I am on twitter a lot addressing the very media storm that has come about by discoveries of bodies of children on residential school land. The amount of bodies cannot be excused away. This was genocide. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada collected stories that were unbelievable until now. Children were murdered in horrific ways. Many Métis children were lost. Some first nations people believe this tragedy was exclusive to first nations and that Métis are white and treated different. This is far from the truth. When Métis are children we are indistinguishable from first nations children. Also we are often only one or two generations removed from our tradition family line. In residential schools Métis were treated like every other Indian child. I personally did not experience the residential school system but i did experience discrimination in the normal public school system. Us Indian kids were not welcome and I had to fight a lot and only the Indian children were punished for fighting. They had a strap and that only was used on dark hands.
I have been told by first nations, and those feeds can be seen on twitter, that Métis culture is purely European,
and our people are a product of rape.
I had to show proof that ancestors had lawful consensual marriages.
I am concerned that this narrative continues to be perpetuated through pure ignorance of the culture. Many Métis can trace their origins to the Ojibwa or the Cree. The Métis language of Michif is primarily Cree with some french words as well. We could also have rights with those people as well but that does not make us any less Métis.
Métis are the tip of the sword for indigenous rights in Canada. When they want to come for our rights they will start with the Métis. I want to focus this article though, on dispelling myths about the Métis people first before we discuss the threats to self government which i will discuss in other articles. It is clear though that the government of Canada is doing nothing to dispel discrimination between first nations and Métis. Tommy Douglas for instance, tried very hard to make sure the Métis and the First Nations of Saskatchewan would not join forces. Here is a must read book that explains how that all went down. If you are First Nations please learn and read, we are your kin.