Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
It is in latter decades of the 20th century that a political narrative emerged defining Métis as solely a prairie phenomenon. The true Métis would be the descendants of bison hunters who rose up against the expanding colonial state of Canada and would have proudly adopted flag and anthem to define themselves as a New Nation centered in the Red River Valley of what is now Manitoba. This nation would thus have a clearly delineated territory, a language shared by all, a flag as well as collective consciousness forged in resistance. This Métis Nation would thus be “truly” indigenous, whereas all others would be mixed, not Métis, at best non-status Indians, at worst “race-shifters” appropriating a Métis identity. This narrative will be dissected to challenge its ontological and ideological assumptions, while proposing a theoretical framework inviting Métis cultural diversity and the multiple expressions of its resurgence across Canada and the United States.