Research Areas and Projects

Current Research Projects

Métis Kinscapes Project: Researching Pilgrimage and Indigenous Engagement at Lac Ste. Anne, AB

Researchers: Paul Gareau, Kisha Supernant, Marilyn Dumont, Nathalie Kermoal, Cindy Gaudet, and Shalene Jobin

This collaborative research project focuses on the longstanding Catholic pilgrimage site of Lac Ste. Anne, AB as a place of continuation that has helped Métis to transcend the realities of a fragmented social geography and kinscape.

The purpose is as follows: 1) to shed light on the historical and contemporaneous role of the Métis at this religious site; 2) to explicate how this social geography remains a part of the broader, trans-border geography of the Métis Nation; 3) to assert a Métis historical continuation in contrast to the erasure of settler colonial narratives, and to draw on Métis methodology and governance principles. This research, grounded in Indigenous Studies, will employ theories, scholarship, and methodologies that will critique and expand current misrepresentations of Métis views on religion, Indigenous identity, history, and place using Lac Ste. Anne as a research site to represent community perspectives of history, culture, and worldview.

Nodes, Networks and Names: Mapping Métis Kinscapes in Alberta

Researcher: Kisha Supernant, RCMR Research Fellowship recipient (2017-2018)

The focus of this research project will be to collect genealogical and spatial information on Métis families connected primarily to Lac Ste. Anne, St Albert, and Edmonton. It will blend spatial and genealogical data and generate maps to tell a story about Métis movement in Alberta.

Métis Pilgrimage as Sites of Continuation

Researcher: Paul Gareau, RCMR Research Fellowship recipient (2016-2017)

Certain Catholic pilgrimage sites in the Prairies, such as Lac Ste. Anne, have helped Métis communities to reaffirm social relationships, kinship, and engage in devotion throughout periods of unpredictable colonial settlement. This research looks to investigate social, cultural, and religious practices across the historical Métis Nation, and how their experiences helped to maintain a broader Métis community.

Completed Research Projects

Métis Scrip in Alberta

This booklet aims to provide an overview of scrip: a brief history, its meaning, and its origins in what is now Alberta. The research was undertaken by Faculty of Native Studies student and RCMR Research Assistant Leah Hrycun, with the support of RCMR, the Métis Archival Project (MAP) Laboratory, and the Métis Nation of Alberta legal counsel. The project is a compilation of information providing a basic, plain-language overview of scrip and how it has affected the Métis Nation. By following the experience of one woman from Lac La Biche as she navigates the official process of applying for and receiving scrip, the reader learns of the challenges that Métis families and individuals faced.

Painting a Picture of the Métis Homeland: Synthesizing Knowledge about Métis education, employment and training

This research project seeks to rectify the gap in policy actors knowledge in the government and non-governmental sectors. In particular, the project will undertake secondary literature, archival and interview analysis to get a better sense of "best practices" that exist within each province and why? Which programs have been most successful and which have failed? Moreover, what currently existing programs- if any - appear to insulate Métis workers against economic downturns and which allow them to "catch the upward wave" during economic booms. This project is the first of its kind to explore these interprovincial issues in a comparative fashion and will certainly be of interest to policy actors in numerous sectors that deal with education, employment and training.

Bridging the Aboriginal Educational Gap in Alberta and its Effects on Lifelong Earnings

The research was led by Dr. Eric Howe of the University of Saskatchewan. The purpose of this study/analysis is to predict the lifetime earnings of six groups of Albertans (males or females who are non-Aboriginals, Métis [on or off Settlement], and North American Indians), depending on their educational achievements. This research includes an analysis measuring the benefit of bridging the Aboriginal educational gap for the province of Alberta.

Métis In the Courts Blog

The Métis In the Courts blog was a rapid response project exploring the intricacies of current Métis legal cases in Canada, from their historical roots to possibilities in the future. This blog provided information and resources about Métis court cases as they unfolded and sought to build community awareness of how these cases may impact Métis in the broader Canadian context.

Métis Archival Project - Please note that the Métis National Council Historical Online Database is down until further notice. Work is in progress to get the database up and running. Thank you for your patience.