Welcome to The BCMF Community-based Research Portal!
The Community-based Research Portal supports a thriving knowledge community in the Pacific Northwest by Metis, for Metis and others. This portal is a team effort, and BCMF would like to acknowledge the support of Natural Resources Canada. Their commitment to this project has been incredible, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to support the gathering and sharing of Metis History in the Pacific Northwest. The resources gathered by our Community Researchers are incredibly important. Join their journey and follow along as they learn how to become community researchers, gather, and catalogue information, and turn it into a resource library right here for all of you. Learn more about our Community Researchers here.
About the Research
Self-determining Metis communities existed in your area. Based upon kinship ties that were established in one of two ways: extension of Metis networks from the Prairies or independent networks that originated within the Pacific Northwest. Over time, these independent kinship networks were eroded because of discriminatory government policies, derogatory social attitudes, and dislocating economic pressures. Yet, Metis peoples survived and remained connected to the land and resources; they were resilient even if they were driven ‘underground’. We are in a period of recovery, reconciliation and resurgence and telling the mixed-ancestry story in BC is part of this process of recognizing ourselves as self-determining peoples.
Despite encountering almost insurmountable obstacles in community engagements, including the impact of colonialism and racialization, discriminatory government policy, lingering social stigma, political divisions and infighting, economic protectionism, and fear of cultural appropriation, we are encouraged that Métis peoples and self-determining communities in the Pacific Northwest want to make their existence known.
The portal supports research activities and stories of belonging for our members, partner communities, and others. We are committed to an Indigenous Research Methodology and the knowledge partnerships that flow from this community-led approach.
It is evident from our research that Métis’ self-determining kinship networks and communities were not “regionally limited”, nor were their economies (necessarily) fixed to a particular resource or geography such as the Red River in Manitoba. Our current work focuses on a better understanding of the self-determining kinship networks and communities in the Pacific Northwest.
Indigenous Research Methodology
We adopt an Indigenous research methodology to gain access to community knowledge in an ethical way and build capacity within each community as they begin to restore their sense of people and place. We recognize the diversity of Métis lived-experience in the Pacific Northwest by visiting their members in their own places of belonging and respecting the confidentiality and integrity of each story and land-use designation. This relational approach begins a process of establishing mutual trust, which hopefully leads to an increasing willingness to share family stories and histories.
The outcomes from community engagement come as an outworking of strong relationships and the respect for local protocol, our knowledge of which is greatly enhanced by Community Liaisons, many of whom had relationships and trust with local knowledge keepers, elders and leaders. Listening and learning from and within local Métis communities brings new impetus and meaning to the need to push forward with our shared goal of repatriation of communities, recovery of land, and reclaiming of resources.
Project work or other knowledge related activities are connected to self-determination, justice, partnerships, an inclusive civil society and an ethical society that is informed and influenced by indigenous perspectives and principles.
BC Metis Federation Research Team
The BCMF Research Team is dedicated to supporting the repatriation of Metis history in British Columbia. This team is building on the work that they have done in the Land and Life project.
The BCMF Research Team is working closely with a group of Community Researchers, and teaching them how to gather, interpret, and build an archive of research. To learn more about our Community Researchers, visit this page.