In 1992, October was designated by the Government of Canada as Women’s History Month in recognition of all the women who have made contributions within our society. We will explore the journey to this month of recognition and the important historical milestones that led toward women accessing equity as persons under the eyes of the law.
As Métis, a people who walk between worlds, we acknowledge the contributions of First Nations women whose skills and knowledge of the land and trade routes were necessary in building the strong foundations and alliances across Turtle Island that supported the Métis Nation to flourish. First Nations women had a great deal of agency in these relationships and served as invaluable contributors to the success of the fur trade. We honour First Nations women’s contribution to the ethnogenesis of Métis people-the birth of a new cultural identity- through sharing their cultural knowledge and practices, their quillwork, and through their contributions to the rise of Michif as a distinct Indigenous language.
MNBC’s Ministry of Women and Gender Equity recognizes and elevates the historical Métis women who provided food and supplies to fur traders, by trapping, hunting birds and small animals, processing the meat and furs, by harvesting food and medicines, and clothing their families. We also celebrate those who were way-makers, like Sophie Morigeau and Isabella Ross, who challenged the gender roles of their day and set precedence for the generations to follow. More importantly we want to acknowledge all Métis women and their sisters across Turtle Island, who like each individual bead in a piece of floral beadwork, contribute to the beautiful and intricate Métis existence.
To our Métis women:
We honour you as you connect more deeply within your own being and within your ancestral roots. We honour you as you move more boldly into the places where you have been cast out and rise with you as you reclaim your place and visibility within our culture and the greater world.
“It brings me joy to bear witness to the lives and contributions of historical and modern Métis women,” says Minister Elliot, “Throughout time we have shown the importance of our strength, resilience, and tenderness in the building of our Nation.”
For inquiries, contact Ministry of Women and Gender Equity firstname.lastname@example.org