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Political & Economic Organizations - Additional Reading

Economic Organization

D. The Metis Family

The earliest Europeans to marry into First Nations families were the voyageurs.  Most of the  children of these marriages were either raised as First Nations or Europeans and did not view themselves as being part of a distinct culture.

As the children of these marriages grew up, and married other individuals with similar backgrounds, a new and distinct culture began to emerge that was neither European or First Nations, but a blend of the two. This cultural evolution began in the 1600s and reached its peak by the 1800s.

Metis people had an enviable position in the fur-trading world, which encouraged them to have a sense of pride and distinct cultural identity.  They learned about European technology and values from their fathers, many of whom insisted their children be educated and raised as Christians.  They learned traditional First Nations skills from their mothers, who encouraged their children to be multilingual.  Their mothers bridged both cultures and influenced children to adopt beneficial elements of each.