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Geographical area of the Métis Traditional Territory

June 18, 2021

Geographical area of the Métis Traditional Territory

The Métis Nation is officially defined as the Aboriginal people descended from the Historic Métis Nation. The original Métis were the descendants of Native women and European settlers. These families formed their own culture that combined both Aboriginal and European traditions. The Historic Métis Nation Homeland is the area of land in North America that was used and occupied by the Métis. This territory includes parts of present-day Northwest Territory, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Today, the only government recognized Métis land bases are the eight Alberta Métis settlements in east-central and northern Alberta.

Métis Settlement Land Interests

The Crown gave the Métis certain limited rights to the Métis Settlement lands. Title interest in the land is either given in the name of the Settlement or it can be transferred to a settlement member. To become a settlement member, one must apply to the council of one of the eight Alberta settlements and:

  • Identify with Métis history and culture
  • Have Indigenous ancestry
  • Be 18 years old
  • Been a member of a Métis Settlement or lived in Alberta for the last five years
  • Will live in the Settlement area and be committed to preserving a peaceful community

Saskatchewan Indian Agriculture Program (SIAP)

Under the government policies, the First Nations farmers had difficulty sustaining their agriculture program. The SIAP program was an initiative to promote interest and to develop farming on Indian reserve lands. SIAP started out with an emphasis on farming, but today it has diversified to include game ranching, ethanol production and fish farming. It supports Aboriginal businesses that rely on the land.

The Mi’kmaq community – Conne river

On the eastern coast of Canada, the Mi’kmaq were the Native people who greeted the European visitors who came to the New World. These Aboriginal peoples were some of the first fur traders with the European settlers. It’s estimated that the Mi’kmaq brought copper kettles, iron knives and wool blankets to the other Native people. Much like the Métis, the Mi’kmaq had to fight for their rights as First Nations people. The Conne River community did receive federal status under the Indian Act in 1984, two years after the Métis were recognized as Indigenous Peoples.

The traditional territory of the Métis reaches across Canada. Métis Crossing is a place to explore Our Distinct Indigenous Story. Learn more about the Métis people.

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