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The Long Journey of a Forgotten People

Métis Identities and Family Histories

Edited by Ute Lischke & David T. McNab
Subjects Indigenous Studies, History, Canadian History
Series Indigenous Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889205239, 370 pages, May 2007

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
The Long Journey of a Forgotten People: Métis Identities and Family Histories, edited by Ute Lischke and David T. McNab

Preface: The Years of Achievement | Ute Lischke and David T. McNab

Introduction: We Are Still Here | Ute Lischke and David T. McNab

Part I: Reflections on Métis Identities

Out of the Bush: A Journey to a Dream | Olive Patricia Dickason

A Long Journey: Reflections on Spirit Memory and Métis Identities | David T. McNab

Reflections on Métis Connections in the Life and Writings of Louise Erdrich | Ute Lischke

The Winds of Change: Métis Rights after Powley, Taku and Haida | Jean Teillet

Part II: Historical Perspectives

“I Shall Settle, Marry, and Trade Here”: British Military Personnel and Their Mixed-Blood Descendants | Sandy Campbell

Early Forefathers to the Athabasca Métis: Long-Term North West Company Employees | Nicole St. Onge

Manipulating Identity: The Sault Borderlands Métis and Colmiac Intervention | Karl S. Hele

New Light on the Plains Métis: The Buffalo Hunters of Pembinah, 1870–71 | Heather Devine

The Drummond Island Voyageurs and the Search for Great Lakes Métis Identity | Karen J. Travers

Part III: Métis Families and Communities

Searching for the Silver Fox: A fur-Trade Family History | Virginia (Parker) Barter

The Kokum Puzzle: Finding and Fitting the Pieces | Donna G. Sutherland

“Where the White Dove Flew Up”: The Saguingue Métis Community and the Fur Trade at Southampton on Lake Huron | Patsy Lou Wilson McArthur

My Story: Reflections on Growing Up in Lac la Biche | Jaime Koebel


Known as “Canada’s forgotten people,” the Métis have long been here, but until 1982 they lacked the legal status of Native people. At that point, however, the Métis were recognized in the constitution as one of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. A significant addition to Métis historiography, The Long Journey of a Forgotten People includes Métis voices and personal narratives that address the thorny and complicated issue of Métis identity from historical and contemporary perspectives. Topics include eastern Canadian Métis communities; British military personnel and their mixed-blood descendants; life as a Métis woman; and the Métis peoples ongoing struggle for recognition of their rights, including discussion of recent Supreme Court rulings.


``Not unlike the Powley [Supreme Court of Canada R. v. Powley, 2003] decision itself, The Long Journey outlines new scope for contemporary Métis studies. ... The Long Journey is a remarkable collection for a number of reasons, not the least its breadth of topics and types of writing. ... Two of the articles. ..are primarily biographical, while a number of others include thoughtful sytheses of biographical and historical materials. I found these especially germane, as in my own experience of community-based historical research I have found that many Métis understand and express their own history in family and personal terms; the historiography thus offered is both from and about Métis. Also of note in this collection is the geographical scope; the historical chapters cover communities from Drummond Island and the Sault to the Athabasca region of present-day Alberta, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories, and the communities discussed are wonderfully complex in terms of their origins and sociological trajectories. ''

- Mike Evans, Great Plains Quarterly, Spring 2009

``The volume succeeds in making history personal and relevant, bringing Métis voices to bear on Métis issues, and expanding on new methodologies. Following the seminal works of Jennifer Brown, Jacqueline Peterson, and Sylvia Van Kirk in the 1980s, it carries on a tradition of social history with an emphasis on family and kinship as essential principles of Métis culture. [1] Consequently, many of these essays fit nicely into the recent historiography which has reinstituted this trend outside of fur trade history, thus inspiring a geographical, thematic, and methodological expansion of Métis history. [2] The Long Journey of a Forgotten People contributes to this genre by incorporating personal narrative into articles that will meet a wide range of interests, provide broader perspectives on ethnogenesis, and offer potential examples of larger trends. This makes the collection as relevant to social historians of any interest as to those engaged in Métis studies. ''

- Camie Augustus, H-Canada, H-Net Reviews, October 2009

``The volume is arranged to provide a breadth of perspectives on the fluctuating personal, familial, and national identities of the Métis. .. This extensive coverage challenges previous historic accounts of Métis communities by bringing into focus archival sources, recently acquired manuscripts, diaries, journals, and oral and autobiographical accounts of the variously constituted Métis communities in Canada. One of the most striking aspects of this volume is that each of the Métis contributors addresses the distinctiveness of these communities and expertly traces their historical significance. ... As a Métis woman and educator, I was personally thrilled to review this volume of essays, and I expect they will provide very significant contribution to the increasing knowledge of who we are, and have been. ''

- Michelle La Flamme, Canadian Literature