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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.I have a hard time not addressing this question so sometimes we don’t to be linear. And here I have run up against the little ‘m’ versus big ‘M’ identity argument.On the other extreme, one can be métis with only a minimal amount of First Nations blood.You can just imagine the range of arguments involved in deciding where along the spectrum of ‘blood quantum’ is supposedly legitimate.My understanding of my Métis identity has shifted considerably over the years.
However, the cultural connection referred to is generally First Nations culture, not a distinct métis culture. There is less focus on “race”, although kinship ties are very much present.
(I warned some of you I’d be rehashing supposedly ‘old’ territory!
) If you were to boil down common approaches to Métis identity, you generally end up with two categories, sometimes overlapping, sometimes entirely separate, sometimes with all sorts of anomalies left over and scattered about.
I am going to ‘get personal’ so that people cannot effectively twist my words later and use them to deny others who feel that they too are Métis.
I am going to speak for myself, not for all Métis peoples.
Following this through, you could imagine emerging Métis communities, not just historical ones.