Who are the Métis?
The Métis are a distinct Indigenous people with a unique history, culture, language, and way of life. The Métis Nation is comprised of descendants of people born of relations between First Nations women and European men. The offspring of these unions were of mixed ancestry. Over time a new Indigenous people called the Métis resulted from the subsequent intermarriage of these individuals. This “ethnogenesis” of distinct Métis communities along the waterways and around the Great Lakes region of present day Ontario occurred as these new people were no longer seen as extensions of their maternal (First Nations) or paternal (European) relations, and began to identify as a separate group. Distinct Métis settlements emerged as an outgrowth of the fur trade, along freighting waterways and watersheds. In Ontario, these settlements were part of larger regional communities, interconnected by the highly mobile lifestyle of the Métis, the fur trade network, seasonal rounds, extensive kinship connections and a shared collective history and identity.
Learn more about Louis Riel Day, the meaning behind it, and the day's importance to Métis people.
Learn more about the symbols and traditions that are an important part of Métis culture.
Historical information about the contributions Métis people made in the War of 1812