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(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.
My blogger name reflects that history, as âpihtawikosisân literally means ‘half-son’ in Cree.
On one extreme of little ‘m’ métis identity, one must actually be half First Nations and half not.
There are also discussion about connection to culture as a métis, so it is not always focused on blood. Big ‘M’ Métis tends to be an socio-political definition, referring to the blend of First Nations and European cultures resulting in the genesis of a new identity.
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 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.
Others consider any community to be Métis where it was founded by métis who developed their own culture and shared a history.
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.
My understanding of my Métis identity has shifted considerably over the years.
You see, I was only about 5 years old when the term Métis was recognised officially in section 35(2) of the Constitution Act of 1982.