother panic. I’d forgotten to let her know what I’d planned and learned about the process. I simply blurted out my intentions.  Her reply to me was simple. “Not today, Robyn. Today is not your day”.

I was taken aback at the finality in her tone, but I’d heard the fear under the certainty of her statement. I wasn’t in the place to take the time to explain and I knew then I had to do that for her and other family members in the right way, before I took that next step. I chose to step away, but not without affirming to all that I’d be back.

This isn’t about ruining lives, mine or anyone else’s. This isn’t about ruining oil industry livelihoods or their employee’s ability to feed families – stopping this extraneous pipeline is not going to stop the industry. We’re evolving. It’s just simply time to move onto avenues already available to take the place of oil and oil products. We need to remember industry has always been a process of evolving, especially when we learn a process is failing us.

We know enough now to do better. We can be just as, if not more, successful with those sustainable and healthier alternatives. We didn’t all switch from unleaded gasoline on a lark nor in a day.

The oil industry served us spectacularly, but we keep learning of its equally destructive powers and effects and they’ve been overlooked for too long. There’s no time left to ignore that. The damage to entire communities, to waterways, to land bases all over the planet must be seen for what it is.

I know what my great-grandfather meant for us all, when he signed treaty. I know it didn’t look like what Kinder Morgan is proposing, nor the “Eagle Spirit” pipeline, nor the Site C Dam. Our grandfathers stood up then for us and now, it’s our turn to do the same for their grandchildren. They meant for us all to live in success, but not at the cost of the very riches that provide that.

This isn’t an us or them scenario; we’re in this together whether we actively participate or not on any side. We will all succeed at maintaining our bounties or we all lose by ruining our own life-sustaining gifts. It’s really about the same lesson of respect I received; in the end, like our grandfathers on all sides then, our actions and intentions will affect all. It is our choice however, in what we choose to serve now.

RL

Part Two:  Getting Arrested? Piece of Cake; The 2nd Dino Age Is Over

If you want to support those taking bold action, please donate to:  Terminal City Legal Collective  or the Raven Trust Fund

What is Metis Again?

Updated September 22, 2018

There’s unfortunate long-held misunderstanding of what being “Metis” means. That confusion has only grown messier in the last few years by increased numbers of various groups looking for recognized Metis identity, if not as entirely new nations altogether.

The misperceptions have lead to outright strife throughout communities, acted out in mild contentious chats to vicious trolling attacks on social media to threatening job losses and lawsuits.

Canada didn’t help this confusion when it formally recognized the western Metis Nation without clearly spelling out that following the steps to ‘self-identification as Metis’ also requires proving that you’re related to this nation. In other words, your relations must be of the known Metis ancestral names on record, language, history & culture from within this western Indigenous community. Thus, I could not put my Cree or other relations on my Metis application.

Canada’s not clearly stating that serves to inspire some to claim their Indigeneity by choosing to be Metis, a very mistaken concept. It is the Metis Nation itself that chooses who to accept in their nation – as does every other nation in the world.

People of no Indigenous ancestry have also been re-inventing their heritage in order to apply themselves, unchecked & un-vetted, to positions meant for the Indigenous in work & arts opportunities, education grants, and governance. Several of these interlopers have been uncovered within the last decade.

From there, groups work by literally re-writing history to usurp harvesting rights from First Nations and to demand retailers provide them rights that even the recognized Metis Nation don’t have – tax free gas & merchandise. Copies of meeting minutes from the “Eastern Metis”, detailed concern mainly for those ‘goodies’ and did not address a single issue plaguing the Indigenous in Canada today.

These groups are prolific, overwhelmingly white, many racist-based including three that merged and changed their name from the “Association for White Rights” to the “Eastern Metis”. They claim well over 20,000 members in Quebec & contest Innu land claims.  In Nova Scotia the self-identified Metis are fighting to claim the harvesting rights of the Mi’kmaq. The Mi’kmaq vehemently oppose those claims because they state, as does the Metis Nation, that there never were historical Metis settlements in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick.

Currently most people, even some indigenous people, believe ‘Metis” simply means a mix of any Indigenous with non-Indigenous ancestry – generally something European.  While the Metis Nation is comprised of some French & British men and the word ‘metis’ is French for mixed, this is not what is meant when it comes to defining the formally recognized Metis Nation.

This nation began forming in the 1600/1700s, solidifying in the early 1800s between a relatively small group of specific and well-documented Indigenous women, generally from the Plains Cree, Saulteaux, Assiniboine, and Dene nations and their French, British/Scot men. Their following generations went onto marry other members of this Metis grouping or their original First Nation tribes. The recognized Metis Nation’s battles alongside their ancestral nations for Indigenous rights, and having been persecuted and killed for doing so, is a well-established record.

The idea that being Metis is the simple work of dividing each generation by another half with white people is incorrect. That ancestry is currently known as mixed or “non-status First Nations” people, known as part whichever original nation(s). It is not, at all, the romanticized idea that the Metis lived one foot in the ‘white world’ and one in the ‘Native world’. The Metis were and are Indigenous.

Just to clarify further, there are also mixed ‘Status” First Nations people. Many of these cases are from families where a First Nations man married a white woman and full status was granted to she and their children. Not so for Indigenous women, who lost all status for herself and her children if she had children with a white man – the original non-status First Nations.

I understand why many want to identify as Metis because of the western Metis Nation federal recognition as ‘Indians’, but wanting it and being it is not the same thing. I do however, strongly believe verifiable non-status First Nations fully deserve the sorely lacking recognition and representation. This is in contrast to growing groups who feel it’s their right to claim Indigeneity on face-value, claiming persecution when asked for bona-fides. They seem to feel they’re above the routine requirement of all Indigenous to provide records of proof to claim status or membership into nation. No nation is obligated to accept anyone.

I’m not entering into the role of declaring who is or isn’t Indigenous. That’s not my fight. My personal expectation is that any individual or group looking for formal Indigenous  recognition have to meet the standards of nationhood that the western Metis Nation did: a distinct language, unique & established customs and traditions and a documented current line to historic Metis communities. If there are other mixed ancestral groups meeting these standards, by all means pursue it, but without denigrating the western Metis Nation for having achieved it. Your fight is with Canada.

Many groups asserting they’re Metis, regardless of the known parameters explain their line to the Metis is based in the claim they were ‘especially’ discriminated against, and so ‘hid out in plain sight’ all this time as a life-saving measure. How do they then square this with their claims of holding ‘known historical land bases’ that tie to them even today?

How does one publicly renounce their heritage for several generations by hiding out and living as and in non-Indigenous communities then come back now to claim their presence in those communities constitutes making those communities now Indigenous?  Qualified historians cannot establish these claims.

I’m very aware of the difficulties some of us have in finding our roots, however most indigenous families were well-documented by Canada for its own nefarious purposes. It’s not as easy to ‘cheat’ one’s way through Indigenous ancestry as one might think. To those who try, I can only say – shame. Shame on you for stealing the only thing any one person undeniably has a right to – their inherent identity.

If one is only seeking status in the hopes of attaining the mythical understandings of Indigenous rights, I’ve little sympathy for that. If you haven’t lived a day as an average Indigenous person in Canada, you are far removed from rights still being ferociously fought for, even as they are actively being reduced in Canada.

For those genuinely feeling the call of their Indigenous grandmothers in their hearts, do seek the home fires of your true nations. Honest peace and celebration is found within the real teachings of our culture(s). Programs dedicated to these efforts prove that.

We would all like easy resolution to our issues, but despite how some want to define Metis, there is more to it than simply throwing any and every nation into the mix.

RL

August 1, 2019: A guide to eastern organizations claiming to be Metis and their histories.

November 1, 2018Self-made métis, by Dr. Darryl Leroux.

Tens of thousands of Canadians have begun calling themselves Métis, Darryl Leroux finds, and now they’re trying to get the courts to agree.

Oct 24, 2018:  ‘Alternative’ Metis Nation Alert; Frauds exposed from the west to the east

Oct 3, 2018: Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and Métis sign historic Memorandum of Understanding affirming both Mi’kmaw and Métis nationhood in the face of proliferation of “Acadian-métis” claims. Commit to support each other’s sovereignty into the future.

Oct 1, 2018: A 2007 list of known organizations usurping the rights the Indigenous across Canada.