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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Bois-Brûlés

The Untold Story of the Métis of Western Québec

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Bois-Brûlés

The Untold Story of the Métis of Western Québec

We think of Métis as having exclusively Prairie roots, but what about their presence in Quebec? The province doesn’t recognize a historical Métis community within its territory, and the Métis National Council contests the existence of any Métis east of Ontario. Quebec residents who seek recognition as Métis under the Canadian Constitution therefore face an uphill legal and political battle. Who is right?
Bois-Brûlés, previously available only in French, examines the archival and ethnographic evidence for a historical Métis community in the larger Outaouais region, piecing together a riveting and previously untold history. Scottish and French-Canadian traders and Indigenous women – along with their Bois-Brûlés children – both worked for and competed against fur trade companies in the early nineteenth century, establishing themselves in the unsurveyed lands still known as “Indian country.” As the fur trade declined, these small communities remained.
This controversial work challenges head-on two powerful nationalisms – Métis and Québécois – that see Quebec Métis as “race-shifting” individuals intent on undermining the First Nations of the province. The authors evaluate the strength of community claims to provide a nuanced analysis of the historical basis for a distinctly Métis identity that can be traced all the way to today.

320 pages | 6 x 9


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