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The topic of Status was a much easier discussion, because I avoided delving into identity issues in order to give you the bare bones legislative context.Trust me, there are much larger identity discussions yet to be had on ‘who is an Indian’. This is probably going to leave you with more questions than answers, but I do hope that your perception of the question itself will have shifted.More important, I’d argue, than just knowing the state of the categories right now…but you have to start from somewhere! If I have any academic readers, I apologise in advance for bringing up debates or issues that some academics think are settled, or should be moved past.

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You, my egg-nog drinking friend who thinks it’s appropriate to quiz me on my ‘background’ are using the little ‘m’ definition. This is the category I’ve encountered most in Quebec.

As a racial category, one is little ‘m’ métis when they are not fully Indian or non-aboriginal. This is not the only term that was used, we were also called half-bloods, half-breeds, michif, bois brûlé, chicot, country-born, mixed bloods, and so on.

My blogger name reflects that history, as âpihtawikosisân literally means ‘half-son’ in Cree.

In a previous post, I described what it is like as an Alberta Métis to come to Quebec and realise that ‘Métis’ does not mean the same thing here.

I’m not a shut-in…I realised that there were different definitions out there, I simply hadn’t lived where I was by them before.

In another post, I talked about Pan-Indianism, and also Pan-Métisism.

What this post and those previous two have in common, is that they are about identity.

I want to go into the history of the Métis, and talk about and quote some John Ralston Saul (okay I actually have no desire to do that last thing) but this person just asked me a question at a party and his eyes are already drifting over the lithe form of a single neighbour. ” I am impressed with your mathematical skills, imaginary pastiche of all the people who have asked me this question since I moved to Quebec, but no.

I have a hard time not addressing this question so sometimes we don’t to be linear. And here I have run up against the little ‘m’ versus big ‘M’ identity argument.

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