Michel Bouchard (Univeristy of Northern British Columbia)
Published in 1901, A.C. Osborne’s account describes the movement of “voyageursof half-breeds” from the American territory of the Great Lakes to Drummond Island and then Penetanguishene following the War of 1812. This account includes not only a list of these voyageurs and “half-breeds” but the narratives of a number of individuals presented as their account of their lives. This account will be supplemented with accounts by Jesuit missionaries, government officials and other primary sources to dress a description and analysis of Penetanguishene as a historical Métis community. This account will highlight the existence of a diversity of Métis communities which are nonetheless intertwined and connected by kinship and social ties. The War of 1812 will be presented as a crucible in the emergence of a common identity, a shared destiny whereby families are relocated and form a new Métis community in Ontario.