Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
As a strategic location Mattawa, Ontario, Canada, was an important transportation corridor and hub, which operated to support the logistical operation of the Canadian fur trade throughout the period of 1615 and 1850. This paper explores how the establishment and maintenance of fur trade posts along this transportation corridor and the establishment of a booming timber trade, including the cutting and transportation of timbers and a micro-farming economy within the region contributed to the ethnogenesis of a local population of Métis in the Mattawa region, and the establishment of a unique, historic Métis community in the area. It also suggests that, contrary to the current colonial governmentality, this community was not static within the current provincial boundaries of Ontario and the village of Mattawa, but included a presence in a larger regional area that encompassed the present day province of Quebec and the communities of Temiskaming to the north and Fort Coulonge to the east, as well the Nipissing district in Ontario to the west. Participation in the transitional mixed economy of the region required the Métis of Mattawa to be mobile and travel significant distances between various economic nodes within the region. As a result of this regional mobility, these Métis lived a common way of life, developed close familial relationships, and freely participated in economic activities throughout the region prior to the establishment and enforcement of effective control in 1886, when the provinces of Ontario and Quebec gained the jurisdiction or capacity to enforce game regulations.