Contours of a People: Metis Family, Mobility, and History


Contours of a People: Metis Family, Mobility, and History is a collection of 14 essays. 

Excerpt from Author's Introduction, Page 18:

"Movement, geographic expanse, and family defined the elements and contours of Metis culture, community, and, eventually, nationhood. They became who they are—a people called Metis—not in spite of their mobility but because of it. Mobility allowed them to exploit a wide variety of economic and geographic niches in varied geographical regions along the sinews of the fur trade while permitting the maintenance and reproduction of far-flung ties of kinship. The Metis became a collectivity because they knew who they were and outsiders recognized them as such. Their mobility and spatial confidence allowed them to survive physically, spiritually, and intellectually. The chapters in this collection span a wide geographic area in northwestern North America, from Montana to Alaska, from British Columbia to the Great Lakes, and consider questions from the beginnings of the Metis in the Great Lakes region in the late seventeenth century to contemporary issues about defining Metis people and rights in Canadian law. They deal with questions as diverse as how the U.S. Library of Congress categorizes Metis scholarship, the nuances in Michif verbs, and the role of women in maintaining economic and social networks. The thread that holds all these chapters together is their focus on land, family, and mobility; this focus provides a way to better understand who the Metis were, who they became, and who they are today." (18).

An online edition of Contours of a People is available through Open Library

Publication Information

St. Onge, Nicole, Macdougall, Brenda, and Podruchny, Carolyn. Contours of a People: Metis Family, Mobility, and History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012.

St. Onge, Nicole, Carolyn Podruchny and Brenda Macdougall, Eds.
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