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You, my egg-nog drinking friend who thinks it’s appropriate to quiz me on my ‘background’ are using the little ‘m’ definition. This is the category I’ve encountered most in Quebec.As a racial category, one is little ‘m’ métis when they are not fully Indian or non-aboriginal. This is not the only term that was used, we were also called half-bloods, half-breeds, michif, bois brûlé, chicot, country-born, mixed bloods, and so on.
On one extreme of little ‘m’ métis identity, one must actually be half First Nations and half not.I am going to ‘get personal’ so that people cannot effectively twist my words later and use them to deny others who feel that they too are Métis.I am going to speak for myself, not for all Métis peoples.There are also discussion about connection to culture as a métis, so it is not always focused on blood. Big ‘M’ Métis tends to be an socio-political definition, referring to the blend of First Nations and European cultures resulting in the genesis of a new identity.However, the cultural connection referred to is generally First Nations culture, not a distinct métis culture. There is less focus on “race”, although kinship ties are very much present.
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In a previous post, I described what it is like as an Alberta Métis to come to Quebec and realise that ‘Métis’ does not mean the same thing here.