Friday, October 7, 2011

First Nations in Newfoundland and elsewhere

Today in the National Post (which my wife took on some kind of free subscription): the federal government has acknowledged there should be an official band of Mi'kmaq first nations folks in Nfld. The Mi'kmaq are more associated with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but there are some in Nfld who have an oral tradition that they were there before the Europeans--like the Beothuk. So Harper made the announcement: some folks will have "Indian band" status--the feds predicted about 7,600 people. A federation representing the first nations predicted 12,000. The number so far is 26,000--free tuition for their kids, and what not.

This reminds me of the Métis issue. At what point do people become Métis as opposed to status Indian? How many Métis are there?

In response to an e-mail, my younger brother reminded me that non-French speaking so-called half-breeds used to be called "Country Born" (off-spring of English / Scottish / Irish Hudson Bay Company employees and aboriginal). I believe Métis has more or less become the standard term now.

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