On August 19, 2017, at the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) 24th Annual General Assembly in Kenora, the results of the MNO’s Ontario Métis Root Ancestors Project (the “Project”) were publicly released. Click here to view the results from the Project on the MNO’s website.

The Project—which included the review and compilation of well over 100,000 historical records—identifies hundreds of Métis Root Ancestors from well-recognized historic Métis communities within Ontario. The Project took over five years to complete and now represents the largest collection of publicly available genealogical information on Ontario Métis.

The Project flows from the direction the MNO received from its citizens and communities in province-wide consultations held in 2010/11 and subsequent direction from the 2011 MNO Annual General Assembly to create “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.

This direction was provided to the MNO because, unlike in western Canada, Métis land and money scrip was, for the most part, not issued in Ontario. As such, the extensive Métis scrip records available to the Métis in the Prairies in completing their genealogies do not assist the descendants of many historic Métis communities in Ontario in completing their genealogies in order to obtain citizenship within the MNO. Instead, Ontario Métis rely on different documents that identify Métis families in the historic record. The release of today’s Métis Root Ancestor materials online will assist Ontario Métis in completing their genealogies showing they are ancestral connected to a historic Métis ancestor as required by the MNO Registry Policy, which underlies the credibility of the MNO Registry.

More specifically, the Project identifies hundreds of historic Métis Root Ancestors and over five thousand descendants of these families from seven well-recognized historic Métis communities within Ontario that include:

  • The Rainy River/Lake of the Woods/Treaty 3 Historic Métis Community
  • The Northern Lake Superior Historic Métis Community
  • The Abitibi Inland Historic Métis Community
  • Sault Ste. Marie and Environs Historic Métis Community
  • The Mattawa/Ottawa River and Environs Historic Métis Community
  • The Killarney and Environs Historic Métis Community
  • The Georgian Bay and Environs Historic Métis Community

While these seven historic Métis communities have presently been identified, the MNO continues to undertake additional historic research for the potential identification of other historic Métis communities in Ontario as well as for new information that may change or expand these existing communities.

MNO Acting President France Picotte said, “We are extremely proud to be able to launch this Project at this year’s Assembly. We believe this Project will many in applying for citizenship within the MNO as well as assist our existing MNO citizens in applying for MNO Harvesting Cards.

“Moreover, we believe these materials will be helpful educational resources and tools in creating greater awareness about Ontario Métis history generally and the rights-bearing Métis communities that the MNO represents today throughout the province,” added Picotte.

Posted: August 19, 2017