Ontario Métis Root Ancestors

One of the challenges Ontario Métis face is that not enough research has been conducted and published about the unique history and development of Métis communities in Ontario. This lack of research often frustrates individuals as they attempt to apply for citizenship within the MNO or as existing MNO citizens complete their application for Harvester Cards.

In addition, because, with the exception of some parts of Northwestern Ontario, Métis scrip was not issued in Ontario, the same historic records that document Métis individuals and families in western Canada were not generated in Ontario. Often, the fact that this extensive Métis scrip documentary record does not exist in Ontario leads many to assume that there were not Métis in Ontario, or that our communities were somehow less established, worthy of recognition or significant. Nothing could be further from the truth. This reality simply means that most Ontario Métis need to rely on different historic records to establish connections to historic Métis communities in this province. With that said, finding and understanding these unique Ontario records has been and remains a significant challenge for individuals preparing their applications to the MNO Registry.

In 2010/11, based on direction from the MNO AGA, the MNO’s leadership undertook province-wide consultations on the MNO Registry. Based on these consultations, a ‘What We Heard’ report was prepared and accepted by the MNO AGA, which included a series of suggestions in relation to Ontario Métis identification and registration. In particular, MNO citizens suggested creating “a list of ‘root’ Ontario Métis families that people could simply trace to” and “a compilation of easily accessible source materials relevant to genealogical research” to assist individuals applying for MNO citizenship or Harvester Cards.

In recent years, the MNO has been able to secure dedicated funding to undertake work on these suggestions. The packages available for download below were developed as a part of the MNO’s Métis Root Ancestors Project (Phase 1). These packages include information on some Métis Root Ancestors in Ontario, along with their Descendants, that the MNO Registry uses to verify that a citizenship applicant ancestrally connects to a historic Métis ancestor for the purposes of the MNO Registry Policy or that an existing MNO citizen ancestrally connects to a verified Métis Root Ancestor for the purposes of being issued a MNO Harvesters Card pursuant to the MNO Harvesting Policy. In order to better understand how these packages are created please review the MNO Registry Policy for Identifying and Documenting Verified Métis Family Lines.

The MNO emphasizes that the packages below do not include all of the Métis Root Ancestors who made up various historic Métis communities located throughout Ontario. A comprehensive listing and packages for all Métis Root Ancestors in Ontario will likely take many more years to complete. Rather than waiting for all Ontario Métis Root Ancestors to be researched and identified, the MNO wanted to provide these presently available resources immediately. Additional Ontario Métis Root Ancestor packages will be added as they are finalized. Please regularly check this webpage for updates.

The MNO also emphasizes that the mere identification of a mixed Aboriginal ancestry individual in the historic record does not make that individual a Métis Root Ancestor for the MNO’s purposes or establish an historic Métis community for the purposes of collectively-held rights. The MNO’s rights assertions and claims are based on its representation of Ontario Métis communities who developed their own customs, way of life, and recognizable group identity separate from First Nations and Europeans. Genealogies alone do not establish a Métis community. As such, these packages must be read in conjunction with historic research on Ontario Métis.

The Ontario Métis Root Ancestor packages below are the property of the MNO. Individuals and organizations are authorized to use them for the purpose of assisting applicants to apply for citizenship within the MNO, or for use by MNO citizens when applying for Harvester Cards. They cannot be used for any other purposes without the MNO’s written permission and authorization. If you are interested in using these packages for another purpose please email the MNO Registry at registry@metisnation.org.

Please note
Each of the Root Family documents is very large and that due to their size you may experience difficulties viewing and downloading the documents and in some circumstances you may not be able to view and download the documents.

  • When you open the link you may get a warning indicating that a preview cannot be generated. This only means that you can’t view the document on-line. In these cases, don’t be alarmed, you will just need to download the document to view it. A button indicating “download” will appear and you simply need to click on that button to download the document. Once downloaded to your computer you will be able to view the document.
  • Providing you have adequate space on your mobile device, these documents can be downloaded to a mobile device but it is recommended you do this while connected to Wi-Fi as downloading a document of this size will use a very significant part of most data plans.
  • Downloading one of these documents will require a very strong internet connection. If you are using a dial up connection or otherwise have a weak internet connection you may not be able to download these documents.

Rainy Lake/ Rainy River, Lake of the Woods/Lac Seul and Treaty 3 Halfbreed Adhesion Harvesting Areas (also collectively known as Northwestern Ontario/Treaty 3 Métis Community)

Lakehead, Nipigon, Michipicoten Harvesting Areas (also collectively known as Northern Lake Superior Métis Community)

James Bay and Abitibi/Temiscamingue Harvesting Areas(also known as the Abitibi Inland Métis Community)

Sault Ste Marie and Michipictoen Harvesting Areas(also collectively known as Sault Ste. Marie and Environs Métis Community)

Mattawa/Nipissing Harvesting Area (includes Killarney and Environs Métis Community as well as Mattawa/Ottawa River Métis Community)

Georgian Bay Harvesting Area(also collectively known as the Georgian Bay Métis Community)