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Finding Evidence of Metis Resilience in B.C.

Our research at BCMF supports telling the whole story of the Pacific Northwest, a nuanced and grounded history. We want to explore how Metis in the Pacific Northwest adapted, were resilient, responded to settler society, and shared space with First Nations.

 

We noticed that this searchable website discusses the complexity of Metis languages in the Pacific Northwest and how Metis people and their languages shaped BC history and impacted First Nations. Here is an excerpt from the website:

“So we infer that the BC-born métis John Touin / Twan / Tuan was literate and fluent in Chinuk Wawa, way up there at the northern end of CW territory.

One reason why there were relatively few subscribers to Kamloops Wawa in the Cariboo region was simply that the (Big-M) Métis “French of the Mountains” / “Country French” was still holding on as the main lingua franca of trade up there. It’s virtually guaranteed that John Tuan also spoke Métis French.

It’s quite fascinating to be doing this research that demonstrates for the first time the huge role of Métis people and their speech in shaping the history of British Columbia.”

BCMF has developed a team of Community Researchers to gather, interpret, and investigate sources like this and help build a robust archive of Metis History here in the PNW.  We are looking forward to sharing more about their efforts soon!

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