Culture, Heritage & Language
National Definition of Métis
"Métis" means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of Historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.
"Historic Métis Nation" means the Aboriginal people then known as Métis or Half-breeds who resided in the Historic Métis Nation Homeland.
"Historic Métis Nation Homeland" means the area of land in west central North America used and occupied as the traditional territory of the Métis or Half-breeds as they were then known.
Métis Nation" means the Aboriginal people descended from the Historic Métis Nation which is now comprised of all Métis Nation citizens and is one of the "aboriginal peoples of Canada" within the meaning of s.35 of the Canadian Constitution;
"Distinct from other Aboriginal peoples" means distinct for cultural and nationhood purposes. Constitution Act 1982.
Louis Riel Day is perhaps one of the most significant days in our history as Métis people. This day is a day of celebration of who we are as a unique people, with our culture and traditions independent of other Aboriginal peoples. Louis Riel Day commemorates the anniversary of the execution of Riel on November 16, 1885 at Regina, Saskatchewan. Riel made the ultimate sacrifice for his people defending Métis Rights, and so on this day we honour and celebrate Louis Riel in recognition of our great Leader of the Métis Peoples, Father of Manitoba and Métis Hero.
Louis Riel Day is the day we proudly proclaim our Métis ancestry Kishchee tey mo’yawn aen li Michif wi’yawn: "We are Proud to be Métis".
President, Clara Morin Dal Col
In 1885 approximately 300 Métis men took up arms alongside Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont.
… and going down the coulee I saw Gabriel and he asked where the horses were .. It was the last time I saw Gabriel … Suddenly someone called out to me “ There they are, coming down the coulee with their cannon” I looked and saw them coming down and I shouted to the young men, ‘Take Courage, Take courage pray to God’
Report of Charles Trottier on the Battle of April 24, 1885.
Prayer of the Council 1885
Lord, Our God,
Thou art the Father of mercy and consolation;
We are several French Canadian Metis
Gathered together in Council,
Who put our confidence in Thee;
Grant that we may not be covered with confusion,
Ever defend us from this,
Enlighten us in our darkness of doubt,
Encourage us in our trials,
Strengthen us in our weakness and
Succour us in the time of pressing need
~ Louis Riel
- The Métis Nation is the second largest of the three main groups of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
- The Métis developed their own language of Michif. A unique mix of French and Plains Cree languages, it is still spoken by many Métis today.