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Who Are The Métis?
 
The Métis evolved in the historic 18th and 19th centuries. They were born of a mixture of French and Scottish fur traders with Cree, Ojibwa, Saulteaux and Assiniboine women.
 
The Métis developed as people distinct from either Indian or European. They developed a distinct language, a unique economy, a different lifestyle, and enduring philosophies.
 


Métis FamilyIn 1869 the political economy of the Métis was destroyed. The Manitoba Act (1870) and the Dominion Lands Act (1879), recognized Métis claims to Aboriginal title, but the federal government moved to unilaterally extinguish these claims through individual land and grants scrip. The Métis became Canada's "forgotten people" because they were denied the recognition of their collective rights..
 
The estimated number of Métis in Canada varies widely, from 300,000 to 800,000. Métis account for more than 20% of the Aboriginal population.
 
The Métis have never received the benefits governments grant to Status Indians and Inuit. In its final report the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples stated "it is unjust and unreasonable to withhold from Métis people the services and opportunities available to other Aboriginal peoples".
 
The Métis were finally recognized as one of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples in the Canadian Constitution of 1982.
 
Article 10 of the Métis Nation - Saskatchewan Constitution defines "Métis" as:
 
'Métis' means an Aboriginal person who self-identifies as Métis, who is distinct from Indian and Inuit, and is a descendant of those Métis who received or were entitled to receive land grants and/or Scrip under the provision of the Manitoba Act, 1870 or the Dominion Lands Act, as enacted from time to time; or a person of Aboriginal descent who is accepted by the Métis Nation and/or Métis Community.
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