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Voyageur Metis

application Cards Metis Card Aboriginal Status rights benefits organizations omfrc
"The Metis have as paternal ancestors, the former employees of the Hudson's Bay and Northwest Companies, and as maternal ancestors, Indian women belonging to various tribes. The French word Metis is derived from the Latin participle mixtus which means "mixed"; it expresses well the idea it represents." -- Louis Riel

                                    antique finger-woven metis sash from the fur trade


The court decision on the Daniels case did not state that Metis are Indians -- the ruling only means that the Federal government has a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate with Metis in the same way that they do with First Nations (Indians), but this does not mean we save on taxes.

Looking for information? - For evidence of our communities and Metis information in general,
or issues today concerning the definition of Metis, please
click here . For information on Myths about Native ancestry, please click here .

Looking to connect with the community?
To reach our festival administrators, please
click here .

Looking for programs or workshops in the area?
To reach our cultural liason, please
click here .

Getting your Metis card? - Many people end up calling us out of frustration, so we have put together a list of questions and answers that every person applying should know -
click here .

Need help finding your Native Ancestors? - It has come to our attention that several researchers or groups of researchers are claiming to do Metis genealogy but only send you a family tree, without all the supporting documents to prove your ancestry. Family trees are not proof of anything! Online family tree information is full of errors. You need copies of actual events that occurred (esp. marriage records) to prove the tree is valid. Any registry that accepts family trees without copies of the records to prove the Native line is probably NOT LEGIT!

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Questions to ASK THE RESEARCHER BEFORE you hire --

Will they provide copies of legal records (marriage, baptism, census) for every generation between you and your Native ancestor?

Are they affiliated with a particular organization?
Find this out then check out that org to see if they are legit using the questions in the section under this one.

Will you be able to use the documents they send to apply to another legit organization than the one they are affiliated with?
They should send you copies of actual records for each generation, to prove your ancestry is Native, that you can use at any org of your choice, not just their org.

We suggest you get them to answer the above questions via email, so that if you need to address their lack of results afterward, you can.

If your genealogy is not done properly, and you do not get records for each generation to prove they descend from the previous one, without gaps, you will not be able to register with a solid org.

If you got a Metis card but didn't send in all the information required, or you had another org get your information and you did not have a legal record (or more) for each generation to prove your line, then your card is not issued by a solid registry. There are orgs out there that are operating as "FOR PROFIT" and they will sell cards to anyone, without or without proper proof. Don't get duped. Find out if an org is an incorporated non-profit before giving them anything.

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To CHECK IF AN ORG IS LEGIT, ask them the following questions in writing --

1. Are they incorporated?
If they are, this means they have a board of directors to answer to. If they are not, they do not answer to anyone, and are probably NOT LEGIT.

2. Are they a registered NON PROFIT?
If they are, they do not make a living from their registry. If they are FOR profit, they are probably NOT LEGIT.

3. Do they hold community activities?
(Do they partake in health studies, educational seminars, exhibits, festivals, other community activities). If they do not offer this as part of their registry, they are probably NOT LEGIT.

4. Does their name contain the word "Tribe"?
Metis do not have tribes. If they are using this word to describe themselves, they do not know enough about Metis culture, and therefore are probably NOT LEGIT.

5. Do they accept family trees as proof, without copies of records for each generation?
If they accept trees, or tell you they will check their database and they send you a tree without copies of actual records for each generation, they are probably NOT LEGIT.

6. Do they claim they can't give you ancestral records because of privacy laws?
If they feed you this line (which is untrue), they are probably NOT LEGIT.

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Unscrupulous orgs that hand out cards to people who are not proven Metis hurts every real Metis, and hurts our communities.

Every time a Metis person gets duped by unscrupulous orgs or researchers by paying money but not getting results hurts all Metis, and hurts our community, and we take that very seriously.

OUR ORG is an incorporated, registered non-profit that uses funds from genealogy research to run the org. Most of the people we do research for do not become part of our registry, as they are not from our historical areas, but we still find documents for them.

For information on how we can help you find documents to prove your ancestry - please
click here .

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We are a registry of communities made up of descendants from the marriages or "unions" of French with Native American people that were part of the fur trade in what was at the time considered "The Northwest". It is well documented that the Metis Nation homeland includes much of what are now communities that originated as fur trade posts across the Great Lakes and its tributaries.

The First Metis collective resistance in Red River occurred as a result of a ban on trading pemmican by the Metis to the voyageurs outside of Selkirk Settlement. This led to the Pemmican Wars (1814-1816), a resistance to settlement and the food trade ban, led by the
first Great Metis leader, Cuthbert Grant Jr., who declared that the Metis had a collective identity, rights to Rupert's Land, rights to remain free-ranging, and rights to the food supply. The Pemmican Wars ended with the Battle at Seven Oaks, when troops who had captured the Metis fort were then forced to relinquish it back to Grant and the Metis.

It is also at this time that the First Metis Treaty Agreement was created (1815). You can view this document by
clicking here .

The Second Metis collective in Red River was the Northwest Resistance , led by the
2nd Great Metis leader, Louis Riel , in which he led a provisional government for the interest of the Metis, to preserve Metis land, resources, and way of life, a rebellion which ended at the Battle of Batoche (1885) , resulting in Louis Riel being unfairly hanged.

Our organization also recognizes the contributions of other Metis leaders, such as Gabriel Dumont and Charles Langlade , among others. We do not define ourselves solely on what happened at Batoche. It is well documented that the kinship of these leaders were often intermingled. What Louis Riel did for the Metis in the 1880s was a continuation of what his predecessor and extended kin Cuthbert Grant Jr. did in the 1810s.

There are many kinships between families who would now be considered fur trade "brass". Our organization does not forget our collective history with regard to these kinship ties. There is much proof that records in Ontario and Quebec do not reflect the reality of the 2/3 of Metis who left the west, yet belong to these families, including the families of Cuthbert Grant Jr and Louis Riel.

Furthermore, thousands of fur trade contracts for French Canadian men who wintered over or travelled extensively throughout the west, and left behind oral histories, other evidence or visibly Native descendants is part of our collective history. Thousands of families were part of the formation of Metis identity. One does not lose this culture simply by moving to another part of the waterway.

You can read more information about required documents and examples by clicking here .

The fur trade took place across a great part of Canada and the USA. Along the water routes arose communities of families whose history, traditions and cultural practices we share in common.

From Detroit to Sault Ste. Marie, Michilimackinac and further west, in the many small towns scattered across the largest freshwater routes in the world, the culture and traditions of our ancestors were passed down to us -- practices our ancestors were made to feel ashamed about that we choose to be proud to admit and preserve. No, we are not taking on an identity of our ancestors, we are finally admitting to something we have always culturally been. We are coming out of hiding -- an awakening that was predicted by Louis Riel when he wrote

"My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back."

Although we have chosen the name "Voyageur" from our fur-trading ancestors, we have been well documented and known as "Muskrats" because of our perpetual practice of trapping. Our members generally have the same culture -- in our dances, music, language, stories, cultural practices, knowledge and our unique food (which is not found anywhere else in the world).

Detroit Muskrats status card
(Excerpt from "They Live Near Detroit"
Dalles Weekly Chronicle
Jan 26, 1898

metis card

phone number and email address metis status status card aboriginal status indian card

The Canadian government has declared 2010-2020 to be the
"Decade of the Metis".
Now is the time to celebrate our culture and heritage!

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