Monday, February 23, 2009

Metis Pride

Understanding what it means to be Metis has always been an issue for me, but it has taught me strength. I have taken every lesson about my culture to heart and that has dictated my path in life. The Metis people have been scattered, and descendants shamed.

My grandfather passed away last year and that caused me allot of anguish. I always felt he never really cared about me. What is worse is I could not feel valid in saying I wanted his love, just as I could not say being Metis was part of who I am. I was paralyzed...but I understand now that he was in pain and could not have been what I wanted.

I can't help but think, what would my life would have been like if my grandfathers heart was not sick? What would my life have been like if this was not passed down to my aunts and uncles? What if my mother did not have to endure what she did?

What if I could have had my grandparents with out the pain or war and dispossession that the inherited? The injustices of the past may have taken something more valuable to me then any land...a healthy family.

While I have not experienced the poverty and constant barrage of racism that many of my Native friends did growing up, there are certain things I can relate too. The pain that was left in our families is one of them.

I love the Anishinabe, the Cree, the Dene like they are my own. When they bleed my heart aches...

Louis Riel was just as native as I am, but perhaps more Metis.

Simply put, there is to much money and racism involved to do the right thing.

Riel was hanged for treason, but executed for an ideal.

"I have watched my people die – I have seen an entire way of life trampled by a new
civilization they did not understand and for a brief moment I stood in the path of this new
civilization – of this progress – not to stop it but rather to address a new government – a
government far away in the east which had no idea of who my people were or how they
lived. All I asked for was the respect for the right and the liberty and the dignity of the
Métis. If this be madness then I am mad but I am in good company. If this be treason
than I am guilty for in this I will always believe" - Louis Riel

Ottawa has not learned the lesson Riel left for us.

Marsé and Meegwetch

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