Métis [Fr.,=mixed], person of mixed racial heritage, particularly a descendant of French and English fur traders and indigenous women, principally in the Canadian prairie provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The Métis gradually formed a distinct culture and distinct language, Michif, spoken primarily by people of French and Cree descent. In the late 18th cent., under Louis Riel, they rebelled against the transfer of their lands from the Hudson's Bay Company to Canada. Their descendants are now part of the Métis Nation, recognized by the Canadian government in 1982, with the First Nations and the Inuit, as one of the country's three aboriginal peoples. In 2017 the Canadian government established a formal relationship with the Métis Nation; the Métis in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario were granted self-government in 2019. Other people of E Canada and the Great Lakes region of the United States self-identify as métis but are not part of the Métis Nation. In the early 21st cent. there some 300,000–400,000 métis) in North America.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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