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  • Who We Are
    and Michigan These are our lands They are Métis lands of our past which nurture us today and which we value as the precious foundation of our future As Métis who live in the Homelands we hold it to be a fundamental truth that we are one of the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas As Métis people we joined together long ago to form a new nation a distinct nation

    Original URL path: http://mcsbc.org/main/page_who_we_are.html (2016-02-10)
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  • How We Got Our Name
    might have been for the first generation of the mixture of blood now that European blood and Indian blood are mixed in every degree it is no longer general enough The French word Met expresses the idea of this mixture in the most satisfactory manner possible and thus becomes a proper race name Why should we care to what degree exactly of mixture we possess European blood and Indian blood

    Original URL path: http://mcsbc.org/main/page_how_we_got_our_name.html (2016-02-10)
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  • The Fur Trade
    s Bay where they traded with the Indian people In doing so the Company guaranteed that trade goods would always be available to the Indian people in exchange for furs France because of commitments elsewhere on the globe lacked both the human and financial resources to establish forts Their immediate solution to the problem was to dispatch traders westward to trade with the Indian people The French encouraged their traders to marry Indian women thereby establishing good trade connections and gaining allies against the Hudson s Bay Company Indian leaders supported these marriages as they the Indians were then guaranteed both a market for their furs and secure access to trade goods At the North West Company and Hudson s Bay Company posts Aboriginal women came to be relied upon as an integral part of the labour force Their economic assistance was a powerful incentive for the traders to take Indian wives Even within their own tribes the women exercised a role in the functioning of the fur trade that has been little appreciated by historians of this period The Nor Westerns had first hand knowledge of the usefulness of Indian wives that they gained from the French and this was an important reason for the Company to allow its men to intermarry with Indian women Besides familiarizing the Frenchman with the customs and language of her tribe the Indian woman performed a wide range of domestic tasks Given that the Nor Westerns with their large force of skilled engages still relied on the services of Indian women it can be appreciated that Hudson s Bay Company with its limited and inexperienced personnel had an even greater need for this assistance Throughout the 18th century officers of the Bay argued with the London Committee that it was essential to keep

    Original URL path: http://mcsbc.org/main/page_the_fur_trade.html (2016-02-10)
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  • The Métis Sash
    used to identify ownership of killed buffalo during the hunt the owner s sash colors and pattern specific to a family was draped across the carcass Sashes are worn by men belted around the waits by women diagonally across the shoulder Smaller sashes can be worn as hand or head bands Métis sashes are today worn with pride at social gatherings celebrations formal events and any other time a Métis

    Original URL path: http://mcsbc.org/main/page_the_mtis_sash.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Forms of Transportation
    ribbons or wool woven into a braid When the seat had been fitted in fur robes were laid over it With the horse s harness polished and decorated with bells and ribbons it made a very handsome rig The Métis made snowshoes from young peeled saplings that were boiled to make them pliable for shaping Once shaped the wood was notched and tied with rawhide thongs The inside of the frame was made by the women with wet rawhide which became taut when dry The snowshoes were secured to the feet with rawhide thongs Métis also explored Canada s waterways through the use of the York boat Red River Cart The most famous of Métis vehicles was the Red River Cart It was made entirely of wood and its various parts were bound together with wet rawhide which became as hard as iron when it dried The wheels were dish shaped so that their broad rims did not cut deeply into the soil Resting on the axle was a box on which the goods to be transported were carried The cart would be used as a barge when rivers had to be crossed simply by removing the wheels attaching them

    Original URL path: http://mcsbc.org/main/page_forms_of_transportation.html (2016-02-10)
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  • The Buffalo Hunt
    hundreds of miles At the time there was no commercial or military activity that rivalled the magnitude of the buffalo hunt After days of travel camp was made and the first organizational meeting for the hunt was held Leaders were elected to lay out procedures of the hunt and every detail was thoroughly planned to carry the hunt to its fullest potential Rules were drafted some of which dealt with religious duties and others to prevent any foul ups during the course of the hunt The buffalo hunt is an excellent example of the Métis community s traditional commitment to caring for its weaker members planned into the hunt was the number of buffalo necessary to provide for those who were elderly infirm or without a hunter in the family Those people were cared for during the planning process of the hunt As well the buffalo hunt was an important element in shaping the Métis into a cohesive political and military unit Each hunt had ten captains Each captain had his soldiers who shared the scouting duties This group of elected leaders presided over the hunting expedition They established rules and laws and ensured they were obeyed These rules were

    Original URL path: http://mcsbc.org/main/page_the_buffalo_hunt.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Laws of the Prairies
    stretched dried and then softened until it was in the form of a strong heavy material similar to leather Once prepared the hides were used for clothing moccasins tents and bags used for storage etc The meat was cut up for easy transport Most of the buffalo meat was made into pemmican and dry meat Young Métis women learned at a very early age how to clean and tan hides

    Original URL path: http://mcsbc.org/main/page_laws_of_the_prairies.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Extended Family
    all have their vital role to play shaping the future of our Nation This philosophy bred into the bone over centuries is often difficult for non Métis to understand in a time when families are fragmented and one neighbour seldom knows another it is not easy to envision a community where people know each other and are ready and willing to give aid when necessary and further usually know well when such aid is needed most Yet such is the way of the Métis community Family life in Métis society therefore means much more than the late twentieth century neo European vision of Father Mother and 2 5 children Rather Métis families and Métis communities are interdependent identities nurturing and supporting one another In fact the Métis community as is true with many Aboriginal communities is supportive of differing family models that too often suffer the reprobation of non Métis society seldom is a second thought given to the inter faith or inter racial relationships that add their diversity to an already diverse tapestry Gay individuals were honoured in the past and known as berdache They were acknowledged as creative artisans and craftsperson and were and remain very much an

    Original URL path: http://mcsbc.org/main/page_extended_family.html (2016-02-10)
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