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The Metis people of St. Laurent, Manitoba : an introductory ethnology Lavallée, Guy Albert Sylvestre 1988

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THE METIS PEOPLE OF ST.LAURENT. MANITOBA AN INTRODUCTORY ETHNOGRAPHY By BUY ALBERT SYLVESTRE LAVALLEE B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of Ottawa. 1963 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT t THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June 1988 © Guy A l b e r t S y l v e s t r e Laval l e e , 1988 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 DE-6(3/81) i i T h i s t h e s i s examines the l i v e s of a people, the Metis., or the M i c h i f s as they c a l l themselves at St.Laurent, Manitoba. The Metis people were g e n e r a l l y r e f e r r e d to as the o f f - s p r i n g s of the Native Indian women and of the Europeans d u r i n g the f u r trade e r a . One hundred and t h i r t y years ago, they enjoyed at Red River a s u c c e s s f u l economic way of l i f e t h a t was h i g h l y i n t e g r a t e d to the land and to the environment. The Metis, at the time, were a proud race and c a l l e d themselves the 'New Nation'. In 1870, a f t e r s e e i n g Manitoba become a p r o v i n c e w i t h i n C o n f e d e r a t i o n , t h e i r I leader L o u i s R i e l , was e x p e l l e d from h i s homeland and the Metis g r a d u a l l y became, over the years, a s o c i a l l y and economically m a r g i n a l i z e d people. The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to document the process by which a p a r t i c u l a r Metis community at St.Laurent, Manitoba, i s moving or has moved from being a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d community to a c o n d i t i o n i n which some aspects of t h e i r l i v e s appear more g e n e r a l l y 'Canadian' than s p e c i f i c a l l y M e t i s . Due to the processes of modernization and s e c u l a r i -z a t i o n , many Metis f i n d themselves today at a c u l t u r a l c r o s s r o a d . They face the choice of remaining Metis or becoming 'Canadian'. Data r e v e a l s that there are some s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and economic i m p l i c a t i o n s i n making such a d e c i s i o n . I w i l l argue the p o i n t that i t i s p o s s i b l e to r e t a i n a s t r o n g and d e f i n i t i v e sense of being Metis while at the same time becoming a Canadian and, presumably, l e s s Metis than f o r m e r l y was the case. Some f i n d i n g s of t h i s r e s e a r c h r e l a t e to the c o n s t i t u e n t s of Metisness, both core and s u r f a c e v a l u e s . We w i l l f o l l o w the process of change these c u l t u r a l v a l u e s have undergone w i t h i n the l i f e - s p a n of the informants. Data shows th a t some Metis, under economic press u r e , made t h e i r d e c i s i o n r a t h e r q u i c k l y as they j o i n e d the mainstream of s o c i e t y . Others continue to s t r u g g l e to r e t a i n some aspects of Metisness as they see former c u l t u r a l ways absorbed by the modern c u r r e n t . In many i n s t a n c e s , Metis people are becoming 'Canadian' at the expense of being Metis, t h a t many Metis have a s s i m i l a t e d and have become 'Canadian'. As a r e s u l t , Metis today are not what they were i n the p a s t . However, i n the process, we encounter many Metis today, who are r e d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i r f a m i l y o r i g i n s , t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s and c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e . These people are, i n t h e i r own ways, s o c i a l l y , c u l t u r a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y recon-s t r u c t i n g new e x p r e s s i o n s of Metisness i n today's t e c h n o l o g i c a l world. i v A b s t r a c t i i Table of Contents i v L i s t of Tables v i i L i s t of F i g u r e s v i i i Acknowledgements i x INTRODUCTION: Pe r s o n a l Background 1 Aim and Purpose of T h e s i s 4 Methodology 6 L o c a t i o n and Research Methods 9 CHAPTER 1: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: 11 The word 'Metis' 11 H i s t o r i o g r a p h y 14 CHAPTER 2: ST.LAURENT: 22 The g e o g r a p h i c a l s e t t i n g 22 Land and S o i l 26 Climate 27 E a r l y Settlement and H i s t o r i c a l Development.. 27 M a t e r i a l Aspects of Metis c u l t u r e : S h e l t e r 30 Food 34 C l o t h i n g 37 CHAPTER 3: GROWING UP IN ST.LAURENT: 49 D e f i n i t i o n s of Terms 50 B i r t h and Infancy 52 Childhood 53 Education 57 A Metis view of Education 59 I n t r o d u c t i o n of Formal Education 60 Co u r t s h i p and Marriage 62 A Wedding Feast 64 Adult Years . 70 The War Years 72 The Senior Years 74 Wake and B u r i a l 76 V CHAPTER 4: MAKING A LIVING IN ST.LAURENT: SOURCES OF LIVELIHOOD 87 D i v i s i o n of Labor 87 The Work of Metis Women 88 The Work of Metis Men 102 CHAPTER 5: SOCIAL LIFE, RELIGION AND POLITICS 120 SOCIAL LIFE: A sense of Independence combined with a s p i r i t of community l i f e 121 Home entertaiment and games 121 House S o c i a l s 124 A l c o h o l - r e l a t e d events 125 The Community P i c n i c 127 The P a r i s h - H a l l : Centre of S o c i a l L i f e 127 The New Recreation Centre 129 New School A d m i n i s t r a t i o n 130 RELIGION from the Leadership P e r s p e c t i v e . . . . 136 R e l i g i o n : 'La M i s s i o n ' 136 R e l i g i o u s P r a c t i c e s and observances 138 Major R e l i g i o u s Events 141 Sacraments of I n i t i a t i o n 142 New A d m i n i s t r a t i o n 144 POLITICS from the Leadership p e r s p e c t i v e ... 150 H i s t o r i c a l Aspects 150 The A d v i s o r y Board: New Awareness 151 Mu n i c i p a l O r g a n i z a t i o n a l S t r u c t u r e 153 R e - e l e c t i o n of Reeve and C o u n c i l 153 People Involvement 155 Campaigning 157 Some D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the work of the M u n i c i p a l i t y 160 Manitoba Metis F e d e r a t i o n l o c a l 163 CHAPTER 6: METISNESS: 170 The M i c h i f French Language: 170 Aspects of L i n g u i s t i c H i s t o r y 173 Metis C o n s t r u c t i o n of the O r i g i n of M i c h i f French 174 B i l i n g u a l i s m 175 Community R e c o l l e c t i o n of I n i t i a l Language Contact 176 The Bretons 181 The New High School i n 1939 181 L i n g u i s t i c A c c u l t u r a t i o n o u t s i d e of St.Laurent 182 M i c h i f French as a symbol of Metis I d e n t i t y 184 v i CHAPTER 7: Summary 1 8 7 Conclusion 191 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 9 7 FIGURES 2 1 0 v i i T able 1. M a t e r i a l Aspects of Metis C u l t u r e S h e l t e r , Food and C l o t h i n g 42 Table 2. Marriage Customs and Family L i f e Pre-1950 and Today 68 Table 3. Metisness: Core and Surface Values For E l d e r s and. Youth 83 Table 4. Sources of L i v e l i h o o d f o r Metis Women Pre-1950 and Today 100 Table 5. Sources of l i v e l i h o o d f o r Metis Men Pre-1950 and Today 117 Table 6. Community Groups Pre-1950 and Today 132 Table 7. Leadership i n the Church Pre-1950 and today . 145 Table 8. Some R e l i g i o u s P r a c t i c e s Pre-1950 and today 146 Table 9. Chronology of P o l i t i c a l Leadership From 1881 to 1988 166 Table 10. Metis P o l i t i c a l Leadership Power, I n f l u e n c e and P a r t i c i p a t i o n 167 v i i i F i g u r e 1. Map of Manitoba showing I n t e r l a k e Region 210 F i g u r e 2. Map of St.Laurent 211 F i g u r e 3. Map of St.Laurent: References 212 F i g u r e 4 . Map of St.Laurent: River l o t system, 1875 .... 213 i x Acknowledgements I wish to acknowledge the thoughtful and scho lar ly assistance of my advisor , Dr. Kenelm 0. L . Burridge in conducting th i s research. I want to express my grat i tude to the Metis people of S t .Laurent , Manitoba for the ir many kindnesses and understanding. Without t h e i r c o l l a b o r a t i o n , th i s thes is would not have been poss ib le . I also want to thank the Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. for t h e i r f i n a n c i a l assistance and for sponsoring th i s research, e s p e c i a l l y Paul Chartrand, Yvon Dumont and Audreen Hourie. 1 IntrjQduc.jbiQ.a I was born i n 1939 i n an o l d log-house, i n St.Laurent, Manitoba and can t r a c e my a ncestors to the 1700's at Red River (Sprague: 1983, Table 1, 1818-1870). My g r e a t - g r e a t -g r e a t - g r a n d f a t h e r , Ignace L a v a l l e e , born 1760, married 'a l a facon du pays', ( a c c o r d i n g to the custom of the country) Josephte Cree, born 1786. F i v e g e n e r a t i o n s l a t e r , i n J u l y 1968, I was ordained a Roman C a t h o l i c p r i e s t i n my home v i l l a g e . St.Laurent i s a s m a l l Metis v i l l a g e s i t u a t e d on the e a s t e r n shores of Lake Manitoba, some n i n e t y k i l o m e t r e s northwest of Winnipeg. As a boy, I remember watching, on Saturday evenings, the cabooses of fishermen, a l a n t e r n d a n g l i n g c l o s e to the f r o n t window, c r e a k i n g t h e i r way back home from a week on the lake, with a load of f r e s h p i c k e r e l and j a c k f i s h . The horses would make thudding sounds on the c r i s p f r e s h snow as heavy white smoke c u r l e d out of the chimneys i n the c o l d winter a i r . The f u l l moon, l i k e a s i l v e r d i s k , hovered b r i g h t l y over the Metis s e t t l e m e n t . I had always dreamed of doing some type of r e s e a r c h on my home v i l l a g e . Many of my boyhood memories s t i l l remain v i v i d i n my mind: the hunters, the t r a p p e r s , the fishermen, women's work, the c h i l d r e n , the s o c i a l l i f e , the Metis way of l i f e , i t s c h a l l e n g e s and i t s promises. So when the time 2 came to choose a g e o g r a p h i c a l area f o r my f i e l d - w o r k , I chose St.Laurent. Having been born and r a i s e d there, I had connections and acquaintances who, I f e l t , would c o l l a b o r a t e with me and f a c i l i t a t e my f i e l d - w o r k and r e s e a r c h . F u r t h e r -more, having been away from home f o r more than t h i r t y years, I was a l s o l o o k i n g forward to the moment when I would go back and reconnect w i t h my v i l l a g e r o o t s and t r a d i t i o n s . I was not d i s a p p o i n t e d ! A Manitoba f r e e - l a n c e w r i t e r once dubbed St.Laurent, 'a v i l l a g e l i k e no o t h e r . ' There are no s t r e e t s , no sidewalks, no townsite, no i n d u s t r i e s . Yet, there are over one thousand people, the m a j o r i t y of them being Metis l i v i n g i n homes s p a r s e l y s c a t t e r e d f o r four k i l o m e t r e s along the new and o l d highways. In s i m i l a r manner, I o f t e n looked upon the Metis people of my v i l l a g e as unique, because I thought that we were the only people i n the world who spoke the M i c h i f French language f l u e n t l y . Of course, t h a t n o t i o n was q u i c k l y d i s p e l l e d as, i n my t r a v e l s a c r o s s Canada, I met other Metis who a l s o spoke the same language. Since that time, my m i n i s t r y has been both v a r i e d and h e c t i c , from i n t e r c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g s and i n n e r - c i t y c o n d i -t i o n s to involvment with Metis s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i -z a t i o n s both at the l o c a l and n a t i o n a l l e v e l s . My m o t i v a t i o n i n doing t h i s r e s e a r c h was prompted p a r t l y by my academic i n t e r e s t i n l e a r n i n g more about Metis h i s t o r y and way of l i f e . Hence, i n the f a l l of 1985, I s t a r t e d a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. S p e c i f i c a l l y , 3 I was l o o k i n g f o r an o p p o r t u n i t y to assess and eva l u a t e my work and m i n i s t r y from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s . My p e r s o n a l r e f l e c t i o n s on the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l dimensions of my m i n i s t r y with Metis people from 1968 to 1978 l e d me to make some o b s e r v a t i o n s and formulate c e r t a i n q u e s t i o n s : Metis people have d i f f i c u l t y i n asserting themselves as a d i s t i n c t people, as an ethnic group, as an aboriginal people in t h e i r home provinces and in Canada. Why? In general, the public, including the government, members of corporations, union leaders, the churches and scholars lack a thorough knowledge of Metis history and way of l i f e , and e s p e c i a l l y on the role the Metis played in the development of Western Canada. What are some of the personal and s o c i a l implications of being a Metis in, .Canada today? Have modernization and secu l a r i z a t i o n had any eff e c t s on Metis culture and way of l i f e ? I f so, in what ways? I t i s not w i t h i n the scope of t h i s t h e s i s to p r o v i d e answers to a l l these q u e s t i o n s . We w i l l nonetheless touch on and a l l u d e to many r e l a t e d i s s u e s and t o p i c s throughout the course of our d i s c u s s i o n with the Metis people at St.Laurent, Manitoba. 4 Aim and Purpose o„f T h e s i s The aim of t h i s t h e s i s i s to produce an i n t r o d u c t o r y ethnography that w i l l serve mainly as a p r e l i m i n a r y and d e s c r i p t i v e study of the people and area. I t does not pretend to cover and d e p i c t a l l aspects of the Metis way of l i f e . I t has n e i t h e r an e x c l u s i v e theory nor a p a r t i c u l a r h ypothesis to prove. F i r s t and foremost, t h i s r e s e a r c h wants to capture and examine some aspects of the Metis way of l i f e and c u l t u r e as p e r c e i v e d , experienced and l i v e d by the Metis people themselves. I am i n t e r e s t e d i n documenting t h e i r v e r s i o n of t h e i r s t o r y , of t h e i r h i s t o r y and of t h e i r way of l i f e . Our a n a l y s i s w i l l focus p r i m a r i l y on some c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s c o n s t i t u t i v e of contemporary Metisness. We w i l l address the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s : Does the Metis l i f e experience at St.Laurent, Manitoba, w i t h i n the l i f e - s p a n of the informants c o n t r i b u t e to our understanding of Metisness to-day? And does such experience add to our understanding of 19th century Metisness? I f so, how? As was s t a t e d above, the g e n e r a l purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to document the process by which a p a r t i c u l a r Metis community, at St.Laurent Manitoba, i s moving or has moved from being a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d community of Metis to a c o n d i t i o n i n which some aspects of t h e i r l i f e appear more g e n e r a l l y 'Canadian' ( p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a way of l i f e t h a t i s common to most Canadian c i t i z e n s ) than s p e c i f i c a l l y Metis (a separate community w i t h i n the Canadian hegemony). 5 In p a r t , the process i s subsumed i n what have been c a l l e d modernization and/or s e c u l a r i z a t i o n . I t i s a l s o subsumed i n what has been c a l l e d m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n , s i n c e the s t o r y of the Manitoba Metis i s one of movement from the cen t r e to the p e r i p h e r y . The s p e c i f i c problems addressed are: Metis p e r s p e c t i v e s on t h e i r own h i s t o r y . Are the Metis becoming 'Canadian' at the expense of being Metis? The i s s u e of Metisness. What do members reco g n i z e as c o n s t i t u t i v e values of Metis c u l t u r e i n the t w e n t i e t h century? Among these v a l u e s , which ones are c o n s i d e r e d 'core', which ones are considered ' s u r f a c e ' v a l u e s ? Is i t p o s s i b l e to r e t a i n the same Metisness while becoming something other? S u r e l y no. Then, i s i t p o s s i b l e to r e t a i n a s t r o n g and d e f i n i t i v e sense of being Metis while at the same time becoming something other and, presumably, l e s s Metis than f o r m e r l y was the case? Probably yes. Are i d e n t i t i e s f i n i t e or, i n p r i n c i p l e , not f i n i t e ? That i s , while i n adding to what one was one does not n e c e s s a r i l y l o s e anything of what one was, p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y , but what one was c l e a r l y does not exhaust what one i s . A d i f f e r e n c e i s e n t a i l e d . I f i d e n t i t y i s f i n i t e , g a i n i n g a t t r i b u t e s and q u a l i t i e s n e c e s s a r i l y means l o s i n g o t h ers l e a d i n g l o g i c a l l y to the wholly d i f f e r e n t . I f i d e n t i t y i s not f i n i t e , on the other hand, as seems the case f o r the Metis, i t allows f o r a d d i t i o n a l q u a l i t i e s : a d i f f e r e n c e i s i m p l i e d without n e c e s s a r i l y l o s i n g what had e x i s t e d b e f o r e . W i l l the Metis of St.Laurent r e t a i n t h e i r Metisness w i t h i n the g e n e r a l meaning of being Canadian or w i l l they become amorphous Canadians? Is a s s i m i l a t i o n to mainstream Canadian behaviours n e g a t i v e l y v a l u e - l a d e n f o r members of the Metis community at St.Laurent? Does the concept of Metisness i n the t w e n t i e t h century need to be changed? 6 According to R . F . E l l e n (1984: 9) "Methodology i s the s y s t e m a t i c study of the p r i n c i p l e s g u i d i n g a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n and the ways i n which theory f i n d i t s a p p l i -c a t i o n ; i t i s an a r t i c u l a t e d , t h e o r e t i c a l l y informed approach to the p r o d u c t i o n of data. A theory i s a suppo-s i t i o n or a body of s u p p o s i t i o n s designed to e x p l a i n phenomena or data". In other words, methodology i s the t h e o r e t i c a l framework or model from which we process, analyze and i n t e r p r e t data. For our purpose, here, we w i l l be u s i n g the c o g n i t i v e anthropology model. I t i s one of many models used i n ethnography. C o g n i t i v e anthropology focuses on d i s c o v e r i n g how d i f f e r e n t peoples organize t h e i r c u l t u r e . I t attempts to understand the o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e s u n d e r l y i n g behaviour. I t i s assumed that each people has a unique system f o r p e r c e i v i n g and o r g a n i z i n g m a t e r i a l phenomena t h i n g s , events, behaviour and emotions (Goodenough 1957). The o b j e c t of the study i s not these m a t e r i a l phenomena themselves, but the way they are organized i n the minds of the people. C u l t u r e s then are not seen as m a t e r i a l phenomena; they are c o g n i t i v e o r g a n i z a t i o n s of m a t e r i a l phenomena. In essence, c o g n i t i v e anthropology seeks to answer two q u e s t i o n s : What m a t e r i a l phenomena are s i g n i f i c a n t f o r the people of a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r e ; and, how do they organize these phenomena (Stephen T y l e r 1986: 3)? 7 In a g e n e r a l way, ethnography can be b r o a d l y d e f i n e d as the s t u d y - d e s c r i p t i o n of a c u l t u r e , or an aspect t h e r e o f , of a people, based on f i r s t - h a n d accounts. Ethnography i m p l i e s both theory and method, process and product. However, the essence of ethnography i s not to produce a mere d e s c r i p t i o n of c u l t u r e , but to c o n t e x t u a l i z e elements of c u l t u r e and to make sy s t e m a t i c connections among them. Ethnography always i m p l i e s a theory of c u l t u r e ( S p r a d l e y 1979: 5). Hence, an ethnography i s a c o l l a b o r a t i v e act between r e s e a r c h e r and informant. From the beginning to the end, an ethnography i s formed and shaped by the a c t i v e i n t e r p l a y between r e s e a r c h e r and informant. Within the c o g n i t i v e anthropology model, then, ethnography i s the s t u d y - d e s c r i p t i o n of a c u l t u r e from the p a r t i c i p a n t ' s p o i n t of view. Each a n t h r o p l o g i c a l model c a r r i e s w i t h i n i t s e l f c e r t a i n t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions; and the model of c o g n i t i v e anthropology i s no e x c e p t i o n . Assumptions are the primary givens or b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s of a model, and they help us to d e f i n e data and decide what techniques w i l l be u s e f u l i n o b t a i n i n g the data and thereby keep us from c i r c u l a r l o g i c . A simple and accurate d e f i n i t i o n of the d a t a t h a t I w i l l use i n my study i s the knowledge people have of t h e i r c u l t u r a l scene. A c c o r d i n g to the c o g n i t i v e anthropology model, the data of a c u l t u r e i s something the informant knows. C o g n i t i v e anthropology i s a m e n t a l i s t and i d e a t i o n a l approach to our understanding of c u l t u r e , as compared to the 8 m a t e r i a l i s t approach which d e f i n e s data as something one sees and or observes. I t f o l l o w s that our assumptions not only a s s i s t i n r e c o g n i z i n g data r e p r e s e n t i n g the informant's p o i n t of view (EMIC v i e w p o i n t ) , but they a l s o p r o v i d e c e r t a i n techniques conducive to o b t a i n i n g data. Some of the techniques that I employed d u r i n g my f i e l d - w o r k p e r i o d were p a r t i c i p a n t o b e r v a t i o n and ethnographic i n t e r v i e w . Since the primary g o a l of c o g n i t i v e anthropology i s to analyze and d e s c r i b e a c u l t u r e from the p a r t i c i p a n t ' s p o i n t of view, my go a l has been to prepare and present an a n a l y s i s of Metis c u l t u r e i n terms of members' knowledge. Our main assumption of t h i s model i s t h a t c u l t u r e i s understood as knowledge. Acco r d i n g to the c o g n i t i v e anthropology model, c u l t u r e i s d e f i n e d as the knowledge people a c q u i r e and use to i n t e r p r e t t h e i r experience and to generate s o c i a l behaviour ( S p r a d l e y 1979:5). Another assumption i s that i t s approach i s i n d u c t i v e , t h at i s , an hypothesis i s not used i n the i n i t i a l f o r m u l a t i o n of the t o p i c ; i t comes i n t o p l a y d u r i n g the middle stages of data c o l l e c t i o n and a n a l y s i s . The process i s from the s p e c i f i c to the g e n e r a l , from the unknown to the known, while the ded u c t i v e approach proceeds from the g e n e r a l to the s p e c i f i c , from the known to the unknown. An hypothesis, on the other hand, i s a t e n t a t i v e e x p l a n a t i o n , based on data, which i s to be v a l i d a t e d or f a l s i f i e d , proven or d i s p r o v e n . 9 In t h i s t h e s i s , I allow respondents to speak f o r themselves (emic) and attempt to f i t what they say i n t o a gen e r a l framework ( e t i c ) where the main landmarks are modernization and/or s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n and i d e n t i t y . Lac„ajLim„^ Method While' methodology i s an a r t i c u l a t e d , t h e o r e t i c a l l y informed approach to the p r o d u c t i o n of data, method i s the ge n e r a l mode of y i e l d i n g data ( E l l e n 1984; 9). The data f o r t h i s r e s e a r c h was compiled i n St.Laurent, Manitoba, d u r i n g a two-month p e r i o d of i n t e n s i v e f i e l d - w o r k i n September and October 1987. The f i e l d - w o r k methods i n c l u d e d ethnographic i n t e r v i e w i n g , p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n , some a r c h i v a l work at the l o c a l M u n i c i p a l and Church o f f i c e s , the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s of Manitoba and the H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y of St . B o n i f a c e , Manitoba. I i n t e r v i e w e d f i f t y - o n e people f o r a t o t a l of s i x t y -f o u r hours, twenty-seven men and twenty-four women, ranging from seventeen to n i n e t y - s i x years o l d , t w e n t y - f i v e of whom were s e n i o r s . A l l the i n t e r v i e w s were tape recorded and were conducted i n the M i c h i f French language. The main d i f f e r e n c e between the way ; i n which ethnographers and survey i n t e r v i e w e r s ask q u e s t i o n s i s not, as i s sometimes suggested, that one form of i n t e r v i e w i n g i s ' s t r u c t u r e d ' and the other i s 'unstructured'. A l l i n t e r v i e w s , l i k e any other kind of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n , are s t r u c t u r e d by both r e s e a r c h e r and informant. The important 10 d i s t i n c t i o n to be made i s between s t a n d a r d i z e d and r e f l e x i v e i n t e r v i e w i n g (Hammersley and Atkinson 1986: 113). Consequently, as an a p p r e n t i c e ethnographer, I d i d not decide beforehand a l l the s p e c i f i c q u e s t i o n s I wanted to ask. Rather, I entered the i n t e r v i e w s with a l i s t of i s s u e s and areas I wanted to cover and which I wanted to i n c l u d e i n the t h e s i s . Upon r e f l e c t i o n on the informant's answers to my i n i t i a l q u e s t i o n s , I formulated f u r t h e r q u e s t i o n s . Some of the areas and i s s u e s are the f o l l o w i n g : The g e o g r a p h i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l s e t t i n g of St.Laurent; people's p e r c e p t i o n of growing up and making a l i v i n g i n St.Laurent; some aspects of t h e i r knowledge on s o c i a l l i f e , r e l i g i o n , p o l i t i c s and language. F i n a l l y , the d i s c i p l i n a r y context f o r t h i s r e s e a r c h i s two- f o l d : h i s t o r i c a l and ethnographic or e t h n o h i s t o r y . H i s t o r i c a l because temporal parameters are c e n t r a l to the a n a l y s i s , the r e s e a r c h covers the l i f e - s p a n of the informants. Ethnographic, because the r e s e a r c h c i r c u m s c r i b e s Metis c u l t u r e and way of l i f e as p e r c e i v e d , l i v e d and experienced by the Metis people themselves. 11 CJiapjterl Background and H i s t o r i o g r a p h y As r e l e v a n t to our g e n e r a l theme of Metisness, t h i s chapter d e a l s i n the f i r s t p a r t , with some aspects of Metis h i s t o r y e s p e c i a l l y as i t r e f e r s to the term, M e t i s . In the second p a r t , we w i l l review some of the l i t e r a t u r e r e l e v a n t to Metis p o r t r a y a l and i d e n t i t y . H 3» Si..t C3 C* 8>.l ^^ ..8. C jjj y X\ In the Canadian West much co n f u s i o n surrounds the use of the term 'Metis'. While most people agree t h a t the term r e f e r s to persons of mixed Indian and European a n c e s t r y , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to o b t a i n a more p r e c i s e d e f i n i t i o n . Metis can r e f e r to i n d i v i d u a l s and communities whose o r i g i n s l i e i n the pre-1870 West. To some people, the term a l s o i n c l u d e s non-status Indian. In one sense, the word conveys a meaning of c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y and i n another a q u a s i - l e g a l s t a t u s . Add other f a c t o r s such as b i o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l , r e g i o n a l , h i s t o r i c a l and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l to the d e f i n i t i o n and the i s s u e r e a l l y gets c o n f u s i n g . P r i o r to 1870, there would appear to be agreement on what we c a l l the c l a s s i c a l image of the Metis as shown i n 12 some of Paul Kane's p a i n t i n g s . The French-speaking, Roman C a t h o l i c , non-Indian n a t i v e b u f f a l o - h u n t e r s of the Red River settlement emerge as d i s t i n c t from the r e s t of the people of the p e r i o d and of the r e g i o n , most of them c o n s t i t u t i n g a s t r o n g R i e l f o l l o w i n g . Yet there are problems of termino-logy. What about the other non-Indian n a t i v e people who d i d not f i t the ' c l a s s i c a l ' image of the Metis? Among them, we f i n d the E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g P r o t e s t a n t Metis of Portage l a P r a i r i e and of P r i n c e A l b e r t ; and we f i n d the French and Saulteaux-speaking Metis of Manitoba's I n t e r l a k e . A l s o i t seems that the French and Cree-speaking b u f f a l o - h u n t e r s of Northern Saskatchewan would appear to ' f i t ' i n the image of the c l a s s i c a l M e t i s . Then, there were a l s o the people of Northern A l b e r t a , of the Peace River and Athabasca R i v e r s , Cree-speaking, Roman C a t h o l i c and some I r o q u o i s t r a p p e r -hunters. Many of t h e i r descendants would demand h a l f b r e e d s c r i p r a t h e r than t r e a t y s t a t u s . S c r i p was a p i e c e of paper used by the government that e n t i t l e d Metis people to money or to land. A c c o r d i n g to Sealy and L u s s i e r (1975: 135) "Metis c h i l d r e n born before J u l y 15, 1870, were given a c h o i c e between a money s c r i p worth $240 or a land s c r i p that allowed them to choose 240 acres of unoccupied Dominion lands". S c h o l a r s d e a l i n g with the pre-1870 West g e n e r a l l y accept two e n t i t i e s of mixed a n c e s t r y : B r i t i s h - P r o t e s t a n t and French C a t h o l i c Metis. Other terms that were used were B o i s - B r u l e s and H a l f b r e e d , Country-born and Rupertslander. 13 According to John E. F o s t e r (1983: 77), i t was i n the St.Lawrence f u r trade t r a d i t i o n t h at a term f i r s t emerged d i s t i n g u i s h i n g a s o c i o - c u l t u r a l e n t i t y of mixed-blood and Euro-Canadian a n c e s t r y from both the Indian and the Euro-Canadian i n the West. In the 1820's, the words Metis and H a l f b r e e d were commonly used. F o l l o w i n g the f u r trade competition i n 1820, numerous f a m i l i e s of mixed-bloods of the St.Lawrence area journeyed to Red River to j o i n the M e t i s . As a r e s u l t , many images of the Metis emerged: p l a i n s hunters, fishermen, voyageurs, f r e i g h t e r s . Some emphasized t h e i r French and C a t h o l i c o r i e n t a t i o n , others t h e i r B r i t i s h and P r o t e s t a n t ways. In the l a t e 1790's, the North-West Company brought i n t o the i n t e r i o r as many as 200 I r o q u o i s , Ottawa and Saulteaux trapper-voyageurs. The I r o q u o i s e s p e c i a l l y proved to be s u c c e s s f u l . They took wives among the Cree and became e f f e c t i v e t r a d e r s as w e l l as hunters and t r a p p e r s . The r e l a t i o n s h i p they enjoyed with the North-West Company continued a f t e r the merger of the companies i n 1821. At the end of the century, a number of descendants of these f a m i l i e s chose s c r i p r a t h e r than t r e a t y . They regarded themselves not as Indians but as H a l f b r e e d s and Metis. In the Hudson's Bay t r a d i t i o n i n the e a r l y 1800's, a word d i s t i n g u i s h i n g a t h i r d community, d i s t i n c t from the "Indians' or 'Natives' or 'Whites', d i d not a r i s e . In c o n t r a s t to the St.Lawrence t r a d i t i o n i n which the term 14 'Metis' and i t s E n g l i s h e q u i v a l e n t 'Halfbreed' arose, people i n the Bay t r a d i t i o n remained 'Native' or ' E n g l i s h ' . ( F o s t e r 1983: 79). A f t e r 1820, a number of Hudson's Bay ' E n g l i s h ' moved to Red River to become r i v e r l o t farmers, tripmen to the York Boats and p r i v a t e merchants. ( F o s t e r 1983: 79). Thus, persons of mixed a n c e s t r y were s o c i o - c u l t u r a l l y i d e n t i f i e d with way of l i f e , not n e c e s s a r i l y b i o l o g i c a l h e r i t a g e . I t was t h e i r r o l e i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e t r a d i t i o n s t h a t would determine the nature of t h e i r c u l t u r e . For our purpose here, the Metis of St.Laurent are the descendants of the French and C a t h o l i c t r a d i t i o n of Red R i v e r . H i s t o r i o g r a p h y T h i s s e c t i o n w i l l address some of the l i t e r a t u r e on Metis people with s p e c i a l r e f e r e n c e as to how some authors have d e f i n e d and p o r t r a y e d Metis people. In the l a s t few years, there has been an e x p l o s i o n of l i t e r a t u r e on Metis people. T h i s i s i n p a r t due to a new Metis n a t i o n a l i s m sparked by the centenary of Batoche and the death of L o u i s R i e l . The v a r i o u s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l M etis o r g a n i z a t i o n s a l s o added v i t a l i t y to Metisness as many people made e f f o r t s to r e t r a c e t h e i r r o o t s to Canada's a b o r i g i n a l and f u r trade past while others enjoyed a r e n a i s s a n c e of Metis h i s t o r i c a l and p o l i t i c a l awareness. Researchers today w i l l f i n d r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n on Metis i n church a r c h i v e s , u n i v e r s i t y and p u b l i c l i b r a r i e s , Metis 15 o r g a n i z a t i o n s and i n the Hudson's Bay Company f i l e s i n W i n n i p e g . Some w r i t e r s of the 19th century p o r t r a y the Metis as o b s t a c l e s to the s o c i a l and economic progress of the colony. Among them i s George Sta n l e y (1936). His view i s t h a t the Red River events of 1869-1870 and the Saskatchewan Resistance of 1885 were p r i m a r i l y a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f r o n t i e r problem: the c l a s h between c i v i l i z e d and p r i m i t i v e peoples. T h i s approach has l o s t a l l i t s c r e d i b i l i t y w i t h i n Metis c i r c l e s today. His study n e g l e c t s the a p p a l l i n g s o c i a l and economic l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s of the Metis which they p e r c e i v e d as the r e a l cause of the t r o u b l e s . At the time, the economy of the Metis, hunting of v a r i o u s kinds, f i s h i n g and t r a p p i n g , was w e l l i n t e g r a t e d to the land and to the environment and was h i g h l y s u c c e s s f u l , much more s u c c e s s f u l than.the Scots who t r i e d farming! For the Metis people, the ' i n s u r r e c t i o n s ' of 1869 at Red River and the ' r e b e l l i o n ' of 1885 at Batoche, were caused by the f e a r of l o s i n g t h e i r c e n t r a l p o s i t i o n i n the e x i s t i n g economy. C o n f e d e r a t i o n as understood by the MacDonald government meant m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n to the Metis, cut o f f from t h e i r economy. For a thorough a n a l y s i s of the Red River s i t u a t i o n , W.L. Morton (1956: 1-148) suggests i n h i s LritxMu..C.t.i..Q.a to tjQ_„iLhjL^s^ that the Red River settlement was a c i v i l i z e d s o c i e t y , thereby r e j e c t i n g Stan-16 l e y ' s c u l t u r a l c o n f l i c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Morton's view i s that R i e l ' s r e s i s t a n c e to the f e d e r a l government was an extension of the s o c i a l and r e l i g i o u s t e n s i o n between c e n t r a l and western Canada. Other w r i t e r s t r y to show a l i t t l e more sympathy f o r the Metis. One such book i s A.H. de Tremaudan's H i s t o I r e de lA_Jiaiio.a..JleJtis.sje.. (1935) and t r a n s l a t e d as HjaMJHi£Ji_y.avir. Heads (1982)by E i z a b e t h Maguet. Wr i t t e n i n 1920, de T r e -maudan s t u d i e d documents, interviewed witnesses and c h a l l e n g e s t r a d i t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . He p r e s e n t s R i e l ' s views of Metisness as one where the connection between the French and Roman C a t h o l i c i s m i s paramount and that i f R i e l and the Metis had been l e f t alone i n 1870, there would have been a second Quebec i n the West. On Metis i d e n t i t y , the author i s very clear.: "There i s none more C a t h o l i c than a Metis there i s none more French...In r e l i g i o n he i s C a t h o l i c , i n n a t i o n a l i t y he i s French from head to toe i n mind, heart, word and deed".(de Tremaudan 1982: x - x i i ) . In the same v e i n of thought i s TJhjS-jCjal^^ of Louls_J8jLe_I ( S t a n l e y et a l . 1985). The WjdLtings agree with de Tremaudan's t h e s i s and present R i e l ' s view of Metisness as r e s o l u t e l y French and C a t h o l i c i n o r i e n t a t i o n with l i t t l e emphasis on the Indian component. Perhaps the most comprehensive ethnographic and h i s t o r i c a l study on the Metis was done by Marcel Giraud i n h i s two-volume work: Lfi_M,e.tjs_C_anadjLejQ, (1945) and t r a n s l a t e d by George Woodcock i n 1986 as IJke_Jttje^^ 17 (Woodcock 1986). Giraud p o r t r a y s the b i r t h of the Metis as a d i s t i n c t group who considered themselves a 'nation* apart from both whites and Indians. R i e l , de Tremaudan, and Giraud a l l s t r e s s the French bonds and a f f i n i t i e s when d e f i n i n g the Metis people, but Giraud a l s o i n c l u d e s the E n g l i s h r o o t s , the anglophone Hudson's Bay Company f a m i l i e s who c o n s t i t u t e d h i s 'northern c u r r e n t ' . Whereas de Tremaudan and R i e l tend to minimize the Indian h e r i t a g e of the Metis, Giraud makes i t a c o n t i n u i n g theme, having a tendency to t r e a t the Indians i n a negative way. L i k e S t a n l e y ' s , Giraud's book comes out of the 1930's era; they are both e a r l y models of a p e r i o d i n which racism was an u n d e r l y i n g assumption. E v e r y t h i n g i s debated w i t h i n the framework of c i v i l i z e d and p r i m i t i v e c u l t u r e s . Both men grew up i n a m e n t a l i t y of European expansion and h i s t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n . There have been some b i o g r a p h i e s on Metis people but p a r t i c u l a r l y on L o u i s R i e l . Such a study of R i e l i s found i n Joseph Kinsey Howard's S t r a n g e E m p i r e (1965). He p r e s e n t s R i e l as a leader of the Northwestern p l a i n s whose plans were f a r more p o l i t i c a l than m i l i t a r y . In these pages, the author d e p i c t s R i e l as a mystic, almost a r e l i g i o u s f a n a t i c . At one time, he was insane or at l e a s t u n s e t t l e d even though Howard doubts h i s i n s a n i t y . He spent months i n an asylum, there were many people who thought he was c r a z y . But there was a q u a l i t y of l e a d e r s h i p i n the man, of wisdom, of h u m i l i t y 18 and of moderation i n s p i t e of the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n h i s p e r s o n a l i t y . Howard prese n t s R i e l l e s s a b l o o d t h i r s t y i n d i v i d u a l than as an honest and pious f i g u r e of p o l i t i c a l a s p i r a t i o n s . Another biography i s The Qne-And-A-Half-Men: The Stpry o£..JJL©__..JB£.a.d^ Twentieth Century < Dobbins, 1981). T h i s b i o g r a p h i c a l book a l s o p r o v i d e s a unique p e r s p e c t i v e on 20th century Metis h i s t o r y , Indian and Metis o r g a n i z a t i o n s of the 1930's and 40's and the r o o t s of contemporary o r g a n i z a t i o n s . Metis are p o r t r a y e d as people who have s u f f e r e d powerlessness, d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and economic hardships at the hands of government e x p l o i t e r s and land s p e c u l a t o r s . L i t e r a t u r e on the Metis at St.Laurent does not abound. The most recent one i s probably the Touxi^^ Opportunity Study (1987) conducted by HKL & A s s o c i a t e s from Winnipeg. The r e p o r t i s a f e a s i b i l i t y study on tourism i n St.Laurent and makes some recommendations f o r tourism o p p o r t u n i t i e s . The r e p o r t i n c l u d e s an updated p r o f i l e of the community compiled by Sandra Funk (1987). I t c o n t a i n s s e c t i o n s on: p o p u l a t i o n , labour f o r c e , n a t u r a l r e s o u r c e s , h e a l t h and education s e r v i c e s , economic s e c t o r s and community i n f r a s t r u c t u r e . An e a r l i e r study on the v i l l a g e i s the m i s s i o n a r y account of S i s t e r P a u l i n e M e r c i e r , F.M.M. (1876-1976). I t i s r i c h w i t h l o c a l anecdotes and h i s t o r i c a l dates and events. Within the context of the Metis O r a l H i s t o r y P r o j e c t 19 sponsored by the P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s of Manitoba, N i c o l e S t -Onge d e s c r i b e s the St.Laurent community i n C a n a d i a n O r a l Hl J^LQJCi™^ i^aoAai..l9.n. : "St.Laurent, Manitoba: O r a l H i s t o r y of a Metis Community". (St-Onge: 1984). St-Onge uses " o r a l h i s t o r y as a t o o l f o r understanding the e v o l v i n g s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e of a community... and f o r i n d i c a t i n g where and when changes had occurred over the l a s t f i f t y or s i x t y years and how r e s i d e n t s r e a c t e d to them". (St-Onge 1984: 2-3). One l a s t p o r t r a y a l of Metis of St.Laurent i s provided by Marcel G i r a u d . He w r i t e s : . . . " t i n y h a l f - b r e e d v i l l a g e s , such as ... St.Laurent... are now occupied by very backward people... t h e i r mental t r a i t s appear as in c o m p l e t e l y developed as t h e i r b i o l o g i c a l composition....In competition with the whites, they are handicapped by t h e i r l a c k of i n i t i a t i v e , steady w i l l , providence and... poverty. In b r i e f , they are f i t t e d f o r manual and c l o s e l y s u p e r v i s e d work, but not f o r s u p e r v i s o r y a c t i v i t y . . . as soon as severe i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s c i p l i n e i s required...[He] g i v e s up every e x e r t i o n . . . h i s q u a l i t i e s g r a d u a l l y p a r a l y z e d by a la c k of will-power which may u l t i m a t e l y r e s u l t among the a d u l t s i n a complete d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of moral p r i n c i p l e s " . (1937: 541-549). A review of the l i t e r a t u r e shows t h a t most w r i t e r s have not had a high esteem f o r the Metis people. In a n u t s h e l l , Metis were a nuisance to the development and progress of the 20 oncoming white ' c i v i l i z a t i o n ' . Few w r i t e r s a c t u a l l y had something p o s i t i v e to say about t h e i r c h a r a c t e r t r a i t s . In recent years, due to access to new sources, a new and more p o s i t i v e a p p r e c i a t i o n of the Metis l i f e s t y l e i s coming i n t o being. For that reason i t i s d i f f i c u l t to sum up the concept of Metisness i n the 19th century as new i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n s keep s u r f a c i n g . Metisness of the 19th century i s being r e c o n s t r u c t e d everyday both by s c h o l a r s c a r r y i n g out r e s e a r c h on the new a v a i l a b l e data and by the Metis people themselves who are r e d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i r r o o t s and t r a d i t i o n s . Thus, new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of Metisness keep popping up and n o t h i n g seems to i n d i c a t e a r e v e r s a l of that t r e n d . One f e a t u r e of the l i t e r a t u r e on Metis people i s most n o t i c e a b l e : there i s a d e a r t h of ethnographies on contempo-r a r y Metis communities. Most h i s t o r i a n s have examined the Metis way of l i f e o nly before 1885. What happened to the Metis a f t e r 1885? Outside of Diane Payment's h i s t o r i c a l community study of Batoche :1870-1910 (1983) and Paul Driben 's We are Metis; Xhe ethnography of a ..half-breed ejamjaujQ..L^^ (1985) and P h i l i p Spaulding's I l e - a - l a - C r o s s e (1970), there are a c t u a l l y few w r i t i n g s that d e a l with contemporary Metis people and communities a f t e r the death of L o u i s R i e l . Why i s t h i s so? Perhaps h i s t o r i a n s are more i n t e r e s t e d i n doing simple a r c h i v a l r e s e a r c h , while ethnographers have p r e f e r r e d to study ' t r a d i t i o n a l a b o r i g i n a l c u l t u r e s ' r a t h e r than h y b r i d ones. 21 The present r e s e a r c h i s a modest attempt to f i l l t h a t v o i d . S p e c i f i c a l l y , I hope that the d e s c r i p t i o n of the l i f e e xperience of the Metis at St.Laurent w i l l c o n t r i b u t e to our understanding of Metisness and of Metis i d e n t i t y i n the 20th century; t h a t i t w i l l show how such Metisness and i d e n t i t y d i f f e r from 19th century concepts, and how the process of modernization has i n f l u e n c e d i t . Furthermore, I hope i t w i l l r a i s e the l e v e l of consciousness of Metis people i n t h e i r understanding of t h e i r own h i s t o r y and c u l t u r e . I hope i t w i l l serve as a c u l t u r a l resource f o r Metis people and s c h o l a r s who have a concern f o r Metis c u l t u r e , h i s t o r y and language. F i n a l l y , much l i k e n a t i v e h i s t o r y , t hat of the Metis has never been recorded from the Metis person's p o i n t of view and mode of thought. S c h o l a r s remind us that Metis people, being a people of o r a l t r a d i t i o n , l e f t very l i t t l e w r i t t e n m a t e r i a l r e g a r d i n g t h e i r past l i f e . Consequently, I hope t h i s study w i l l act as a s t i m u l a n t and an encouragement f o r other r e s e a r c h e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y Metis s c h o l a r s , to re c o r d and document Metis c u l t u r e and h i s t o r y i n a Metis p e r s p e c t i v e . 22 Chapter 2 St.Laurent, Wan i t o b a id^ i,st.Q.ri..s..al.„,S..e..tUblag T h i s chapter i n t r o d u c e s the reader to St.Laurent. In the f i r s t p a r t , we w i l l look at i t s g e o g r a p h i c a l s e t t i n g , l o c a t i o n , settlement p a t t e r n and topography. In the second p a r t , I w i l l present a review of the people's p e r c e p t i o n of t h e i r h i s t o r y , and a l s o a d e s c r i p t i v e account of the people's a p p r e c i a t i o n of some m a t e r i a l aspects of t h e i r c u l t u r e such as s h e l t e r , food and c l o t h i n g . At the same time, I w i l l document some of the changes t h a t have occurred i n t h e i r c u l t u r a l understanding of these m a t e r i a l aspects s i n c e the t u r n of the century. g e o g r a p h i c a l . S e t t i n g St.Laurent, Manitoba, not to be confused with St.Laurent, Saskatchewan, i s a Metis v i l l a g e i n the I n t e r l a k e r e g i o n of the p r o v i n c e of Manitoba. I t i s s i t u a t e d on the eastern shores of Lake Manitoba or of "L'Grand Lac Manitoba", as one e l d e r c a l l e d i t , some n i n e t y k i l o m e t r e s north-west of Winnipeg. ( F i g . 1 ) . Some twenty years ago, most E n g l i s h v i s i t o r s to the area would be somewhat perplexed. As they entered the v i l l a g e from the south end by p r o v i n c i a l highway number s i x , 23 ( F i g . 1 and F i g . 2 ) , they would read a green s i g n with white b o l d l e t t e r s : St.Laurent. But they would not see a s i n g l e house. T h i s i s because the settlement p a t t e r n r e f l e c t s i t s French-Canadian r o o t s . The t h i n g that s t r i k e s the o u t s i d e r upon a r r i v a l here i s t h a t there i s no town-site. A f t e r d r i v i n g i n the area f o r awhile, one n o t i c e s the houses randomly s c a t t e r e d along the o l d and new highway, along s i d e roads, the " f a s c i n a g e r o a d " , 1 and along the r a i l w a y t r a c k over an area of approximately f i v e by three k i l o m e t r e s . ( F i g . 2). Many d w e l l i n g s are b u i l t c l o s e to the main roads, at v a r y i n g d i s t a n c e s , while others are n e s t l e d i n the bushes of the wooded g r a s s l a n d . A c c o r d i n g to an e l d e r , people were given lake f r o n t l o t s , two m i l e s long by twenty to f i f t y yards wide. Some were given more, others l e s s . In other words, the land h o l d i n g system i n St.Laurent was p a t t e r n e d on the system e s t a b l i s h e d e a r l i e r i n Red R i v e r . Researchers f o r Parks Canada e x p l a i n i t i n t h i s way: Land tenure in the Red River Settlement was based on the seigneurial system of New France. Unlike the English (and American) system which employed the square township survey, the French system was based on long narrow r i v e r l o t s . Each l o t was up to 3km deep but had a r i v e r frontage of only 8 - 1 2 chains (150 - 250m). In Red River, t h i s long narrow pattern suited the s e t t l e r s needs for both access to the r i v e r and to t h e i r neighbors. It gave each family a share of f e r t i l e black r i v e r s o i l for crops such as wheat, oats, barley and vegetables, as well as space further back for some hay and pasture". 2 24 In a f a s h i o n l i k e Red Riv e r , the Metis of St.Laurent had access to water (Lake Manitoba) f o r t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and f i s h i n g , and to the land f o r needed c u l t i v a t i o n and hay making. The settlement was d i v i d e d i n t o twenty-four l o t s . The boundaries of the l o t system are: to the south, the Twin lake road; to the west, Lake Manitoba; to the nor t h , the present Chartrand Road S.; and to the east, the " f a s c i n a g e " road. ( F i g u r e s 2 and 3). The land o u t s i d e the l o t system boundaries was surveyed a c c o r d i n g to the square township and r e c t a n g u l a r g r i d system by the Canadian Government a f t e r C o n f e d e r a t i o n . One l i f e -long area r e s i d e n t contends that many l o t s were not p r o p e r l y surveyed. The same informant s t a t e s that the government i n the 1870's, e s t a b l i s h e d a s o r t of re s e r v e land without g r a n t i n g i n d i v i d u a l t i t l e . The c h i l d r e n of the r e g i s t e r e d heads of f a m i l i e s were suppose to r e c e i v e so many acres each. The Manitoba Act of 1870 p r o v i d e s land f o r the Metis c h i l d r e n . Up to t h i s day, there i s no evidence that the Metis at St.Laurent r e c e i v e d the land. With t h i s understanding, the people c o n s t r u c t e d t h e i r house haphazardly on t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e l o t s and not a c c o r d i n g to s t r e e t d e s i g n s . Furthermore, an e l d e r e x p l a i n s : "People could not st a y c l o s e and b u i l d t h e i r homes c l o s e to each other as i n a town, as they had cows and farms to look a f t e r " . 25 Two s e n i o r women probably r e f l e c t the sentiments of many l o c a l Metis r e s i d e n t s when they say that t h i s type of settlement p a t t e r n i s f i n e with them, as i t i s more compatible with the Metis way of t h i n k i n g and way of l i f e . As they remarked: "We enjoy more freedom of movement and independence, i n s t e a d of being crammed c l o s e together as i n the c i t i e s " . Before the new road was b u i l t , the o l d highway number s i x was merely a narrow g r a v e l road, ( F i g . 2). People t r a v e l l e d by c u t t e r s ( a s m a l l , l i g h t s l e i g h u s u a l l y p u l l e d by one h o r s e ) , cabooses (a horse-drawn v e h i c l e con-s i s t i n g of a s m a l l cabin mounted on runners and equipped with benches and a stove) and horse-drawn s l e i g h s i n the winter, and i n the summer by buggy, and horse-drawn wagons. Some l o c a l people knew the area very w e l l , i n c l u d i n g as a former hunter quipped, every r a b b i t t r a i l i n the bush! At f i r s t , he continues, the r a i l r o a d t r a c k was supposed to pass by Norman Gaudry's p l a c e , and then another r a i l w a y was scheduled to be b u i l t near "L'Grand Mash-keg", 3 ( F i g . 2). But, n e i t h e r of these p r o j e c t s ever m a t e r i a l i z e d . The r a i l w a y was b u i l t i n 1904 ( M e r c i e r : 1976) where i t stands today and i t has always been at that one p l a c e . From the horse and buggy days to the four-wheel d r i v e of today, the Metis people of St.Laurent, l i k e most Manitobans, have been a very h i g h l y mobile p o p u l a t i o n . 26 The land around St.Laurent has many c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . A g r i c u l t u r e Canada d e s c r i b e s the s o i l as f o l l o w s : "The area has a layer of t i l l which i s either covered with water-sorted sediments or i s modified on the surface by the lake waters that occupied the Manitoba lowlands for a period of time aft e r the melting of g l a c i a l age. The t i l l , strongly calcareous in composition, i s derived from the limestone area of the Manitoba lowlands and the granitoid region of the Precambrian Shield. The water-sorted deposits, mainly of moderately calcareous composition, are dominantly from the western uplands." 4 In sum, the s o i l s on the St.Laurent area c o n s i s t of g l a c i a l t i l l s and lake d e p o s i t s and have l i m i t e d a g r i c u l t u r a l p o t e n t i a l . There i s some a r a b l e land i n the St.Laurent area, but because of the stony and c a l c a r e o u s c o n d i t i o n s of the s o i l , most of the land can best serve as pa s t u r e l a n d f o r haying and r a i s i n g c a t t l e . A l o c a l farmer f o r many years says that the s o i l q u a l i t y of St.Laurent i s good. "We can produce j u s t about anything except corn and sunflowers. There are, however, simply too many stones. Corn and sunflowers need s p e c i a l kinds of rows f o r c l e a n up and stones would be i n the way of the cleaning-machine". I t i s a l s o a r i d land, he adds, i n s p i t e of being surrounded by l o t s of water. "That i s because 27 there i s l o t s of limestone i n the I n t e r l a k e s o i l , i t needs a l o t of r a i n to produce". A c a t t l e farmer observes that the s o i l i s good f o r p a s t u r e l a n d , haying and r a i s i n g c a t t l e , but then, he c a u t i o n s , i t i s too stoney and too s a l t y to grow g r a i n . Another respondent t r i e d farming but switched to another business because he found i t was too expensive to operate. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that the s o i l produced good y i e l d s of a l f a l f a . The c l i m a t e i n the St.Laurent area i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the seasonal extremes that are t y p i c a l of the c e n t r a l p r a i r i e s . Summers are very hot (temperatures r e a c h i n g 30 -35 C e l s i u s ) and winters are extremely c o l d with temperatures p l u n g i n g to -35 -40 degrees C e l s i u s . There i s u s u a l l y a snow cover between November and March and the lake i s f r o z e n over between l a t e November and e a r l y May. The i n h a b i t a n t s of the St.Laurent area at the time of the i n i t i a l European i n f l u e n c e were probably Cree and A s s i n i b o i n e Indians. A c c o r d i n g to Arthur J . Ray, (1974: 3): "Throughout most of the h i s t o r i c a l period, the Siouan-speaking Assiniboine and the Algonquian-speaking Western Cree Indians were the p r i n c i p a l inhabitants of central and southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and they figured prominently in the fur trade of the Canadian West". 28 La Verendrye and h i s sons a l s o t r a v e l l e d on "L'Grand Lac Manitoba" i n 1733. As e a r l y as 1824, a group of Metis from Pembina moved to the St.Laurent area a t t r a c t e d by the f i s h i n g on Lake Manitoba. Another group, d r i v e n out by the Red River f l o o d of 1826 a l s o s e t t l e d here s h o r t l y a f t e r . 5 I t i s u n c l e a r i f the area had been abandoned or i f people r e s i d e d i n the area, and i f so, who they were, when the f i r s t Metis a r r i v e d i n the 1820's. By 1850, twelve Metis f a m i l i e s r e s i d e d i n the v i c i n i t y of St.Laurent. Among them were the Lamberts, the Chartrands, the Lavalle,es and the Ducharmes. 6 By 1863, s e v e r a l new f a m i l i e s had moved i n t o the area. L i k e t h e i r p redecessors, they were a t t r a c t e d by the f i s h i n g on "L'Grand Lac Manitoba". Between 1863 and 1881, the settlement developed r a p i d l y . Father Laurent Simonet, OMI, i n 1861 was the f i r s t r e s i d e n t p r i e s t . 7 Apparently the s c h o o l that stood at the south-end f o r many years was named a f t e r him. The f i r s t baptism, marriage and b u r i a l recorded i n the p a r i s h r e g i s t e r are as f o l l o w s : the baptism i s that of Amelie Goulet who was born on May 25, 1864. She was the daughter of P i e r r e Goulet and Marie Chaboyer, and was b a p t i z e d here on May 27; the marriage i s that of between Louison Comptois and Marie G e n a i l l e , on February 5th, 1865, and the b u r i a l s e r v i c e that of Suzanne Laurent on December 24th, 1864. 8 29 In 1870, the f i r s t s c h o o l was opened and by 1881, St.Laurent had i t s own government as the P r o v i n c i a l L e g i s -l a t u r e c r e a t e d the Rural M u n i c i p a l i t y of S t . L a u r e n t . 9 By t h i s time, St.Laurent had 32 Metis f a m i l i e s and a s c h o o l p o p u l a t i o n of 5 0 . 1 0 The F r a n c i s c a n M i s s i o n a r i e s of Mary a r r i v e d i n 1896 and s i x years l a t e r , a t h r e e - s t o r e y convent was c o n s t r u c t e d to house the nuns; t h i r t y - f i v e of them were i n r e s i d e n c e i n the 1950's. 1 1 Between 1905 and 1910, s e v e r a l Breton f a m i l i e s a r r i v e d from F r a n c e . 1 2 They were fo l l o w e d by some French Canadian f a m i l i e s i n the 1930's. Some Mennonite f a m i l i e s a l s o moved to the area i n the e a r l y 1950's. Most of these people moved i n the area to c a r r y on c a t t l e and d a i r y farming or to operate g e n e r a l s t o r e s . Today, the p o p u l a t i o n of St.Laurent i s approximately 1,100, about three q u a r t e r of whom are M e t i s . 1 3 In summary, some Metis f a m i l i e s have l i v e d i n the v i c i n i t y s i n c e the 1820's. Over the years, a s t r o n g core of Metis people have always remained here. Many white people of d i f f e r e n t n a t i o n a l i t i e s , Metis and non-Metis a l i k e , have come and gone. People s e t t l e d here f o r v a r i o u s reasons. Some came to f i s h , some to r a i s e c a t t l e and engage i n d a i r y farming. Thus, the e a r l y settlement of St.Laurent was comprised mainly of Metis people but, over the years, became a settlement with people with heterogeneous background. More r e c e n t l y , r e s o r t s at the lake have drawn i n many c i t y -d w e l l e r s , a l s o of many n a t i o n a l i t i e s . 30 SiieJLkex According to an informant, the t y p i c a l h a b i t a t i o n of the Metis people d u r i n g the f i r s t p a r t of the t w e n t i e t h century was a log-house. Constructed from the l o c a l p o p l a r brought i n from the Stony Ridge area, most of the log-houses had one or two s t o r e y s . The aspen t r e e s were not used because they were considered too s o f t and s u b j e c t to r o t i n a s h o r t time. The logs were s e t h o r i z o n t a l l y a c c o r d i n g to French Canadian s t r u c t u r e and not v e r t i c a l l y which was considered the E n g l i s h t r a d i t i o n . Covered with y e l l o w gumbo, mud and grass , they were p a i n t e d over with mortar, p l a s t e r and lime both i n s i d e and o u t s i d e . Another respondent noted that some people a l s o used moss to f i l l i n the cracks i n the w a l l s ; sometimes, the roof was covered with hay and with b l a c k d i r t over the hay to prevent the r a i n from seeping through. In winter, I r e c a l l people would p l a c e straw b a l e s and hay or pack the snow three or four f e e t high around the house to c o n t a i n the heat, and i n some cases, that was the extent of the i n s u l a t i o n . The s i z e of the d w e l l i n g s v a r i e d o f t e n a c c o r d i n g to the s i z e of the f a m i l y . For example, an e l d e r lady informs us th a t t h e i r house was not b i g . Often, there were no w a l l s 31 u p s t a i r s , j u s t drapes to separate the rooms. She adds that some houses had no s t a i r s to go to the d i r t c e l l a r , so they used a home-made step-ladder.. A common s i g h t i n the area was the l a r g e r two-storey log-house. As I was t o l d by an e l d e r , the door to a l a r g e k i t c h e n would u s u a l l y serve as the main entrance and t h i s would lead to the l i v i n g - r o o m where one would f i n d a b i g p o t - b e l l i e d stove u s u a l l y i n the middle of the f l o o r . And as one informant s a i d : "In the good o l d days, those spacious l i v i n g - r o o m s , some of them 24 X 24 f e e t , made good dance-h a l l s on Saturday n i g h t s " . "Our house was nothing fancy", r e l a t e s another, "but we had a l l the b a s i c f u r n i t u r e we needed: t a b l e s , c h a i r s , cupboards, beds and l i n e n " . As the stoves were the only source of heat, one s e n i o r man s a i d t h a t the k i t c h e n stove served f o r both cooking and h e a t i n g , while the p o t - b e l l i e d stove i n the l i v i n g - r o o m provided warmth f o r the e n t i r e household, i n c l u d i n g the area u p s t a i r s . However, i t became very hot around the k i t c h e n stove e s p e c i a l l y when baking bread d u r i n g the month of J u l y . The kerosene and c o a l - o i l lamps provided a r a t h e r dim l i g h t f o r the v a r i o u s rooms. L a t e r , the gas lamp was a welcome improvement i n s p i t e of i t s f r a g i l e and easy-to-break mantles. In the winter, the whole house, e s p e c i a l l y the f l o o r s were as c o l d as i c e when people woke i n the mornings. So, they t r i e d to get the stove going as f a s t as p o s s i b l e . To do so, one informant s a i d t h a t , the n i g h t before, they made 32 " l e s r i p p e s " , s m a l l , dry p i e c e s of wood shavings to serve as f i r e - s t a r t e r s . I f one d i d not have too much d i f f i c u l t y s t a r t i n g the f i r e , one could hear, a f t e r a moment, the flames c r a c k l i n g , and soon afterwards, a pot of hot tea or c o f f e e would be w h i s t l i n g and dancing on the o l d wood-stove. Many newly-wed couples stayed i n a one-room log-house f o r t h e i r f i r s t few years of married l i f e . One e l d e r l y lady r e c a l l e d , some of these d w e l l i n g s were no b i g g e r than 16 X 16. Once the f a m i l y got too b i g , they moved i n t o more spacious q u a r t e r s or they added on to the o r i g i n a l s e c t i o n , some with plank c o n s t r u c t i o n and covered with b r i c k s i d i n g . Some l a r g e f a m i l i e s d i d l a c k adequate housing. In g e n e r a l , even though the homes were s m a l l and crowded, they were, nonetheless, kept c l e a n and cozy. As a woman i n her e i g h t i e s t o l d me: "Our mothers taught us to be c l e a n and to make l y s o l and our own soap with the ashes from the wood-stove". Another woman e x p l a i n e d : "We would then wash the w a l l s and the c e i l i n g and scrub the f l o o r s with a f l o o r - b r u s h . Mother would come around and i n s p e c t to make sure we had done a good job, e s p e c i a l l y c l e a n i n g between the c r a c k s of the wooden f l o o r . We would have to s t a r t over again i f i t was not done to her s a t i s f a c t i o n . Some people a l s o t i e d hay and/or grass to a s t i c k which they used as brooms and brushes". One of the e l d e r s d e s c r i b e d a t y p i c a l k i t c h e n as f o l l o w s : 3 3 "To be happy in her kitchen, a woman must have a good stove and I had a good stove. I t provided heat, yes, but I used i t mainly for cooking. Of course, we had no e l e c t r i c i t y and no r e f r i g e r a t o r then. So we wrapped the meat and other perishables l i k e head cheese and butter, put i t in a p a i l and lowered them into the water down the well to keep fresh. At the centre of the kitchen would be the table. Since there were seven of us at one time for the meals, i t had to be a big and strong table. He had chairs and benches, too. Beside my stove, there would be a big box. I would make sure that the boys kept i t always f u l l with dry wood. In the corner, beside the window, there would be a stand with a water basin and towel with a mirror hanging on the wall in front of you. We would throw our d i r t y water either outside or in the s l o p - p a i l by the stand". She s a i d t h a t she spent a l o t of time i n her k i t c h e n . She remembers p r e p a r i n g the food f o r the men going to f i s h on the lake i n wintertime. She would pre-cook most of the food l i k e beef or pork r o a s t , l o t s of potatoes and some home-made p a s t r i e s and bannock. My k i t c h e n , she r e c o l l e c t e d would a l s o be the p l a c e where I would welcome the v i s i t o r s . S i t t i n g at the k i t c h e n t a b l e , we would t a l k and d r i n k tea with cake or c o o k i e s . The cupboards were u s u a l l y f u l l of d i s h e s , u t e n s i l s , pots and pans, odds and ends. Her l i v i n g -room had a l l the b a s i c f u r n i t u r e l i k e the s o f a , c h a i r s , t a b l e and d r e s s e r s . F i n a l l y , she r e l a t e d how she kept and t r e a s u r e d a g a l l e r y of f a m i l y and holy p i c t u r e s on the People no longer l i v e i n log-houses i n St.Laurent. A c c o r d i n g to an informant, the l a s t Metis f a m i l y to l i v e i n a log-house in St.Laurent was i n the l a t e s i x t i e s . Today, one can r e a d i l y observe that new homes, i n some cases with 34 attached car garages, have r e p l a c e d the o l d houses. V i s i t o r do not see horse-drawn wagons or s l e i g h s anymore. People now enjoy the commodities and u t i l i t i e s of modern l i f e . In the e a r l y 1970's, the l o c a l Metis o r g a n i z a t i o n was i n s t r u m e n t a l i n persuading the Manitoba Housing C o r p o r a t i o n to b u i l d 34 new u n i t s and a Senior C i t i z e n ' s Home. Metis Food The d i e t of the Metis of St.Laurent was s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d by the l o c a l f i s h i n g , hunting and t r a p p i n g eco-nomy. J a c k f i s h , saugers and t u l l i b e e s were the common f i s h , but the r e a l d e l i c a c i e s were the p i c k e r e l and the w h i t e f i s h Some people ate f i s h many times a week and never got t i r e d of them, e s p e c i a l l y the p i c k e r e l . Today, the r e s i d e n t s s t i l eat a l o t of f i s h , but not as much as they used t o . According to a fisherman's wife, t h i s i s simply because the younger g e n e r a t i o n has become somewhat f u s s y as to i t s t a s t e . In the past, water fowl f i g u r e d prominently i n the d i e t . A l s o w i l d meat p a r t i c u l a r l y deer and r a b b i t , were important. St.Laurent l i e s w i t h i n the zone f u r t r a d e r s used to c a l l "Muskrat Country". The land teemed with these animals. U n t i l r e c e n t l y , muskrat meat was a common item on the household t a b l e . P r e s e n t l y , however the younger g e n e r a t i o n t r a p the muskrat only f o r i t s f u r v a l u e . Few young people eat muskrat any longer. 35 Besides 'country food' the Metis always depended on t h e i r gardens. F a m i l i e s grew a l l the b a s i c vegetables ( c a r r o t s , l e t t u c e , beet, t u r n i p s , cucumber, cabbages and tomatoes) and u s u a l l y they had a l a r g e potato f i e l d . An informant t o l d me t h a t some f a m i l i e s would have as many as three d i f f e r e n t c e l l a r s i n t h e i r d i r t basement: two la r g e ones f o r the vege t a b l e s and the potatoes and a s m a l l e r one f o r the canned p r e s e r v e s . Many kinds of w i l d b e r r i e s a l s o abounded. Most popular f o r canning purposes were high bush c r a n b e r r i e s or " l i p a b b i n a n s " 1 4 as they are c a l l e d l o c a l l y , r a s p b e r r i e s and s t r a w b e r r i e s t hat grew along the lake near " l a c o u l i d ' W i l s o n " . 1 5 A l s o , the h i g h l y esteemed saskatoons and choke c h e r r i e s were always i n abundance. P i n c h e r r i e s , g o o s e b e r r i e s and h a z e l n u t s were present too, but i n s m a l l e r p r o p o r t i o n . Besides these v a r i o u s vegetable foods, the Metis kept c a t t l e beef and d a i r y c a t t l e as w e l l as cows, p i g s and chick e n s . A c c o r d i n g to an e l d e r , men helped each other i n bu t c h e r i n g animals. Women used the t r i p e s to make blood sausage. Metis women produced t h e i r own b u t t e r from the farm f r e s h cream. Eggs and milk were a l s o f r e s h everyday. Thus, the l o c a l d i e t was w e l l balanced with v e g e t a b l e s , a s s o r t e d game meats and w i l d b e r r i e s . The Metis women have always p l a c e d a premium on food p r e p a r a t i o n and cooking. At an e a r l y age, c h i l d r e n were taught not to waste; food was considered to be a g i f t from the C r e a t o r and a reward f o r a person's honest day's work. 36 Many women r o u t i n e l y baked as many as twenty or t w e n t y - f i v e loaves of bread, once or twice a week, not c o u n t i n g the bannock and other p a s t r i e s she prepared. V a r i o u s r e c i p e s such as meatballs and tomato sauce, deer steak and onions, r a b b i t and duck stew with chopped c a r r o t s and bannock, Christmas f r u i t cake and " l a Poutchine au S a c " , l s a l l were co n s i d e r e d t y p i c a l Metis foods and were served with g r e a t d e l i g h t to guests, e s p e c i a l l y d u r i n g the f e s t i v e seasons of Christmas and New Year. Two former r e s i d e n t s have provided r e c i p e s of some of the Metis people's more popular and f a v o u r i t e foods. (See Addendum: p.44 ). Some of these r e c i p e s , they admitted, date back to the 1920's and were passed on to them by t h e i r mother, Mrs. Madeleine L a v a l l e e . An e l d e r e x p l a i n e d i t r a t h e r w e l l as she s u c c i n c t l y remarked: "There i s l i t t l e doubt that our mothers were very good cooks with the l i t t l e conveniences that they had" . Many f a m i l i e s remember the autumn days of canning. An e n t h u s i a s t i c grandmother r e c a l l s when, with the help of her f a m i l y , they would can as many as one thousand q u a r t s of v e g e t a b l e s , f r u i t s , w i l d b e r r i e s , f i s h and w i l d meat. Washing, c l e a n i n g and b o i l i n g the j a r s was q u i t e a chore as was the cooking of the food c o n s i d e r i n g that they d i d not have e l e c t r i c a l or gas stoves then. 3 7 However, not a l l f a m i l i e s had a p l e n t i f u l supply of food. One woman ex p l a i n e d how she had to go and snare r a b b i t s , p a r t r i d g e s and p r a i r i e chicken to make ends meet. A widow s t a t e d t h a t , too o f t e n , a l l she had to feed her c h i l d r e n was potatoes, macaroni and bologna. Fresh meat? "Only on Sundays", r e p l i e d another. Some e l d e r s a l s o r e c a l l e a t i n g beaver, lynx, bear and making t h e i r own pemmican. Pemmican was d r i e d , lean meat pounded i n t o a paste with melted f a t and some b e r r i e s . A f t e r awhile i t hardened and i t was the u s u a l food of the voyageurs because i t would keep f o r a long time under almost any c o n d i t i o n s . Nowadays, remarked an o l d t i m e r , i t seems that members of the younger g e n e r a t i o n w i l l sometimes p r e f e r Safeway meat and seafood to w i l d meat and f i s h from Lake Manitoba. The source of food has thus changed c o n s i d e r a b l y f o r the Metis people of St.Laurent i n the l a s t few years, and i t s p r e p a r a t i o n , a c c o r d i n g l y . Metis C l o t h i n g In the past, Metis people had to be c r e a t i v e and d i l i g e n t i n making the c l o t h e s they needed f o r each season of the year. One of the e l d e r member of the community noted that women e s p e c i a l l y were adept i n d e s i g n i n g moccasins, mittens and parkas from deer, moose and r a b b i t hide; we would never throw away o l d c l o t h i n g , we would take o l d c l o t h e s , take them apart and put them together again i n new coats or j a c k e t s . 38 A women's sewing c l u b operated f o r many years i n the v i l l a g e . A ccording to a woman who s t i l l remembers her mother belonging to such a group, she s a i d t h a t the Metis women would meet at the convent or at each other's p l a c e i n the afternoon and a l t e r n a t e on a weekly b a s i s . K n i t t i n g of woollen socks, mittens and sweaters f o r the e n t i r e f a m i l y was very important e s p e c i a l l y f o r economic reasons. A mother of a l a r g e f a m i l y remarked that orders of c l o t h e s from the Eaton or Simpson catalogue were r e s t r i c t e d to once or twice a year, u s u a l l y at E a s t e r or Christmas time. The women washed t h e i r c l o t h e s as a p a r t of her household chores. Of course, she p r e f e r r e d s o f t water i f she could get some. People a n t i c i p a t e d the r a i n whenever they saw dark grey clouds g a t h e r i n g i n the West over "L'Grand l a c Manitoba". A c c o r d i n g l y , they set up the eavestroughs and/or every imaginable c o n t a i n e r to get as much r a i n water as p o s s i b l e . In the winter, the boys were expected to s h o v e l f r e s h and c l e a n snow i n t o a tub or b o i l e r which they would c a r r y i n the house and p l a c e on the stove to melt. As a young l a d , I r e c a l l doing that myself o f t e n . An e l d e r observed, f o r many years, most women used a tub, wash-board and home-made soap to wash c l o t h e s . The washing-machine, e i t h e r the manually operated or the e l e c t r i c one, are recent a c q u i s i t i o n s . She d e s c r i b e s her work i n the f o l l o w i n g way: 3 9 " I t would usually.take a day or two to wash the heavy batch spread out on the f l o o r according to color and variety, besides, the women had to be healthy and strong to wring the clothes by hand, es p e c i a l l y the men's coveralls and working clothes. Often, my fingers would hurt at the end of the day". A woman sta n d i n g on a bench, c l o t h e s p i n s i n her mouth and a b a s k e t f u l l of wet c l o t h e s b eside her, hanging c l o t h e s on a l i n e t h a t she had probably put together h e r s e l f , was a f a m i l i a r s i g h t i n the v i l l a g e . With a po l e , she would then r a i s e the heavy-laden l i n e f o r the c l o t h e s to dry. The i d e a l c o n d i t i o n to dry c l o t h e s i s a sunny and breezy day. But a c c o r d i n g to an informant, i n the winter, the c l o t h e s would f r e e z e and become s t i f f as a board; a f t e r ah hour or so i n the house, u s u a l l y on a s o f a , c h a i r or bed, the c l o t h e s would s o f t e n again and exude a cl e a n and f r e s h aroma. The i r o n s were heated on the stove and c l i p p e d on to a handle. By t h i s time, the c l o t h e s had been h u m i d i f i e d with s p r i n k l i n g water and were now ready f o r i r o n i n g . Today, not a s i n g l e Metis woman uses a wash-board to wash c l o t h e s . Everyone uses modern u t i l i t i e s and conveniences. The obvious change as f a r as c l o t h i n g i s concerned i s i n the manufacturing of c l o t h e s . In the past, people, i n g e n e r a l , made t h e i r own c l o t h e s f o r themselves and f o r t h e i r f a m i l i e s . Today, most people buy t h e i r c l o t h e s from a department s t o r e or from a boutique. To conclude t h i s chapter, l i k e many other people 40 of the r e g i o n and of the pr o v i n c e , the Metis people of St.Laurent have undergone c o n s i d e r a b l e changes i n t h e i r c u l t u r a l understanding r e g a r d i n g some m a t e r i a l aspects of t h e i r c u l t u r e . T h i s i s due p r i m a r i l y to a change of l i f e -s t y l e from a s u b s i s t e n c e to a more complex and cash economy. Consequently, modern l i f e has absorbed many m a t e r i a l aspects of t r a d i t i o n a l Metis c u l t u r e , except perhaps f o r some t r a d i t i o n a l Metis foods. In many r e s p e c t s , the economic experience of the Metis i s not unique and no d i f f e r e n t from that of other pioneer s e t t l e r s i n the r e g i o n , as most people depended on a s u b s i s t e n c e economy. The d i f f e r e n c e i n the s i t u a t i o n , however, l i e s i n the f a c t t h a t the Metis are an a b o r i g i n a l people with a s p e c i a l attachment to the land. T h e i r economic l i f e - s t y l e , at the time, was s u c c e s s f u l and h i g h l y i n t e g r a t e d to the land and to the environment. Whereas, to most white s e t t l e r s and government people, modernization meant p r o s p e r i t y and progress, to the Metis, t h e i r understanding of modernization was based on the f e a r of l o s i n g t h e i r c e n t r a l p o s i t i o n i n the economy. I t meant the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of t h e i r t h r i v i n g economic system and m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n of t h e i r people. To many Metis, m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n was the by-product of modernization. Table 1 (below) r e v e a l s g r a p h i c a l l y how the Metis of St.Laurent have moved from being a c l o s e - k n i t and s e l f -contained community f o r the most p a r t e x p l o i t i n g the resources of the immediate environment and engaged in,mutual 41 intra-community r e l a t i o n s and o b l i g a t i o n s with a minimal dependence on the resources of the e x t e r i o r environment to one i n which they have come to r e l y on the l a t t e r almost e x c l u s i v e l y . And t h i s r e q u i r e s , above e v e r y t h i n g e l s e , access to cash which means that they have come to depend on wage labour, p a i d employment, or s m a l l b u s i n e s s e s . Two columns dominate the t a b l e : p r i o r to 1950, we f i n d most of the check marks (X) under the column f o r goods that were self-made(sm), while to-day we f i n d most of these marks under the column ( c ) , bought f o r cash. The log-house and other goods such as home-made c a r p e t s , moccasins and c l o t h e s , wood-stoves, buggies and cabooses p r a c t i c a l l y do not e x i s t anymore. Many items that are bought f o r cash today, such as skidoos and bombardiers, hydro and e l e c t r i c a l a p p l i a n c e s , and car garages d i d not e x i s t b efore 1950. Thus, very few items were bought f o r cash p r i o r to 1950, while today, only a few a r t i c l e s are made at home. T h i s d r a s t i c socio-economic change i n d i c a t e s i n an o b j e c t i v e sense that whatever the Metis were i n the past they are not the same today. I t a l s o r a i s e s the q u e s t i o n s whether, i n thus becoming i n so many ways more Canadian than Me t i s , the Metis s t i l l r e t a i n t h e i r i d e n t i t y as Metis and, i f they do, on what b a s i s . 42 IabJLa_l Abr . : Sja: self-made; e.: cash; £/N-e: E x i s t ing, N o n - e x i s t i n g . MjLt .e jdLSl ._J^ Pxe.-1.9.50. la-day. I tems. L-SSLJ. L_c.-J L_E^a!__Sm-J L-fi__l M&^& Sj3je_li..e_r.: Log-house x E N-e F l o o r - b r u s h x x E N-e Carpets x E x E I n s u l a t i o n x E x E F u r n i t u r e x E x E E l e c t r i c i t y x N-e x E Heating x E x E Water Works x E x x E Car garage N-e x x E Senior Home N-e x E Housing N-e x x E CJLoJthjLiig Moccasins X E N-e Socks X X E X E M i t t e n s X E X E Sweaters X E X E Parkas X X E X E Gloves X X E X E Sewing Club X E X X N-e Washboard X E X E Washing-Machine N-e X E Dryer N-e X E I r o n i n g X E X E Soap X X E X E 43 Fflsd. F i s h i n g X X E X X E T r a p p i n g x X E X X E/N-Hunting x E X E Produce X E X X E D a i r y X X E X E W i l d b e r r i e s X E X X E/N T r a n s p o r t Buggies X E N-e Sulky X E N-e Wagon X E N-e Democrats X E N-e Cabooses X E N-e S l e i g h s X E N-e C u t t e r s X E N-e T r a c t o r s N-e X E Ski-doos N-e X E Bombardiers N-e X E Horses X E N-e T r a i n X E N-e Bus X E X E Car X E/N-e X E Trucks X N-e X E 3-wheelers N-e X E Plane N-e X E Boat X E X E 44 Addendum, 2 cups b u t t e r , 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup molasse, 5 cups of f l o u r , 8 eggs w e l l beaten, 1 cup sour milk, 1 teaspoon baking soda, mix as u s u a l and s t i r i n at the l a s t , 1 pound c u r r a n t s washed and d r i e d , 1 pound seeded r a i s i n s , 1 pound dates chopped, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon mace, 1/2 pound blanched s l i c e d almonds, 1/2 pound mixed p e e l . Bake i n slow oven 225 degrees f o r 2 to 3 hours depending s i z e of pans. 2=— E M d i n g jn_aJbag, , (Poutchin^_aji__sjLfijL J. 1/2 cup beef suet, chopped f i n e and f r e e from s k i n , 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup r a i s i n s , 1/2 cup c u r r a n t s , 1 teaspoon p a s t r y s p i c e , 2 cups f l o u r , 1/2 teaspoon s a l t , 4 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 cup milk, Mix a l l dry i n g r e d i e n t s together, then add milk. Pour mixture i n 5 l b s . c o t t o n bag or 2, 1-qt. s e a l e r or 4 1-pt. s e a l e r and steam 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hrs. F i l l j a r s h a l f - f u l l . Serve with sauce. Sauce 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon c o r n s t a r c h , 1 cup b o i l i n g water, 2 tablespoons b u t t e r , 1/2 teaspoon lemon e x t r a c t , 1/2 teaspoon v a n i l l a , 45 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Mix sugar and corn s t a r c h , s t i r i n b o i l i n g water, b o i l 5 minutes, take from f i r e , add b u t t e r and f l a v o r i n g . 3- Bannock 4 cups of f l o u r , 2 teaspoon s a l t , 3 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup l a r d . Mix dry i n g r e d i e n t s w e l l , s t i r i n enough water to make s o f t dough, d i v i d e i n h a l f and r o l l out with r o l l i n g p i n to d e s i r e d t h i c k n e s s , p r i c k with f o r k and bake i n hot oven 400 degrees f o r 15 to 20 minutes. 1/2 l b . s a l t pork cut i n p i e c e s , 2 r a b b i t s cut up i n s e r v i n g p i e c e s , Put i n pot of b o i l i n g water, add 1 c a r r o t s l i c e d , 1 s m a l l onion chopped. Stew f o r 2 hours or u n t i l tender. F l o u r to t h i c k e n . 5- Wild ducks 2 w i l d ducks, m a l l a r d s , A f t e r ducks are plucked and cleaned, singe them on an open flame or wood f i r e , cut up i n s e r v i n g p i e c e s and put i n pot of b o i l i n g water to cover, add 1 teaspoon s a l t , 1/2 teaspoon b l a c k pepper, one s m a l l c a r r o t s l i c e d , one medium onion chopped, simmer f o r 2 to 3 hours or u n t i l meat i s tender, then add f l o u r to t h i c k e n . 46 6- Muskrat B o i l i n 4 cups of water, 1 teaspoon s a l t f o r 1 1/2 hour or u n t i l tender. Or r o a s t i n oven f o r 2 hours with a l o t of l a r d , season to t a s t e with s a l t and pepper. 2 pounds ground beef, lean, 1 med. onion chopped f i n e , 1 1/2 teaspoon s a l t , 1/2 teaspoon b l a c k pepper, 1/2 cup f l o u r to mix i n the meat to hold together, mix w e l l , r o l l i n t o 2-3 i n . b a l l s and r o l l i n t o f l o u r again. Put i n quart of b o i l i n g water, 1 teaspoon s a l t , and l e t simmer g e n t l y f o r one hour. Wash 4 pork hocks i n c o l d water, put i n l a r g e pot, cover with c o l d water, b o i l f o r 30 minutes, d r a i n , r i n s e hocks and pot, r e t u r n to pot and add h a l f amount of water. S t i c k 4 to 6 whole c l o v e s , 1 s m a l l onion, 1 bay l e a f , 1 tablespoon v i n e g a r . S a l t and pepper to t a s t e , cook u n t i l tender, Remove meat from bones. Cut i n smal l p i e c e s or wood-chopper. Add s t r a i n l i q u i d and put i n t o molds to s e t . 47 KLfiteja 1- F r e n c h w o r d . The r o a d s e r v i n g as the e a s t e r n bounda ry o f t he l o t sys t em i s known as the ' f a s c i n a g e ' r o a d , some l o c a l p e o p l e b e l i e v e i t was o r i g i n a l l y b u i l t as a f i r e - g u a r d r o a d . 2 - P a r k s Canada , Q s - R 1 0 3 - 0 0 0 B B - A 2 , 1981 . 3 - " L ' G r a n d M a s h - K e g " , F r e n c h M i c h i f p r o n u n c i a t i o n f o r the b i g muskeg. A famous h u n t i n g - g r o u n d f o r M e t i s p e o p l e , i t i s s i t u a t e d a p p r o x i m a t e l y f i v e k i l o m e t r e s s o u t h e a s t o f the v i l l a g e . 4 - A g r i c u l t u r e Canada , ARDA, map 6 2 - 1 . Queen ' s p r i n t e r s , W i n n i p e g , M a n i t o b a . 5 - A r c h i v e s o f t h e S t . B o n i f a c e H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , i n Ajni. d.u.„E..QXSX, September , 1961 , p . 5 . 6 - A r c h i v e s o f t he S t . B o n i f a c e H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , i b i d e m p . 6-7 - A r c h i v e s o f t he S t . B o n i f a c e H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , i b i d e m p . 5 . 8- S t . L a u r e n t P a r i s h R e g i s t e r , No. 1, December 2 5 t h , 1864. 9 - S t . L a u r e n t P a r i s h R e g i s t e r , quo t ed i n S t . L a u r e n t : 1876~ 1976, by S i s t e r P a u l i n e M e r c i e r , Fmm. p . 8. ' 10- R u r a l M u n i c i p a l i t y o f S t . L a u r e n t R e c o r d s . L e t t e r - h e a d o f b y - l a w no . 1 s i g n e d by J . M u l v i h i l l , warden and by N . H u t t o n , c l e r k , J a n u a r y 2 1 , 1882. 1 1 - J o u r n a l o f t he F r a n c i s c a n s S i s t e r s , quo te by M e r c i e r , i b i d e m p . 12. 48 12- A r c h i v e s o f S t . B o n i f a c e H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , AmJL_jiu. Ef lYf i r , O c t o b e r 1961, p . 5 . 13- Annex A , upda ted Community p r o f i l e , c o m p i l e d by Sand ra Funk , 1987, 14- L o c a l M i c h i f F r e n c h p r o n u n c i a t i o n f o r c r a n b e r r i e s . 15 - L o c a l M i c h i f F r e n c h p r o n u n c i a t i o n f o r W i l s o n C r e e k , s i t u a t e d one m i l e n o r t h o f t he v i l l a g e a l o n g the l a k e . 16 - F r e n c h M i c h i f words d e s c r i b i n g C h r i s t m a s p u d d i n g , l i t e r a l l y means ' p u d d i n g i n a b a g ' . 49 GRfJWINGUP .^STLLAURFJII I n the second c h a p t e r , we examined how the M e t i s p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t were , i n the p a s t , g e n e r a l l y r e l i a n t on the e n v i r o n m e n t e c o n o m i c a l l y , l i v i n g a b u n d a n t l y o f f the l o c a l and n a t u r a l r e s o u r c e s from the l a n d and w a t e r . We a l s o saw how, from the moment t h e y , p e r f o r c e , became engaged i n the complex and c a s h economy, t h e i r economic dependence on the l a n d and on the e n v i r o n m e n t was d e c r e a s e d and t h e y had to r e l y more and more on the e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t and o u t s i d e r e s o u r c e s f o r t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d . T h i s c h a p t e r d e s c r i b e s some a s p e c t s o f t h e s t a g e s o f deve lopment i n a p e r s o n ' s l i f e from b i r t h t o b u r i a l . We w i l l l o o k a t some b i r t h p r a c t i c e s and c h i l d h o o d b e h a v i o u r , s o c i a l i z i n g e x p e r i e n c e s a t s c h o o l , c o u r t s h i p and m a r r i a g e , a d u l t and s e n i o r y e a r s , and f i n a l l y some o f t h e wake and b u r i a l c u s t o m s . The m a t e r i a l i n t h i s c h a p t e r r e v e a l s the d r a s t i c changes i n M e t i s l i f e i n r e l a t i o n t o m o d e r n i z a t i o n , s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , e d u c a t i o n and f a m i l y l i f e . Most o f the d a t a was p r o v i d e d by the r e s p o n d e n t s i n the f i e l d and w i l l s e r v e as the b a s i s t o d e s c r i b e the e x p e r i e n c e o f M e t i s p e o p l e as t h e y grew up a t S t . L a u r e n t . C o n s i s t e n t w i t h the model o f c o g n i t i v e a n t h r o p o l o g y , I w i l l p r e s e n t t h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s f rom the M e t i s ' p o i n t o f v i e w and p e r c e p t i o n . 50 In the p r o c e s s , I w i l l a t t empt to i d e n t i f y some of the c u l t u r a l e lements t h a t c o n s t i t u t e M e t i s n e s s t h roughou t the l i f e - s p a n o f the i n f o r m a n t s . I w i l l do so by c o n t r a s t i n g the c u l t u r a l e lements i n the l i v e s o f the e l d e r s and the y o u t h , then and now. I a l s o want to p o i n t out w h i c h o f these c u l t u r a l components have been dropped or r e t a i n e d and i f new ones t h a t have been adop ted . F i n a l l y , the t a b l e w i l l i n d i c a t e whether the components a re ' s u r f a c e ' o r ' c o r e ' . The main p rob lems addres sed a r e : -To what e x t e n t has m o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i z a t i o n o c c u r r e d ? -Has the C h u r c h l o s t i t s i n f l u e n c e ? -How has e d u c a t i o n and f a m i l y l i f e changed s i n c e the t u r n of the c e n t u r y ? D e f i n i t i o n o f terms In i t s most g e n e r a l usage i n the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s , value deno tes any o b j e c t o f any need , a t t i t u d e , o r d e s i r e . There i s an a d d i t i o n a l usage w h i c h i s perhaps the one most f r e q u e n t l y found i n a n t h r o p o l o g y . The term has come to denote the sha red c u l t u r a l s t a n d a r d s a c c o r d i n g t o w h i c h the r e l e v a n c e m o r a l , a e s t h e t i c , o r c o g n i t i v e o f the o b j e c t s of a t t i t u d e s , d e s i r e s , and needs can be compared and judged ( B e c k e r 1 9 6 4 : 7 4 4 ) . By co re v a l u e s , I mean the c e n t r a l and c o n s t i t u t i v e e l emen t s o f a c u l t u r e as opposed to s u r f a c e w h i c h a re the minor and s econda ry ones . E v e r s i n c e , l a r g e l y t h r o u g h Max Weber, ' v a l u e ' was drawn out o f i t s p u r e l y economic c o n t e x t 51 t o i n c l u d e the emot ive and c u l t u r a l , emic and e t i c , i t has become a u s e f u l i f f l e x i b l e t o o l o f d e s c r i p t i o n . J u l i a n Steward used the te rm " c o r e ' to m e a n " . . . t h e c o n s t e l l a t i o n of f e a t u r e s w h i c h a re most c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to s u b s i s t e n c e a c t i v i t i e s and economic a r r angemen t s . The c o r e i n c l u d e s such s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s p a t t e r n s as a re e m p i r i c a l l y d e t e r m i n e d t o be c l o s e l y connec ted w i t h these ar rangements (S t eward 1 9 5 5 : 3 7 ) . F o r our purpose h e r e , we may r e g a r d c o r e v a l u e as those w h i c h the M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t r e g a r d as n o n -o p t i o n a l f o r b e i n g M e t i s , f o r example s p e a k i n g M i c h i f , and s u r f a c e v a l u e s as t hose M e t i s p e o p l e r e g a r d as o p t i o n a l . Somet imes, however, an i n v e s t i g a t o r may n o t i c e v a l u e s w h i c h seem t o be n o n - o p t i o n a l but a re no t s a i d t o be so by the p e o p l e c o n c e r n e d . These would s t i l l be , i n an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s , c o n s i d e r e d c o r e v a l u e . S u r f a c e v a l u e s , on the o t h e r hand, i n t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e ( e t i c ) , would be t hose w h i c h seem to be o p t i o n a l i n s p i t e o f d e c l a r a t i o n s to the c o n t r a r y to the p e o p l e i n v o l v e d . In a g e n e r a l way, M e t i s n e s s r e f e r s to M e t i s c u l t u r e , and i s d e f i n e d as the t o t a l way o f l i f e o f the M e t i s p e o p l e as t hey l i v e d i t i n the p a s t and as they c o n t i n u e to t r y to l i v e and r e c o n s t r u c t i t i n t h e i r l i v e s t o d a y . T h i s t o t a l way o f l i f e i n c l u d e s t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l o r i g i n s and cus toms , t h e i r l anguages and s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s and f o l k l o r e . B u t , s i n c e the p r i m a r y g o a l o f the c o g n i t i v e a n t h r o p o l o g y model i s to d e s c r i b e and a n a l y z e a c u l t u r e from the i n f o r m a n t s ' p o i n t o f v i e w , f o r our p u r p o s e , M e t i s c u l -52 t u r e here i s d e f i n e d as the knowledge M e t i s p e o p l e a c q u i r e and use t o i n t e r p r e t t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e and t o g e n e r a t e s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r . M o d e r n i z a t i o n can be d e f i n e d as the p r o c e s s o f c u l t u r a l and s o c i o e c o n o m i c change whereby d e v e l o p i n g s o c i e t i e s a c q u i r e some o f the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f Wes te rn i n d u s -t r i a l i z e d s o c i e t i e s ( H a v i l a n d 1974: 5 6 6 ) . I n t h i s c o n t e x t , s e c u l a r i z a t i o n w i l l mean t h a t l i f e , i n g e n e r a l , has become d i v o r c e d from i t s fo rmer o v e r a l l o r g a n i z a t i o n by an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d c h u r c h o r r e l i g i o n . I t does n o t mean t h a t no one i s r e l i g i o u s , f o r many r ema in s o , o r t h a t c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h the c h u r c h have been s e v e r e d . A c c o r d i n g t o an e l d e r , t he m a j o r i t y o f mothers gave b i r t h a t home, w h i l e some had t h e i r b a b i e s on a t r i p , e i t h e r on the t r a p - l i n e o r a h u n t i n g e x p e d i t i o n . Some were b o r n a round the S t o n y R idge a r e a o r ' L e P ' t i t L a c de R o c h e s ' , as i t i s c a l l e d t o d a y ( F i g . 2 ) . A s m a l l s e t t l e m e n t o f c l o s e t o f i f t e e n M e t i s f a m i l i e s , w i t h t h e i r own s c h o o l , e x i s t e d some s i x m i l e s e a s t o f S t . L a u r e n t i n the e a r l y n i n e t e e n hund reds . An i n f o r m a n t t o l d me t h a t some mothers would come t o the v i l l a g e t o g i v e b i r t h and r e t u r n t o S t o n y R idge a f t e r w a r d s . F a m i l i e s were l a r g e , and v e r y few homes had l e s s than s i x o r e i g h t c h i l d r e n . P r e - a n d p o s t - n a t a l c a r e were p r a c t i c a l l y n o n - e x i s t e n t a t the t i m e and , as a r e s u l t , some women e x p e r i e n c e d m i s c a r r i a g e s . The o l d e r l a d i e s who a c t e d 53 as m i d w i v e s pe r fo rmed t h e i r d u t i e s w i t h r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s and i n g e n u i t y c o n s i d e r i n g the p r e c a r i o u s c i r c u m s t a n c e s and the l i t t l e means t h e y had a t t h e i r d i s p o s a l . One i n f o r m a n t t o l d me t h a t , among o t h e r s , M r s . J o s . C h a r t r a n d had the r e p u t a -t i o n o f b e i n g a v e r y good m i d w i f e and t h a t she h e l p e d many m o t h e r s , b o t h M e t i s and n o n - M e t i s i n d e l i v e r i n g t h e i r b a b i e s . Somet imes , the s l e e p i n g c o n d i t i o n s c r e a t e d some p r o b l e m s . L a c k o f space n e c e s s i t a t e d c h i l d r e n s l e e p i n g more t han two t o a b e d . Some o f the boys would s l e e p c r o s s w a y s a t t he f o o t o f the bed t o make more room. The g i r l s , meanwh i l e , wou ld u s u a l l y have t h e i r room t o t h e m s e l v e s . I n some i n -s t a n c e s , the l i v i n g - r o o m a l s o s e r v e d as s l e e p i n g q u a r t e r s f o r two o r t h r e e c h i l d r e n . I t was a c h o r e e v e r y n i g h t t o t r a n s f o r m the s o f a i n t o a bed and t o r e v e r s e the p r o c e s s the n e x t m o r n i n g . The c r a d l e f o r the baby was no t f a n c y , s a i d a mother o f s e v e n , bu t f u n c t i o n a l , a n y t h i n g would do from a hammock t o a homemade c r i b . Many M e t i s c h i l d r e n were b o r n i n t o a l r e a d y crowded homes, but t h e y grew up , n o n e t h e l e s s , under g r e a t p a r e n t a l l o v e and c a r e . Today , mothers g i v e b i r t h i n h o s p i t a l s and the number o f c h i l d r e n has d e c r e a s e d c o n s i d e r a b l y . I n f a c t , few f a m i l i e s have more then t h r e e o r f o u r c h i l d r e n . CJai.lajiQ.Qd. Most c h i l d r e n f o l l o w e d i n the f o o t s t e p s o f t h e i r p a r e n t s . The boys wou ld l e a r n t o h u n t , f i s h and t r a p as t h e y 54 accompanied t h e i r f a t h e r s on many e x p e d i t i o n s . The v a r i o u s c h o r e s on the s m a l l f a r m s , i n summer and i n w i n t e r , i n the ga rden o r a round t h e house were u s u a l l y more than enough t o keep them b u s y . T h u s , the boys were b r o u g h t up t o h e l p out a t home as much as p o s s i b l e , whe ther i t was c l e a n i n g the b a r n , f e e d i n g the p i g s o r h a y i n g , e s p e c i a l l y i f one o f the younge r c h i l d r e n was s i c k o r d i s a b l e d . F o r example , a f t e r s c h o o l , some boys wou ld make $ 1 . 2 5 s a w i n g a wagon l o a d o f wood f o r t he n e i g h b o r s , w h i l e o t h e r s wou ld d i g s e n e c a r o o t and s e l l i t a t the g e n e r a l s t o r e , f o r 5 c e n t s a pound , d r y . I n the meant ime, t he g i r l s wou ld be l e a r n i n g t h e a r t s o f h o u s e - k e e p i n g , c o o k i n g and s e w i n g . They would h e l p t h e i r mothers b r i n g up the younger b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s , e s p e -c i a l l y i f one o f the p a r e n t s happened t o be s i c k o r had d i e d . One r e s p o n d e n t r e p o r t e d t h a t i t was common f o r the o l d e r ones t o p a s s t h e i r c l o t h e s on t o t h e i r younger b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s . B o t h M e t i s boys and g i r l s i n the p a s t l e a r n e d a t an e a r l y age , t h r o u g h s h a r i n g and c a r i n g , t o c o n t r i b u t e t o the s t r e n g t h e n i n g and t o the c l o s e n e s s o f the f a m i l y and o f t he h o u s e h o l d . Hence , the f a m i l y and o u t d o o r c o n t e x t s p r o v i d e d a p p r o p r i a t e s e t t i n g s f o r M e t i s y o u t h t o d e v e l o p q u a l i t i e s l i k e s e l f - r e l i a n c e and communal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on the one hand, and on the o t h e r , a sense o f i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e w i t h a l l the members o f the f a m i l y . F a m i l y o u t i n g s were a l s o a p o p u l a r p a r t o f g r o w i n g up f o r the M e t i s c h i l d r e n o f S t . L a u r e n t . The p a r e n t s v a l u e d t h e s e e v e n t s as t h e y were ways the c h i l d o r a d o l e s c e n t 55 p a r t i c i p a t e d i n f a m i l y l i f e . In the o l d d a y s , two o r t h r e e f a m i l i e s would ge t t o g e t h e r , pack a d a y ' s l u n c h and t r a v e l w i t h the h o r s e s and b u g g i e s e i t h e r t o the l a k e t o p i c k up r a s p b e r r i e s and wash c l o t h e s p e r h a p s , o r j u s t have a p i c n i c w i t h the c h i l d r e n and g r a n d c h i l d r e n . A grandmother who en joyed s u c h o u t i n g s s a i d t h a t d i g g i n g s eneca r o o t was a common a c t i v i t y . C h i l d r e n would compete among t h e m s e l v e s t o see who would d i g the most , more f o r fun than as a s u b -s i s t e n c e t a s k , as no t t oo many c o u l d d i g more than a pound d u r i n g the whole d a y . N o n e t h e l e s s , she added , the boys would d i g as much as t h e y c o u l d because t h e y c o u l d t hen s e l l i t a t t he l o c a l g e n e r a l s t o r e . F o r t h o s e who c o u l d a f f o r d i t , c h i l d r e n would a t t e n d the w e e k l y movie a t t he p a r i s h h a l l . W i t h the adven t o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n , the l i f e - s t y l e o f M e t i s y o u t h has changed c o n s i d e r a b l y . Nowadays, few boys have to do c h o r e s a t home o r any t y p e o f manual l a b o r . A f t e r s c h o o l , one w i l l p r o b a b l y f i n d them, under the w a t c h f u l eye o f a c o a c h , p l a y i n g on the s o c c e r f i e l d o r p r a c t i c i n g on a computer i n a c l a s s - r o o m . M e a n w h i l e , the g i r l s c o u l d be t a k i n g a t y p i n g c o u r s e o r p r a c t i s i n g f i g u r e s k a t i n g a t the a r e n a . B e s i d e s , M e t i s y o u t h e n j o y many e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s s u c h as r e g i o n a l s p o r t s and academic f i e l d - t r i p s . I t i s common p r a c t i c e f o r them t o make t r i p s o u t s i d e o f the v i l l a g e and t o the c i t y f o r s h o p p i n g and f o r s o c i a l i z i n g p u r p o s e s . I n sum, i n the p a s t , the M e t i s i d e n t i f i e d more w i t h the v a l u e s o f t he home and f a m i l y l i f e . A c c o r d i n g t o an 56 i n f o r m a n t , t he t r a d i t i o n a l ex tended f a m i l y was p o p u l a r : a c o l l e c t i o n o f f a m i l y u n i t s , r e l a t e d by t i e s o f b l o o d l i v e d t o g e t h e r . The f a m i l i e s , as a r u l e , were c l o s e and w e l l -k n i t t e d . There were more l o c a l f a m i l y and k i n t i e s w i t h i n n e i g h b o r h o o d s . F a m i l y l i f e was i n w a r d - l o o k i n g and s e l f -c o n t a i n e d , Today , the young p e o p l e seem t o i d e n t i f y l e s s w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e o f home and f a m i l y . T h e i r base o f s o c i a l i z i n g has a l s o widened and now i n c l u d e s v a r i o u s g roups t h e y b e l o n g t o i n and o u t s i d e the communi ty . The n u c l e a r f a m i l y c o n s i s t i n g o f t he f a t h e r , mother and the dependent c h i l d r e n has r e p l a c e d the ex t ended f a m i l y . As S p i n d l e r ( 1 9 7 7 : 5 5 ) remarks o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n : " I n t h i s e n v i r o n m e n t . . . I n p l a c e o f the t r a d i t i o n a l , ex t ended f a m i l y , t he s m a l l n u c l e a r f a m i l y a r i s e s as more f l e x i b l e and a d a p t i v e i n the new m i l i e u " . T h u s , M e t i s f a m i l y t i e s a t S t . L a u r e n t have l o o s e n e d t o become more open t o the e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t and i n t he p r o c e s s have become o t h e r - r e l i a n t . F u r t h e r m o r e , due t o t h e e f f e c t s o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n , i t seems t h a t the f a m i l y i s no l o n g e r the c o r e and the c e n t e r o f M e t i s s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n as i t once was, bu t r a t h e r , the f a m i l y has become s e c o n d a r y t o economic p r o g r e s s . " . . . I n t o -d a y ' s s o c i e t y . . . l i f e i s governed n o t . . . b y the f a m i l y , o r n e i g h b o r s , o r r e l i g i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n , bu t by f a c e l e s s b u r e a u c r a c i e s " ( S p i n d l e r 1 9 7 7 : 5 5 ) . S e c u l a r i z a t i o n has a l s o had i t s e f f e c t s on the l o c a l p e o p l e . F o r many y e a r s , the p a r i s h h a l l was once p r a c t i c a l l y 57 the o n l y c e n t e r o f e n t e r t a i n m e n t and o f s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . F o r the y o u t h , t h e r e were movies and r o l l e r - s k a t i n g once a week, run by the l o c a l p a r i s h p r i e s t . Today , t h e r e i s no p a r i s h h a l l . The p r i e s t and the nuns no l o n g e r c o n d u c t s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s f o r t he l o c a l M e t i s y o u t h . I n s t e a d , young p e o p l e go t o the community r e c r e a t i o n c e n t r e , t o the a r e n a and s p o r t s g r o u n d , and t o the gymnasium a t t he s c h o o l f o r e n t e r t a i n m e n t . T h u s , the s o c i a l and r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s o f the y o u t h have s h i f t e d c o n s i d e r a b l y i n the v i l l a g e from b e i n g p a r i s h - c e n t r e d and c h u r c h - o r g a n i z e d t o communi ty -based o p e r a t i o n s w i t h c o n s i d e r a b l e i n v o l v e m e n t o u t s i d e the v i l l a g e . Education F o r a l o n g t i m e , t h e r e were two s c h o o l s i n the v i l l a g e , ( F i g 2 ) , S imonet s c h o o l a t the s o u t h end and the Conven t s c h o o l a t t he n o r t h e n d . S imonet s c h o o l was t o accommodate the s t u d e n t s from the s o u t h end o f the v i l l a g e who had too f a r t o w a l k t o the Conven t s c h o o l . Nuns o f t he o r d e r o f the F r a n c i s c a n M i s s i o n a r i e s o f Mary from Quebec t a u g h t a t b o t h p l a c e s . A s e n i o r who a t t e n d e d Simonet s c h o o l f o r s i x y e a r s r e c a l l s t h a t t he s c h o o l was o f t e n c rowded , t h r e e o r f o u r g r a d e s i n one c l a s r o o m w i t h one t e a c h e r no t b e i n g uncommon. In the w i n t e r t i m e , i n the m o r n i n g , he added, s t u d e n t s had t o do g y m n a s t i c s t o keep warm b e f o r e c l a s s as the w o o d - s t o v e hea t ed up . 58 The Convent s c h o o l was much b i g g e r , as from 1939 onward h i g h s c h o o l g r a d e s were a l s o b e i n g t a u g h t . There were more s t u d e n t s and more t e a c h e r s . Some female s t u d e n t s from the s o u t h end a t t e n d e d h i g h s c h o o l and boa rded a t t he C o n v e n t ; i t was s i m p l y too f a r t o w a l k , e s p e c i a l l y i n w i n t e r t i m e when the t e m p e r a t u r e s d i p p e d be low the f r e e z i n g mark. N o n e t h e l e s s , many s t u d e n t s s t i l l w a l k e d two o r t h r e e m i l e s t o go t o s c h o o l e v e r y d a y . S t u d e n t s l e a r n e d t h e b a s i c s i n r e a d i n g , w r i t i n g and a r i t h m e t i c . A r e s p o n d e n t d e s c r i b e s the f i r s t days o f c l a s s i n t he f o l l o w i n g way: "The p u p i l s wou ld r e a d the l e t t e r s o f t he a l p h a b e t on a b i g c h a r t : b -a=ba , m-a=raa. We used a s l a t e boa rd t o w r i t e on as i t was e a s i e r t o wipe o f f t han i n a s c r i b b l e r . We l e a r n e d the v o w e l s , t he c o n s o n a n t s and d i f f e -r e n t s y l l a b l e s . F o r a r i t h m e t i c , we c o u n t e d w i t h our f i n g e r s o r used l i t t l e wooden b a l l s a t t a c h e d t o p i e c e s o f w i r e " . As a n o t h e r r e sponden t t o l d me, some c h i l d r e n knew how t o coun t and do b a s i c r e a d i n g even b e f o r e g o i n g t o s c h o o l as t h e i r mothers wou ld t e a c h them a t home b e f o r e s t a r t i n g s c h o o l . A g randmother who d i d no t l i v e too f a r f rom the s c h o o l t h e n , d e s c r i b e s a c l a s s r o o m : " I n the l o w e r g r a d e s , p u p i l s s a t i n d o u b l e d e s k s . I n g rade seven o r e i g h t , t h e y would s i t a t s i n g l e d e s k s , boys on one s i d e o f t he c l a s s r o o m and g i r l s on the o t h e r ; t h i s wou ld a l s o a p p l y t o r e c e s s t i m e : each group wou ld have t h e i r own p l a y i n g a r e a " . The nuns were u s u a l l y s t r i c t and , a c c o r d i n g t o an i n f o r m a n t , "somewhat o v e r s c r u p u l o u s a t t i m e s , f o r example , t h e y would no t a l l o w 59 the boys and g i r l s t o t a l k t o each o t h e r w i t h o u t t h e i r p e r -m i s s i o n " . But as one fo rmer s t u d e n t r e c a l l s : "We s t i l l man-aged t o exchange l i t t l e n o t e s as we c r i s s - c r o s s e d p a t h s i n the v e s t i b u l e o r a t r e c e s s . Then i n h i g h e r g r a d e s , we l e a r n e d about grammar and c o m p o s i t i o n . S t u d e n t s d i d t h e i r home-work a t home under the l i g h t o f the c o a l - o i l lamp and t o the hea t o f l o g s b u r n i n g away i n the w o o d - s t o v e " . A p o i n t t o be made here i s t h a t the s o c i a l i z i n g p r o c e s s o f M e t i s y o u t h a t s c h o o l was based on the s e p a r a t i o n o f the s e x e s . A...Jia£±s_.ZiejH_o^ The f o l l o w i n g d a t a r e v e a l some o f the M e t i s p e o p l e ' s v i e w on e d u c a t i o n . One e l d e r s t a t e d : " I n my t i m e , we d i d no t t h i n k t oo much about g o i n g t o s c h o o l ; we were more c o n c e r n e d and p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h making a l i v i n g f o r o u r s e l v e s and f o r our f a m i l i e s t han s e n d i n g our sons and d a u g h t e r s t o s c h o o l ; as l o n g as t hey knew how to r ead and w r i t e , we though t t h a t t h a t was good enough f o r them" . " I t was no t u n u s u a l " , added a n o t h e r , " f o r p a r e n t s t o t a k e t h e i r boy o r g i r l f rom s c h o o l and pu t them t o work a t home o r e l s e w h e r e t o h e l p r a i s e the f a m i l y , e s p e c i a l l y i f you happened t o be one o f t he o l d e r o n e s " . " F o r t y y e a r s ago" , r e c a l l e d a fo rmer t r a p p e r , "A s u c c e s s f u l M e t i s man was one who was a good f i s h e r m a n , t r a p p e r and h u n t e r and who, as a r e s u l t , was a b l e t o p r o v i d e adequate f o o d , s h e l t e r and c l o t h i n g f o r h i m s e l f and f o r h i s f a m i l y " . " I h a r d l y knew how t o r ead and w r i t e " , r e t o r t e d 60 a n o t h e r , "and I t h i n k I d i d r a t h e r w e l l i n r a i s i n g my f a m i l y , t h e y a r e a l l w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d i n l i f e t o d a y w i t h good j o b s , a home and f a m i l y ; b e s i d e s , t he s c h o o l d i d no t t e a c h anyone how to f i s h , hunt o r t r a p " . A n o t h e r r e s p o n d e n t c o n c l u d e d : " E d u c a t i o n was i m p o r t a n t t o me o n l y i f i t h e l p e d pu t b r e a d and b u t t e r on the t a b l e " . Based on the above d a t a , some M e t i s p e o p l e d i d n o t l o o k a t e d u c a t i o n as a c o r e v a l u e i n t h e i r l i f e . W i t h i n the c o n -t e x t o f t h e i r s u b s i s t e n c e economy w h i c h made them h e a v i l y dependent on the l a n d and i t s r e s o u r c e s , t h e y d i d n o t see i n e d u c a t i o n a d i r e c t means o f s u b s i s t e n c e . A c t i v i t i e s l i k e e d u c a t i o n t h a t d i d no t c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e i r economic w e l f a r e were s i m p l y d i s c a r d e d . As a r e s u l t , e d u c a t i o n d i d no t f i g u r e i n t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f a s u c c e s s f u l p e r s o n . InJ^ ,,r^ d.ujS±ijoD 0f_F j^aa.L..J.djyLSjUb.io.D. W i t h the f o u n d i n g o f the h i g h s c h o o l i n 1939 by F a t h e r J ean Methe , OMI, the l o c a l p a r i s h p r i e s t , e d u c a t i o n r e c e i v e d the impe tus needed t o d e v e l o p i n t o a f u l l - s c a l e o p e r a t i o n . An e l d e r r e m a r k e d : " I guess we n e v e r u n d e r s t o o d the meaning o f e d u c a t i o n as the nuns and the p r i e s t s u n d e r s t o o d i t " . " T h e i r r a t i o n a l e " , she added , "seemed t o be t h a t t he more e d u c a t i o n one had , the b e t t e r j o b one c o u l d have , t h e more money one c o u l d make and one c o u l d l i v e , a c c o r d i n g t o them, a b e t t e r l i f e t han a t p r e s e n t " . What the p r i e s t s and nuns were r e a l l y s u g g e s t i n g was t h a t i f M e t i s p e o p l e became 61 e d u c a t e d , t h e y would become l i k e o t h e r C a n a d i a n s and e n j o y a b e t t e r way o f l i f e than t hey d i d as M e t i s . G r a d u a l l y , many p a r e n t s t o o k the words o f the nuns and p r i e s t s s e r i o u s l y and encouraged t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o a t t e n d s c h o o l . B u t , as a fo rmer h i g h s c h o o l s t u d e n t r e m a r k e d : "The sys t em d i d no t work too w e l l a t f i r s t , even though many M e t i s s t u d e n t s a t t e n d e d h i g h s c h o o l , o n l y a low p e r c e n t a g e a c t u a l l y g r a d u a t e d o v e r the y e a r s " . Over the y e a r s , e d u c a t i o n became a v a l u e f o r some o f the S t . L a u r e n t M e t i s . So much so t h a t i n the l a s t few y e a r s , the l o c a l C o l l e g i a t e has seen the g r a d u a t i o n o f many M e t i s y o u t h s . As one p a r e n t s t a t e d : "We now encourage our c h i l d r e n t o go t o s c h o o l as f a r as t h e y want t o go , we t e l l them we w i l l f i n d the money i f n e c e s s a r y i f t h e y want t o go t o u n i v e r s i t y and g r a d u a t e . We w i l l back them up as much as we c a n " . A grandmother c o n c l u d e d : " I hope the young p e o p l e ge t as much e d u c a t i o n as t h e y c a n , i t h e l p s d e v e l o p t h e i r m i n d , e d u c a t i o n can be good f o r them, l i k e h e l p i n g them ge t a good j o b , make a l o t o f money and e n j o y a b e t t e r s t a n d a r d o f l i v i n g than we h a d " . Thus , e d u c a t i o n has become a v a l u e f o r many M e t i s p e o p l e now l i v i n g w i t h i n the c a s h economy. E d u c a t i o n i s seen by many M e t i s as a s t e p p i n g - s t o n e t o make money, as a way t o a c h i e v e economic p r o g r e s s , an i m p o r t a n t f a c e t o f m o d e r n i -z a t i o n . As M e t i s e d u c a t o r , D . B r u c e S e a l y ( 1 9 8 0 : 1-37) has s a i d : "To a g r e a t e x t e n t e d u c a t i o n w i l l be the key t h a t a l l o w s M e t i s p e o p l e t o e n t e r i n t o the ma ins t r eam o f s o c i e t y 62 and o p e r a t e w i t h i n i t as e q u a l s . The M e t i s as a g r o u p , have chosen c o m p l e t e i n t e g r a t i o n d e s p i t e the d i f f i c u l t i e s i n h e r e n t i n a c h i e v i n g i t " . C o u r t s h i p and Marriage The c o u r t s h i p and m a r r i a g e cus toms o f the M e t i s p e o p l e have undergone many changes s i n c e the t u r n o f the c e n t u r y . We w i l l l o o k a t i s s u e s l i k e m o r a l i t y , s e c u l a r i z a t i o n and f a m i l y t i e s as t h e y a f f e c t m a r r i a g e and f a m i l y l i f e . The romances o f many M e t i s c o u p l e s wou ld s t a r t 'way back t h e n ' , as an e l d e r s t a t e d , way back i n c h i l d h o o d d a y s , pe rhaps when t h e y f i r s t met i n s c h o o l o r when v i s i t i n g t h e i r p a r e n t s ' p l a c e s . O f t e n , t hey would a l s o meet a t house g a t h e r i n g s o r community e v e n t s l i k e p i c n i c s o r c a r d p a r t i e s . One would c a t c h the eye o f the o t h e r and the r e l a t i o n s h i p would d e v e l o p and b l o s s o m from t h e r e . In some i n s t a n c e s , t he man and the woman were no t a l l o w e d t o speak t o each o t h e r . They wou ld then w r i t e n o t e s . An i n f o r m a n t r e c a l l e d the e x -ample o f the c o u p l e who s h a r e d and e x p r e s s e d t h e i r f e e l i n g s about each o t h e r t h r o u g h l e t t e r s handed t o them t h r o u g h a t h i r d p a r t y . T h i s l a s t e d f o r about s i x months . Then the c r u c i a l t ime came f o r the young man t o ask the f a t h e r f o r h i s d a u g h t e r ' s hand o r " f a i r e l a d 'mande" , ( M i c h i f F r e n c h : " t o ask a man f o r h i s d a u g h t e r i n m a r r i a g e " ) , a cus tom t h a t has p r a c t i c a l l y d i s a p p e a r e d . Most c o u r t s h i p s d i d no t l a s t too l o n g . The c o u p l e did n o t have a chance t o go ou t too 63 much as t h e y o f t e n had a l i t t l e b r o t h e r o r s i s t e r t a g g i n g a l o n g t o chaperone them. The p a r e n t s were u s u a l l y v e r y s t r i c t . One r e s p o n d e n t r e l a t e d : "You had t o be i n a c e r t a i n t i m e , o r e l s e . . . ! And t h a t was n e v e r l a t e , whether i t was t o v i s i t f r i e n d s or t o go t o a d a n c e . Even when I v i s i t e d her a t her p l a c e a t n i g h t , I c o u l d no t s t a y t oo l o n g " . I n f o r m a n t s were n o t aware o f any m a r r i a g e s t h a t were " a r r a n g e d " by the p a r e n t s , whose mate wou ld be s e l e c t e d by the p a r e n t s . Endogamy o r m a r r i a g e w i t h someone w i t h i n y o u r own group o r v i l l a g e and o f y o u r own C a t h o l i c f a i t h was the r u l e . Few m a r r i e d o u t s i d e r s t h e n . And they u s u a l l y m a r r i e d w i t h i n a y e a r a f t e r t h e y s t a r t e d t h e i r c o u r t s h i p . O l d e r p e o p l e a re somewhat a p p a l l e d a t young p e o p l e t o d a y who go ou t t o g e t h e r f o r many y e a r s b e f o r e m a r r i a g e and as one o b s e r v e d , "They even s t a y t o g e t h e r b e f o r e m a r r i a g e ! Tha t was unheard o f i n our t i m e , the p r i e s t would p r e a c h l o u d l y a g a i n s t s u c h b e h a v i o u r from the p u l p i t " . O v e r a l l , i n the p a s t t he M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t m a r r i e d y o u n g , a l t h o u g h t h e r e were no s p e c i f i c r u l e s . An i n f o r m a n t s t a t e d t h a t some p e o p l e m a r r i e d i n t h e i r l a t e t e e n s o r e a r l y t w e n t i e s . A few women s a i d t h e y m a r r i e d when t h e y were f i f t e e n or s i x t e e n y e a r s o l d . Today , p e o p l e mar ry a l i t t l e o l d e r f o r economic r e a s o n s , t h e y want some economic s t a b i l i t y b e f o r e m a r r y i n g . S i m i l a r l y , t h e r e were no s p e c i f i c r u l e s as t o p o s t m a r i t a l r e s i d e n c e . A c c o r d i n g t o an i n f o r m a n t , i t was common 64 f o r t y y e a r s ago , f o r newly-weds t o s t a y w i t h e i t h e r p a r e n t s f o r economic r e a s o n s o r a t l e a s t u n t i l the f i r s t c h i l d was b o r n . Many c o u p l e s , a t the t i m e , c o n s i d e r e d t h i s s i t u a t i o n the i d e a l p o s t m a r i t a l r e s i d e n c e p a t t e r n . . B u t , as m o d e r n i z a t i o n s e t i n t h e i r l i v e s , the n u c l e a r f a m i l y g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c e d the ex tended f a m i l y . Thus , f o r t he M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t , t o d a y , t he n e o - l o c a l r e s i d e n c e has become the p r e f e r r e d p a t t e r n o f p o s t m a r i t a l r e s i d e n c e . The p r i e s t c o n d u c t e d the m a r r i a g e r i t u a l i n the l o c a l C a t h o l i c c h u r c h . Over the y e a r s , t he t i m e f o r the ceremony v a r i e d between 6 :00 am and 4 : 0 0 pm. B e s i d e the b r i d e and groom, the wedd ing p a r t y would u s u a l l y c o n s i s t o f the bes tmen , t he b r i d e s m a i d s and , somet imes , a f l o w e r - g i r l and r i n g - b e a r e r . In the o l d d a y s , n o t e d an e l d e r , i t was q u i t e a s i g h t t o w a t c h the b r i d a l p a r t y d e p a r t f rom the c h u r c h i n h o r s e - d r a w n b u g g i e s t a s t e f u l l y d e c o r a t e d f o r the o c c a s i o n . I n r e c e n t y e a r s , a f t e r t he c h u r c h c e r e m o n i e s , t he b r i d a l p a r t y migh t motor t o W i n n i p e g t o be p h o t o g r a p h e d . They would r e t u r n i n the e a r l y e v e n i n g t o a house where a l l t he p e o p l e wou ld be w a i t i n g f o r them. P a r e n t s , r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s would p r e s e n t the new c o u p l e w i t h c o l o u r f u l l y - w r a p p e d g i f t s and o f f e r them t h e i r b e s t w i s h e s f o r a h e a l t h y and happy m a r r i e d l i f e . F o l l o w i n g i s a d e s c r i p t i v e a c c o u n t o f a wedd ing f e a s t p r o v i d e d by a s e v e n t y - f i v e y e a r o l d i n f o r m a n t . He s a i d t h a t M e t i s p e o p l e c e l e b r a t e d weddings t h i s way f o r many y e a r s . 65 One can r e a d i l y sense s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s as b e i n g c o n s i d e r e d a c o r e v a l u e f o r M e t i s p e o p l e i n t h i s a c c o u n t . "Weddings , i n the p a s t , wou ld be huge c e l e b r a t i o n s f o r t he M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t , l a s t i n g anywhere from one t o t h r e e d a y s . On t h e f i r s t n i g h t , t h e r e wou ld be a b i g f e a s t . Women would s e r v e m e a t - b a l l s , r o a s t p o r k , w i l d meat , v e g e t a b l e s , home-made p a s t r i e s , c akes and p i e s . The f a t h e r o f the b r i d e wou ld u s u a l l y s e r v e h i s c h o i c e s t wine made from a n y t h i n g from c h o k e c h e r r i e s o r p o t a t o e s t o r h u b a r b . A t the end o f the m e a l , one r e l a t i v e , o f t e n an u n c l e , would o f f e r a t o a s t t o the b r i d e , w h i l e a n o t h e r , u s u a l l y an e l d e r , wou ld g i v e the new groom p e r t i n e n t i n s t r u c t i o n s as t o how t o c a r e f o r h i s new b r i d e , much t o the j o y and l a u g h t e r o f the g u e s t s . F i n a l l y , someone would s i n g a few humorous songs a p p r o p r i a t e f o r t he o c c a s i o n " . A n o t h e r man, who p r o v i d e d mus ic f o r some o f t h e s e wed-d i n g s , c o n t i n u e s : "By t h i s t i m e , eve ryone would be i n a mer ry mood and ou t would go the t a b l e s and any o t h e r f u r -n i t u r e t h a t would be i n the way o f d a n c i n g . The c h a i r s would then be s e t a l l a round the l i v i n g - r o o m c l o s e t o the w a l l and i n would come the m u s i c i a n s w i t h t h e i r f i d d l e and bow, g u i t a r s , a c c o r d i o n and s p o o n s . I n no t ime the p l a c e wou ld be humming w i t h o l d t i m e w a l t z e s , f o x - t r o t s , w a l t z - q u a d r i l l e , t w o - s t e p s , h e e l and t o e , s c h o t t i s c h e s . A c a l l e r , whose v o i c e r o s e above a l l the n o i s e , d i r e c t e d the s q u a r e - d a n c i n g from the ' d i p and d i v e ' t o the ' l i t t l e w i l d h a n d ' . C h e e r s and s h o u t s o f j o y would g r e e t the Red R i v e r j i g d a n c e r s and the 66 c o u p l e s who would l i n e up f o r the "drops o f b r a n d y ' dance o r " L a danse de C r o c h e t s ' , as i t i s known l o c a l l y . O t h e r p o p u l a r dances would i n c l u d e the broom dance and the h a n d k e r c h i e f d a n c e , " L a danse de b a l a i ' o r ' L a danse de m o u c h o u a i r e , ' r e s p e c t i v e l y . By t h i s t i m e , t he o l d f l o o r wou ld be t r e m b l i n g and s q u e a k i n g t o the s t e p s o f the d a n c i n g crowd as one wou ld o b s e r v e some d u s t coming up between the c r a c k s o f the p l a n k s . A f t e r a w h i l e , t he hea t i n the house would become u n b e a r a b l e , and s o , t o c o o l o f f , p e o p l e wou ld go o u t s i d e and s h a r e a d r i n k o f t h a t famous Lake M a n i t o b a moonsh ine . Then , back i n a g a i n t o c o n t i n u e d a n c i n g " j u s q u ' a u p ' t i t j o u r e t e n c o r e ' . ( M i c h i f F r e n c h : " u n t i l dawn and b e y o n d " ; j e p ' t i t . iour was the t i m e o f d a y , u s u a l l y a t the b e g i n n i n g o f dawn, s h o r t l y b e f o r e d a y b r e a k , when the M e t i s f i s h e r m e n , h u n t e r s and t r a p p e r s wou ld l e a v e t h e i r home o r camp i n s e a r c h f o r t h e i r game o r w a t e r f o w l ; as opposed t o .1 'g rand j o u r w h i c h r e f e r s t o the p e r i o d o f the day i m m e d i a t e l y a f t e r s u n r i s e ) . The n e x t n i g h t , p e o p l e wou ld c e l e b r a t e t o honour the b r i d e s m a i d s and the b e s t men. I n some i n s t a n c e s , the wedding would l a s t a t h i r d n i g h t t o c u t the wedd ing c a k e . By the t i m e t h i s n i g h t was o v e r , t h e r e wou ld be many t i r e d f e e t bu t r e a l l y n o t h i n g t o dampen t h e i r j o l l y s p i r i t s . Thus wou ld end a n o t h e r wedd ing c e l e b r a t i o n o f the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t . But t h a t was no t a l l . I f t he new c o u p l e d i d n o t have a baby w i t h i n the f i r s t y e a r , p a r e n t s and o t h e r r e l a t i v e s and 6 7 the p r i e s t wou ld s t a r t w o n d e r i n g what was wrong w i t h them and t h e y would d i s c r e e t l y g i v e them h i n t s and as t o p r e -n a t a l and baby c a r e . The young c o u p l e u s u a l l y acknowledged t h a t k i n d o f a d v i c e bu t i g n o r e d i t a f t e r a w h i l e . C o n t r a r y t o the o l d ways , young c o u p l e s nowadays s i m p l y do n o t l e t anyone i n t e r f e r e i n t h e i r m a r r i e d l i f e . T h i s i s one o f the e f f e c t s o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n . Whereas , i n the p a s t , the C h u r c h encouraged c o u p l e s t o have many c h i l d r e n , t o d a y , the i n f l u e n c e o f the c h u r c h i n t h a t a r e a s i m p l y does no t e x i s t anymore. I t i s the c o u p l e who now s o l e l y d e t e r m i n e s how many c h i l d r e n t h e y want t o have . 68 T a b l e 2 ( b e l o w ) i l l u s t r a t e s some o f the changes t h a t have o c c u r r e d i n the m a r r i a g e cus toms and f a m i l y l i f e among t h e M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t d u r i n g t h e l i f e - s p a n o f t he i n f o r m a n t s . The c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the t a b l e s i s based on the a n a l y s i s o f t he d a t a and I have chosen t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s because o f t h e i r f r e q u e n c i e s i n the d a t a . M a r r i a g e Customs and Xaa Ha S t r i c t M o r a l i t y x x Open M o r a l i t y x x C h u r c h i n f l u e n c e x x D i v o r c e and S e p a r a t i o n s x x x Endogamy x x x Exogamy x x M i x e d M a r r i a g e s x x M a r r i a g e s o u t s i d e the C h u r c h x x x L a r g e f a m i l i e s x x S m a l l f a m i l i e s x x C l o s e f a m i l y t i e s x x Loosened f a m i l y t i e s x x x 69 The t a b l e i n d i c a t e s how s e c u l a r i z a t i o n has t aken p l a c e i n S t . L a u r e n t . In the p r e -1950 e r a , t h e r e were f i v e i s s u e s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d m a r r i a g e customs and f a m i l y l i f e : S t r i c t m o r a l i t y , c h u r c h i n f l u e n c e , endogamy, l a r g e f a m i l i e s and c l o s e f a m i l y t i e s . Endogamy i s the o n l y m a r r i a g e custom t h a t has remained from the p re -1950 e r a bu t p r a c t i s e d t o a much l e s s e r degree t o d a y . Whereas m o r a l i t y was s t r i c t i n the p a s t e s p e c i a l l y r e g a r d i n g the c o u r t s h i p and m a r r i a g e cus toms , the m o r a l i t y i s now more open and p e o p l e t oday are more f r e e from the s u p e r v i s i o n o f p a r e n t s and from the i n f l u e n c e of the C h u r c h . T h i s i s c o n s i d e r e d one a s p e c t o f the e f f e c t s o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n . P e o p l e c o n t i n u e t o marry w i t h i n the C h u r c h , but no t n e c e s s a r i l y w i t h someone o f t h e i r own f a i t h . R e l i g i o u s f a i t h i s l e s s a f a c t o r today f o r c h o o s i n g a mate than i t was f o r t y y e a r s ago. A l o n g w i t h c o m p a t i b i l i t y , the w i l l t o e s t a b l i s h economic s e c u r i t y t o g e t h e r seems t o have become a p redominan t f a c t o r i n the s e l e c t i o n o f a mate. F u r t h e r m o r e , new customs have s u r f a c e d , f o r example , the s i z e o f the f a m i l y has d i m i n i s h e d c o n s i d e r a b l y , the n u c l e a r f a m i l y has r e p l a c e d the ex tended f a m i l y , c a u s i n g a l o o s e n i n g o f the o r i g i n a l f a m i l y t i e s : the i n f l u e n c e of m o d e r n i z a t i o n . 70 D e s p i t e the p r e s e n c e o f v a l u e s s u c h as c l o s e f a m i l y t i e s and economic i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e , i t was n o t a l w a y s easy t o l i v e as an a d u l t and t o b r i n g up a f a m i l y i n S t . L a u r e n t . The s u b s i s t e n c e economic sy s t em was no t w i t h o u t i t s d r a w b a c k s . "We were l u c k y t o have cows and c h i c k e n s and a g a r d e n " , r e c a l l s a r e t i r e d f a r m e r , "some p e o p l e r e a l l y had a ha rd t i m e , t h e y would come t o us f o r money o r c l o t h i n g and we d i d our b e s t t o h e l p them o u t . I know a man who s o l d h i s cow f o r t en d o l l a r s . Eggs were twen ty c e n t s a d o z e n , b r e a d seven c e n t s a l o a f , b u t t e r t h i r t y - f i v e c e n t s a pound , s h o r t e n i n g f i f t e e n c e n t s a pound and a l i t t l e can o f l y s o l c o s t you f i f t e e n c e n t s . A t home, an a p p l e was d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r p a r t s t o s h a r e w i t h o t h e r s " . A grandmother remembers: " I sewed a l l my c h i l d r e n ' s c l o t h i n g t h e n , f o l l o w i n g c l o s e l y the p a t t e r n s from E a t o n ' s c a t a l o g u e " . Some f a m i l i e s s t a y e d t o g e t h e r t o h e l p each o t h e r ou t o n l y t o f i n d ou t t h a t t hey had become more o f a f i n a n c i a l bu rden t o each o t h e r . And then t h e r e were the D e p r e s s i o n Y e a r s , s a i d a r e t i r e d f i s h e r m a n . He p o i n t e d ou t t h a t n o t too much money was moving or r o l l i n g , men would t r a v e l by b o x - c a r s a l l o v e r Wes te rn Canada t o f i n d work , wages were l o w . You were n o t f u s s y as t o what k i n d o f a j o b you were o f f e r e d , you j u s t t o o k i t because t h a t , a t l e a s t , a s s u r e d you o f a r o o f o v e r y o u r head and o f t h r e e squa re mea l s a d a y . But t h e n , l i f e had a l s o i t s good s i d e s . I f a c o u p l e wanted t o make i t i n l i f e , and many d i d s o , t h e r e was o n l y 71 one way and t h a t was t o go ou t and work . There were no r e l i e f , no w e l f a r e , no unemployment i n s u r a n c e , no f a m i l y a l l o w a n c e t h e n . As one i n f o r m a n t pu t i t , " B e f o r e I was m a r r i e d , I s t a r t e d b u y i n g c a t t l e , one a t a t i m e , w i t h the l i t t l e money I was m a k i n g . By the t i m e I g o t m a r r i e d , I had a few heads o f c a t t l e and a few cows and I worked h a r d . I was a t r a p p e r and a f i s h e r m a n f o r most o f my l i f e . My w i f e worked ha rd t o o , r a i s i n g the f a m i l y and w o r k i n g on the f a r m . And I would be w i l l i n g t o s t a r t a l l o v e r a g a i n and w i t h the same w i f e t o whom I have been m a r r i e d now f o r f i f t y - t w o y e a r s " . What t h i s man i s s a y i n g i s t h a t one c o u l d s t i l l l i v e a good l i f e i n t h o s e days i f he had some o f the b a s i c economic means, h e a l t h and the w i l l i n g n e s s t o w o r k . I n many ways , he e p i t o m i z e s the M e t i s l i f e v a l u e s o f h i s t i m e , name ly , r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s , f a m i l y - d i r e c t e d s e l f - r e l i a n c e and a s u c c e s s f u l economy t h a t was h i g h l y i n t e g r a t e d t o the l a n d and t o the e n v i r o n m e n t . O b v i o u s l y , w e l f a r e money, r e l i e f a i d and government h a n d - o u t s d i d no t f i g u r e h i g h i n h i s economic p r i o r i t i e s . And he made s u r e t h a t he was no t g o i n g t o i n c u l c a t e t h e s e i n the minds o f h i s c h i l d r e n . F u r t h e r m o r e , t he t r a n s i t i o n from a s u b s i s t e n c e economy t o a c a s h economy a f f e c t e d the community i n v a r i o u s ways . The moment money came i n t o the communi ty , t he p e o p l e s i m p l y wanted more o f i t . The men were o f t e n away from home, gone f o r t he week e i t h e r t o work on v a r i o u s j o b s i n W i n n i p e g o r even gone f o r a few months , making a bonanza i n some n o r -t h e r n p a r t s o f t he p r o v i n c e . T h i s c r e a t e d some c o n f l i c t i n 72 some f a m i l i e s . T r a d i t i o n a l f a m i l y t i e s were d i s r u p t e d . F a m i l y v a l u e s l i k e m u t u a l c o n s u l t a t i o n and making d e c i s i o n s t o g e t h e r , were o f t e n r e l e g a t e d and r e p l a c e d by what was p r a g m a t i c and i n s t a n t l y e f f i c e n t , a l l i n the name o f economic p r o g r e s s d i c t a t e d by some o u t s i d e , unnamed and f a c e l e s s b u r e a u c r a c y . The a c c e s s t o c a s h , o f mak ing money and o f economic p r o g r e s s o f t e n became f o r t he M e t i s f a m i l y t he number one p r i o r i t y and t h i s o f t e n o c c u r r e d a t the expense o f the t r a d i t i o n a l f a m i l y v a l u e s . As S p i n d l e r ( 1 9 7 7 : 5 5 ) p u t s i t : " I n t o d a y ' s u r b a n i z e d s o c i e t y , d e c i s i o n s a r e i n c r e a s i n g l y made on the b a s i s o f p r a g m a t i c e f f i c i e n c y , o f what " w o r k s ' , r a t h e r than on the b a s i s o f e t h i c s , v a l u e s o r j u s t i c e . The a c c e l e r a t e d pace i s g e a r e d t o ' p r o g r e s s ' and r a p i d a c h i e v e m e n t " . T.h.e„.Jtar__.yg..ajc:.a A few i n f o r m a n t s a l s o s h a r e d t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s o f the war y e a r s . M e t i s v e t e r a n s were p roud t o say t h a t t h e y had f o u g h t as C a n a d i a n s i n the war . A good number o f M e t i s men o f S t . L a u r e n t f ough t i n b o t h W o r l d Wars , some i n the K o r e a n War. They were members o f t he W i n n i p e g R i f l e s , Q u e e n ' s Own H i g h l a n d e r s , t he W i n n i p e g G r e n a d i e r s and the P r i n c e s s P a t r i c i a C a n a d i a n L i g h t I n f a n t r y . Some fough t i n F r a n c e and i n I t a l y . Some were t a k e n as p r i s o n e r s o f war by the Germans i n E u r o p e , and o t h e r s by the Japanese i n Hong K o n g . Many d i e d i n a c t i o n f o r t h e i r c o u n t r y . O t h e r s s u r v i v e d t o t e l l 73 t h e i r f r i e n d s about t he a t r o c i t i e s o f war and the inhuman c o n d i t i o n s o f the p r i s o n e r o f war c o n c e n t r a t i o n camps. Some men p r o u d l y d i s p l a y the medals t h e y had won f o r t h e i r h e r o i c a c t s i n s a v i n g t h e i r comrades . A l l r e f u s e t o t a l k about the " t o r t u r e s " t hey s u f f e r e d i n the camps. Some m e n t i o n the p a r c e l t h e i r f a m i l y s e n t them, s w e a t e r s , m i t t e n s , s o c k s , c i g a r e t t e s and c h o c o l a t e b a r s , bu t w h i c h t h e y neve r r e c e i v e d nor even hea rd o f . A b u r l y v e t e r a n r e c a l l e d : " A t the t i m e o f war and f i g h t i n g , you don t r e -a l i z e e v e r y t h i n g t h a t ' s happen ing t o y o u . E i t h e r you k i l l o r you g e t k i l l e d . I t ' s o n l y i n peace t i m e , when y o u ' r e back home a few y e a r s l a t e r t h a t the r e a l i t i e s o f war r e a l l y h i t s you and we become aware o f i t s u g l i n e s s and i t s i n h u m a n i t y i n our n i g h t m a r e s " . A l l the war v e t e r a n s ag reed on one t h i n g : t he n e x t w o r l d war would d e s t r o y the p l a n e t . The war e x p e r i e n c e a f f e c t e d each man d i f f e r e n t l y . " F o r most o f u s " , e x p l a i n e d a v e t e r a n , " j o i n i n g the f o r c e s and g o i n g t o war was q u i t e an e d u c a t i o n and a l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e . F o r some, i t was the f i r s t t i m e t h a t we t r a v e l l e d ou t o f the a r e a or o f the p r o v i n c e , l e t a l o n e the c o u n t r y " . An army v e t e r a n added: "Army l i f e pu t a l o t o f d i s c i p l i n e i n our l i v e s , e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r our vagabond days o f t he d e p r e s s i o n . I t made us see how the r e s t o f t h e w o r l d l i v e d , t h a t we, i n S t . L a u r e n t , were n o t the o n l y ones h a v i n g a ha rd t i m e . And when we l i n e d up f o r combat w i t h o t h e r s o l d i e r s , you d i d no t t h i n k t oo much o f y o u r r a c i a l b a c k g r o u n d , whether U k r a i n i a n , F r e n c h , E n g l i s h o r M e t i s . You 74 were a C a n a d i a n f i r s t , and you f o u g h t as a C a n a d i a n , t he emblem on our u n i f o r m s a i d s o . Bu t t h e n , the i s s u e o f g i v i n g up b e i n g a M e t i s n e v e r came up when I was a s o l d i e r , f i g h t i n g as a C a n a d i a n d i d no t make me l e s s o f a M e t i s . Today , I am p roud t o have f o u g h t f o r Canada i n the w a r " . O b v i o u s l y , t h e r e i s no c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n b e i n g a M e t i s and a C a n a d i a n f o r t h i s s o l d i e r . The l i f e as a s e n i o r c i t i z e n has a l s o been t h e o b j e c t o f many changes i n the l a s t t w e n t y y e a r s . Some s e n i o r s have r e t i r e d i n the c i t y , e s p e c i a l l y i f t h e y a r e a l o n e o r i f one spouse has pa s sed o n . They w i l l l i v e c l o s e to t h e i r c h i l d r e n bu t n o t n e c e s s a r i l y w i t h them. Many o f the s e n i o r s who chose t o r ema in i n S t . L a u r e n t l i v e i n the L a u r e n t i a n L o d g e , the l o c a l S e n i o r C i t i z e n ' s Home. As an i n f o r m a n t pu t i t : " I e n -j o y i t here because o f the s o c i a l l i f e , a c t i v i t i e s and o r -g a n i z e d o u t i n g s and the p r i e s t comes i n e v e r y day t o say mass. Most o f the t i m e , i t i s q u i e t h e r e , w h i l e t h e r e i s t oo much n o i s e i n the c i t y " . S e n i o r s have t h e i r own p r o b l e m s , t o o . Widows and widowers f i n d i t p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t t o l i v e a l o n e , e s p e c i a l l y , as one s a i d , when you have been m a r r i e d t o the same p e r s o n f o r 40 -45 y e a r s . "The p a i n o f s e p a r a t i o n due t o d e a t h i s ha rd t o b e a r . But our spouses c o n t i n u e t o l i v e on i n our memory, t h e y n e v e r seem t o l e a v e us c o m p l e t e l y , i n a way, t h e y a re a l w a y s w i t h u s . N o n e t h e l e s s , the l o n e l i n e s s o f 75 l i v i n g a l o n e 1B d i f f i c u l t " . An e l d e r widower c a n d i d l y a d m i t t e d : " I ' m a l o n e now, my w i f e o f f o r t y - f o u r y e a r s i s gone . I have t o l e a r n t o cook and c l e a n house . Whenever I s t a r t t h i n k i n g o f her too much o r " j o n g l e r ' ( M i c h i f F r e n c h f o r b r o o d i n g d e e p l y ) I ge t i n my c a r and I go f o r a r i d e , I m i s s her too much". Many s e n i o r s had t h e i r s h a r e o f i l l n e s s e s , a c c i d e n t s and f a l l s . However , t o d a y i t i s e a s i e r t o see the d o c t o r and o b t a i n m e d i c a t i o n . One l a d y speaks o f her husband c o n f i n e d t o a whee l c h a i r : " I ' l l keep him here w i t h me a t home as l o n g as I can l o o k a f t e r h im , a f t e r a l l , w e ' v e been m a r r i e d o v e r f i f t y y e a r s ; i n 1982, we had a f a m i l y r e u n i o n o f the Ducharme f a m i l y here on our l a n d , 300 p e o p l e f o r t h r e e d a y s . I t was w o n d e r f u l ! " Becoming a s e n i o r i n S t . L a u r e n t changes f a m i l y r e l a -t i o n s h i p s i n many ways . I f l i v i n g as a c o u p l e , t h e r e i s a c h o i c e o f r e m a i n i n g a t home o r a t the L a u r e n t i a n L o d g e . In b o t h s i t u a t i o n s , s e n i o r s s e a r c h f o r the v a l u e s o f s e c u r i t y and c o m f o r t . As a widow o r w idower , t he c h i l d r e n migh t want you t o move c l o s e bu t no t n e c e s s a r i l y w i t h them. U n l e s s t hey a r e p h y s i c a l l y d i s a b l e d , s e n i o r s p r e f e r t o l i v e on t h e i r own. As one s e n i o r s t a t e d : " I f I can h e l p i t , I do n o t want t o depend on anyone; I want r e l a t i v e independence f o r my-s e l f , bu t a t the same t i m e , I a l s o want t o be i ndependen t f rom my r e l a t i v e s ! " I n o t h e r words , s e n i o r s do no t want t o be t o t a l l y s e p a r a t e d from t h e i r c h i l d r e n and f a m i l y , t hey s t i l l want t o keep i n t o u c h w i t h them t h r o u g h t e l e p h o n e 76 c a l l s and o c c a s i o n a l home v i s i t s . On the o t h e r hand, t h e y do n o t want t o be so c l o s e t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n as t o be w i t h them a l l t he t i m e and t o become dependent on them. T h u s , i n the eyes o f the s e n i o r s , independence i s p e r c e i v e d n o t as a c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o community l i f e bu t l i k e i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e as an e s s e n t i a l i n g r e d i e n t o f community l i f e . Wake and B u r i a l The l a s t p o r t i o n o f t h i s c h a p t e r w i l l d e s c r i b e b r i e f l y some o f the cus toms and r i t u a l p r a c t i c e s r e g a r d i n g wake and b u r i a l as p e r c e i v e d by the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t . I t w i l l show the deep s i g n i f i c a n c e t h e s e e v e n t s have i n the l i v e s o f t h e p e o p l e p a r t i c u l a r l y because o f t h e i r s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n s . On the one hand, t hey p r o v i d e f o r s o c i a l c o h e s i o n and s o l i d a r i t y f o r t he communi ty , and on t h e o t h e r f o r e m o t i o n a l comfo r t and s u p p o r t f o r members o f t he b e r e a v e d f a m i l y . B e f o r e the o l d s t o n e c h u r c h burned down i n May, 1961 , many l o c a l p e o p l e can s t i l l r e c a l l v i v i d l y when the huge c a s t - i r o n b e l l , s n u g l y l o d g e d i n the c h u r c h s t e e p l e , f i n g e r -p o i n t i n g two hundred f e e t s k y w a r d , wou ld s o l e m n l y t o l l the k n e l l o f a n o t h e r d e p a r t e d l o v e d one from the v i l l a g e . One e l d e r remembered i t t h i s way: " P e o p l e wou ld i m m e d i a t e l y s t o p t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s whe ther i n the house o r o u t s i d e and l i s t e n a t t e n t i v e l y t o the number o f s t r o k e s : n i n e f o r a man and seven f o r a woman. They would ask each o t h e r i n q u i s i t i v e l y 7 7 who c o u l d i t be? I n a few h o u r s , t he word would g e t a round and soon eve ryone would p r e p a r e f o r the wake. N o r m a l l y , a c c o r d i n g t o l o c a l M e t i s cus toms , i t l a s t e d t h r e e days and t h r e e n i g h t s " . A fo rmer m i d w i f e p r o v i d e d the f o l l o w i n g a c c o u n t o f how the M e t i s p e o p l e c a r e d f o r the body : " C l o s e f r i e n d s washed and c l o t h e d the body o f the d e c e a s e d . The house wou ld be t r a n s f o r m e d i n a t e m p o r a r y f u n e r a l home w i t h w h i t e d r a p e s h a n g i n g on the w a l l s where the body would be p l a c e d . They wou ld s e t the body on p l a n k s and c o v e r i t w i t h w h i t e s h e e t s u n t i l t h e y would b r i n g i n the c a s k e t from the c i t y . I n f r o n t o f t he body , a w h i t e c o v e r e d t a b l e s t o o d w i t h two b u r n i n g c a n d l e s , a c r u c i f i x and a d i s h o f h o l y wa te r w i t h pa lm b r a n c h e s b e s i d e i t . I n the e a r l y e v e n i n g , r e l a t i v e s , f r i e n d s and n e i g h b o r s a r r i v e d t o pay t h e i r r e s p e c t t o the deceased and t o o f f e r t h e i r c o n d o l e n c e s t o the b e r e a v e d . Ke ros e ne and gas lamps p r o v i d e d the l i g h t f o r t he h o u s e h o l d " . As I was t o l d by a r e s p o n d e n t , the main a c t i v i t y was the r e c i t i n g o f the r o s a r y . E v e r y hour or s o , a p e r s o n k n e e -l i n g i n f r o n t o f the body , would l e a d the v i s i t o r s , a l s o k n e e l i n g , i n p r a y e r . P e o p l e s a t q u i e t l y t o g e t h e r , men i n c l u s t e r s o f t h r e e o r f o u r , and i f t h e y had to speak , t h e y d i d so i n low and hushed v o i c e s . Once i n a w h i l e , n e i g h b o r s would h e l p and s e r v e c o f f e e and s a n d w i c h e s . P e o p l e would come and go , some wou ld s t a y f o r the r o s a r y w h i l e o t h e r s would s t a y p r a c t i c a l l y a l l n i g h t . And t h e y would s t a r t ove r 78 a g a i n t h e f o l l o w i n g e v e n i n g . D u r i n g t h e d a y , some s c h o o l c h i l d r e n s t o p p e d by t o p r a y b r i e f l y . On the m o r n i n g o f t he f u n e r a l , she c o n t i n u e d , t he p a l l -b e a r e r s , w e a r i n g b l a c k arm bands and b l a c k and w h i t e b o u -t o n n i e r e s would c a r e f u l l y c a r r y the c a s k e t out o f the house . A h o r s e - d r a w n s l e i g h o r e x p r e s s democra t would be w a i t i n g t o c a r r y i t t o c h u r c h . A democra t i s a f o u r - w h e e l e d open c a r r i a g e p u l l e d by two h o r s e s . Depend ing on the s e a s o n , p e o p l e i n c u t t e r , c a b o o s e s , s l e i g h s , wagons or b u g g i e s , p e o p l e w a l k i n g i n the snow or r a i n , would accompany the body i n a devou t p r o c e s s i o n . I n the c h u r c h , t he body was p l a c e d on h i g h r o l l e r s and c o v e r e d w i t h a c r o s s - s h a p e d b l a c k and w h i t e p a l l . I p e r -s o n a l l y r e c a l l t he f u n e r a l Mass , w h i c h would u s u a l l y l a s t an hour and a h a l f . The c h o i r wou ld open w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l l a t i n hyms, the K y r i e and the D i e s I r a e and f i n i s h w i t h the L±b^X.a_Jlei and the InJParjLdi^jyLBl^.. Throughou t the mass, the f a m i l y remained s e a t e d i n the f r o n t pews on one s i d e , w h i l e the p a l l - b e a r e r s and the r e l a t i v e s wou ld occupy the o t h e r s i d e . The p r a y e r s o f commendation and f a r e w e l l would s i g n a l t he s t a r t i n g o f t he p r o c e s s i o n t o t h e c e m e t e r y . As f a m i l y members t r i e d t o c o m f o r t each o t h e r , t h e y f i l e d ou t o f the c h u r c h f o l l o w i n g the c a s k e t . One l a s t t i m e , the c h u r c h b e l l wou ld t o l l the k n e l l o f the d e p a r t e d t o the e n t i r e c o u n t r y -s i d e . At t he g r a v e s i d e , an i n f o r m a n t r e c a l l e d , t he p a l l -b e a r e r s would s e t t he c a s k e t on t h r e e b a r s l y i n g a c r o s s the 79 open g r a v e . A f t e r the b l e s s i n g o f t he g r a v e and the p r a y e r s f o r the d e c e a s e d , t he p a l l b e a r e r s would remove the c r o s s -b a r s and , u s i n g heavy r o p e s , t hey would s l o w l y and c a r e f u l l y l o w e r the c a s k e t i n i t s d o u b l e - b o x s i x f e e t i n t o the g r o u n d . One o f t he w o r k e r s wou ld t hen go down and remove the c r u c i f i x from the top o f the c a s k e t and hand i t o v e r t o a member o f the f a m i l y . He would then n a i l t he box f i r m l y . Members o f the f a m i l y , u s i n g a s h o v e l o r t h e i r b a r e hands would s t a r t f i l l i n g i n the g r a v e . I n the p a s t , most o f t he p e o p l e would r ema in a t the g r a v e s i t e u n t i l the b u r i a l was c o m p l e t e . M o u r n i n g would l a s t a y e a r and a h a l f f o r a spouse and one y e a r f o r a b r o t h e r o r s i s t e r . D u r i n g t h a t t i m e , t h e r e would be no d a n c i n g , no l i s t e n i n g t o m u s i c , no gramophone. F a m i l y members and c l o s e r e l a t i v e s wore b l a c k . Today , mourn ing cus toms as t h e y were known i n the p a s t , have a l l bu t d i s a p p e a r e d . Even the p r i e s t , now s a y i n g the mass i n the language o f t he p e o p l e , has changed the c o l o r o f h i s v e s t m e n t s f rom b l a c k to w h i t e as a symbol o f C h r i s t ' s v i c t o r y o f l i f e o v e r d e a t h a t h i s R e s u r r e c t i o n . The cus tom o f wake v i g i l i n p r i v a t e homes i n S t . L a u r e n t does n o t e x i s t anymore. Today , wake s e r v i c e and p r a y e r s a r e s a i d i n the l o c a l c h u r c h o r i n the f u n e r a l home, the n i g h t b e f o r e the f u n e r a l s e r v i c e . A f u n e r a l d i r e c t o r d r i v i n g a hea r se c a r r y i n g the body i s now i n cha rge o f t he a r r a n g e -ments . The g r a v e w h i c h , i n the p a s t , , t o o k somet imes two or t h r e e days t o d i g w i t h p i c k s and s h o v e l s , e s p e c i a l l y i n the 80 w i n t e r t ime when the ground was f r o z e n , i s now dug h a l f an hour b e f o r e the mass w i t h a b a c k - h o e . A f t e r the g r a v e s i d e p r a y e r s a re o v e r , the f a m i l y i n v i t e s the p e o p l e f o r l u n c h and re f reshment a t the l o c a l r e c r e a t i o n c e n t r e . R e l i g i o n i s a p a r t o f a l l c u l t u r e s . I t c o n s i s t s o f b e l i e f s and b e h a v i o u r p a t t e r n s by w h i c h p e o p l e t r y to c o n t r o l the a r e a o f the u n i v e r s e t h a t i s o t h e r w i s e beyond t h e i r c o n t r o l . As H a v i l a n d says (1985 : 5 8 7 ) , "Among h u n t e r -g a t h e r e r p e o p l e s r e l i g i o n i s a b a s i c i n g r e d i e n t o f eve ryday l i f e . As s o c i e t i e s become more complex , r e l i g i o n i s l e s s a p a r t o f d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s and t ends to be r e s t r i c t e d to s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n s " . Based on the above e v i d e n c e , weddings and f u n e r a l s have a lways remained two r e l i g i o u s e v e n t s t h a t had deep s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t , m a i n l y because o f t h e i r p s y c h o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l f u n c t i o n s . They p r o v i d e f o r s o c i a l s o l i d a r i t y and a re o c c a s i o n s f o r s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s t h a t have a lways been c o n s i d e r e d a c o r e v a l u e s o f the M e t i s way o f l i f e . They a l s o p r o v i d e d comfor t i n the b e l i e f t h a t s u p e r n a t u r a l a i d was a v a i l a b l e i n t i m e s of c r i s i s . Weddings were c o n s i d e r e d p r i m a r i l y a f a m i l y a f f a i r . The ceremony a t the c h u r c h was and i s s t i l l u s u a l l y a t t ended m o s t l y by immediate r e l a t i v e s and by c l o s e f r i e n d s . The r e -c e p t i o n and dance i n the e v e n i n g , however , a re u s u a l l y open to a l l r e l a t i v e s and t o the many a c q u a i n t a n c e s who come from b o t h f a r and n e a r . 81 F u n e r a l s a t S t . L a u r e n t have a l w a y s been known t o be t r u l y community e v e n t s . Former r e s i d e n t s w i l l a t t e n d , o f t e n t r a v e l l i n g many m i l e s t o ge t t h e r e . R e g a r d l e s s o f t he r a c i a l background o f the d e c e a s e d , t he e n t i r e community u s u a l l y p a r t i c i p a t e s and the c h u r c h i s p r a c t i c a l l y a l w a y s f u l l t o c a p a c i t y . F u n e r a l s e r v i c e s c r o s s r a c i a l and d e n o m i n a t i o n a l l i n e s and r e i n f o r c e community s p i r i t and s o l i d a r i t y among a l l the r e s i d e n t s a t S t . L a u r e n t . F u r t h e r m o r e , the s o c i a l g a t h e r i n g a t t he R e c r e a t i o n C e n t r e f o l l o w i n g the b u r i a l p r o v i d e s the much needed e m o t i o n a l comfo r t and s u p p o r t f o r t he members o f the be r eaved f a m i l y . R i t u a l i s r e l i g i o n i n a c t i o n . Through t h e s e weddings and f u n e r a l r i t u a l s , the s o c i a l bonds o f t h e M e t i s p e o p l e have been r e i n f o r c e d even though somewhat l e s s e n e d because o f t he e f f e c t s o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n . R e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s have l e s s impac t on the l i v e s o f a p e o p l e i n a s e c u l a r i z e d s e t t i n g t han i n the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n t e x t o f the l i v e s o f a p e o p l e . In summary, the pu rpose o f t h i s c h a p t e r was, i n p a r t t o d e s c r i b e the e x p e r i e n c e o f g r o w i n g up i n S t . L a u r e n t . We c o v e r e d the e a r l y y e a r s from b i r t h and c h i l h o o d t o c o u r t s h i p , m a r r i a g e and f a m i l y l i f e . We ended w i t h two s e c t i o n s , t he s e n i o r y e a r s and the wake and f u n e r a l c u s t o m s . Our a n a l y s i s b r o u g h t us t o examine how m o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i z a t i o n were i n s t r u m e n t a l i n e f f e c t i n g change i n 82 the f a m i l y l i f e , e d u c a t i o n and r e l i g i o u s sys tems o f the M e t i s . I n t he p r o c e s s , t h i s c h a p t e r a l s o s e t ou t t o i d e n t i f y some o f the c u l t u r a l e l emen t s o f M e t i s p e o p l e , t h e n , a c c o r -d i n g t o the e l d e r s p o i n t o f v i e w , and now, a c c o r d i n g t o the y o u t h s ' p e r c e p t i o n . A t the same t i m e , a t t e m p t s were made t o d e t e r m i n e w h i c h components a r e " c o r e ' o r o f " s u r f a c e ' v a l u e . The c a t e g o r i e s i n t a b l e 3 (page 83) were chosen because o f t h e i r f r e q u e n c i e s i n the d a t a . The t a b l e w i l l i l l u s t r a t e what c o n s t i t u t e M e t i s n e s s . 83 T a b l e d Abr: C: core Value; S_L surface value VjLLiiejs C £ Q St Close family t i e s x x x Close kin t i e s x x Education x x x Resourcefulness x x Independence x x x Dependence on Environment x x x Community-minded x x x Cash/Money x x Rigorous Morals x x Church practices x x Social relations x x 84 The t a b l e shows t h a t M e t i s n e s s has undergone some d r a s t i c changes i n r e c e n t y e a r s , namely i n te rms o f the t r a n s i t i o n from a s u b s i s t e n c e t o a c a s h economy, t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the c h u r c h , from a s t r i c t m o r a l i t y t o a more open m o r a l i t y and i n e d u c a t i o n . The impac t o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n and o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n c o m p e l l e d some M e t i s p e o p l e t o d r o p c e r t a i n v a l u e s , r e t a i n o t h e r s and adopt new o n e s . I n g e n e r a l , M e t i s n e s s f o r the e l d e r s i m p l i e d many c o r e v a l u e s : c l o s e f a m i l y and k i n t i e s , r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s , i n d e p e n d e n c e , dependence on the e n v i r o n m e n t , communi ty -m i n d e d n e s s , C h u r c h p r a c t i c e s and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . The younger g e n e r a t i o n have r e t a i n e d o r d ropped some o f t h e s e v a l u e s and have adop ted some new ones . The o n l y v a l u e t h a t has remained ' c o r e ' t h r o u g h o u t the l i f e - s p a n o f t he i n f o r m a n t s i s t h a t o f t h e i r s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . T h i s i s m a i n l y because s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s have been c o n s t a n t l y n u r t u r e d by community e v e n t s s u c h as weddings and f u n e r a l s . Of t he v a l u e s t h a t e l d e r s c o n s i d e r e d as " c o r e ' , t h r e e o f them, r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s , m o r a l i t y and C h u r c h p r a c t i s e s a r e now l o o k e d upon as s u r f a c e v a l u e s by t o d a y s ' y o u t h . M o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i z a t i o n have c o m p e l l e d the younger g e n e r a t i o n t o d rop t h e s e v a l u e s . We n o t i c e t h a t t h e r e a r e f i v e v a l u e s t h a t b o t h e l d e r s and y o u t h c o n s i d e r e d as c o r e a t one t i m e , c l o s e f a m i l y t i e s , 85 c l o s e k i n t i e s , i n d e p e n d e n c e , dependence on e n v i r o n m e n t and communi ty -mindednes s . Today , however , young p e o p l e l a b e l a l l t h e s e v a l u e s as s u r f a c e . E d u c a t i o n i s a v a l u e t h a t e l d e r s c o n s i d e r e d as s u r f a c e . I t i s now l o o k e d upon as b o t h a c o r e and s u r f a c e v a l u e by the younger g e n e r a t i o n . F i n a l l y , the v a l u e where t h e r e i s most d i f f e r e n c e between the two g roups goes t o the cash /money . E l d e r s c o n s i d e r e d cash/money a s u r f a c e v a l u e , w h i l e f o r the young p e o p l e , cash/money has become a c o r e v a l u e . O b v i o u s l y t h i s d i f f e r e n c e i n d i c a t e s the economy i s t he a r e a o f M e t i s l i f e where changes have o c c u r r e d the most d r a s t i c a l l y i n r e c e n t y e a r s : t he t r a n s i t i o n from a s u b s i s t e n c e t o a c a s h economy. Based on the above e v i d e n c e , the f o l l o w i n g a r e v a l u e s c o n s t i t u t i v e o f M e t i s n e s s t o d a y : s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s a r e the o n l y v a l u e t h a t have r emained ' c o r e ' ove r the y e a r s . O t h e r v a l u e s s u c h as c l o s e f a m i l y and k i n t i e s , communi ty -mindedness , i n d e p e n d e n c e , c h u r c h p r a c t i c e s and r e s o u r c e -f u l n e s s once c o n s i d e r e d c o r e v a l u e s , now c o n s t i t u t e the s u r f a c e v a l u e s f o r the m a j o r i t y o f the M e t i s t o d a y . The impac t o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i z a t i o n has c o m p e l l e d them t o change t h e i r l i f e - s t y l e , so much so t h a t M e t i s n e s s i n S t . L a u r e n t i s no l o n g e r what i t was i n the p a s t . The c o r e v a l u e s o f M e t i s n e s s a r e no t as s t r o n g as t h e y use t o b e . I n the p r o c e s s , many young M e t i s have become C a n a d i a n , some w i t h no a p p a r e n t a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h t h e i r M e t i s h e r i t a g e and t r a d i t i o n s . Does t h i s mean the end o f M e t i s n e s s o r the 86 b r e a k - u p o f t he M e t i s community a t S t . L a u r e n t ? P e r h a p s n o t , a t l e a s t no t f o r the immedia te f u t u r e . I t does s i g n a l however t h a t M e t i s n e s s here i s , i n some ways , s e v e r e l y a f f e c t e d i n i t s r o o t s . 87 M.aj£jing_a_j^ The l a s t c h a p t e r showed us t h a t many M e t i s t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s have been abso rbed by m o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i -z a t i o n and t h a t t h o s e v a l u e s t h a t have been r e t a i n e d a r e b e i n g e x p r e s s e d d i f f e r e n t l y t o d a y . We a l s o n o t e d t h a t f o r many p e o p l e g r o w i n g up i n S t . L a u r e n t t h i s had n o t been an easy e x p e r i e n c e w h i l e f o r o t h e r s l i f e was good as l o n g as t h e y l i v e d d e p e n d i n g on the r e s o u r c e s o f the e n v i r o n m e n t . The p r e s e n t c h a p t e r i s an a t t empt t o d e s c r i b e the ways the M e t i s p e o p l e make t h e i r l i v i n g a t S t . L a u r e n t . I want t o p o i n t ou t t he major s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d o f b o t h men and women from a t r a d i t i o n a l and modern p e r s p e c t i v e . A t the same t i m e , I want t o d e s c r i b e the v a r i o u s j o b s p e o p l e worked a t o v e r the y e a r s and how the p e o p l e t h e r e adapted e c o n o m i c a l l y . DJ.yJ.§-ioji...M.„lAbjQ.r In a g e n e r a l way, t h e r e was a c l e a r - c u t d i v i s i o n o f l a b o r between M e t i s men and women a t S t . L a u r e n t . The men c a r r i e d ou t t he b u l k o f the h e a v i e r p h y s i c a l j o b s as p r o v i d e r s , and t h e s e i n c l u d e d h u n t i n g , f i s h i n g , t r a p p i n g , f a r m i n g and c o n s t r u c t i o n . On the o t h e r hand, t he women d i d 88 a l l t he d o m e s t i c j o b s o f c o o k i n g , c l e a n i n g , s e w i n g , w a s h i n g c l o t h e s and r a i s i n g the f a m i l y . I n the s p r i n g t i m e , however , b o t h men and women tended t h e g a r d e n s . In a d d i t i o n , i n the absence o f her husband and i f t he c h i l d r e n were t oo s m a l l t o h e l p , women would a l s o l o o k a f t e r some o f the fa rm c h o r e s , c u t and chop wood and h a u l i n the w a t e r . One must remember, as a r e s p o n d e n t t o l d me, t h a t t h e r e was no e l e c t r i c i t y , no p l u m b i n g , no r u n n i n g w a t e r , no t e l e p h o n e and no t e l e v i s i o n , t h e n . Few women were i n v o l v e d i n heavy work , bu t as one i n f o r m a n t t o l d me, t h e r e were some who r e g u l a r l y worked on the fa rm a t e i t h e r c l e a n i n g the b a r n , m i l k i n g cows and h a y i n g i n the summer. As a r u l e , M e t i s women have n o t been known t o f i s h on the l a k e i n w i n t e r t i m e . T h i s i s p r o b a b l y due t o the ext reme c o l d and the h a r s h w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s . A g a i n t h e r e c o u l d be e x c e p t i o n s h e r e . I f one o b s e r v e s a M e t i s woman g o i n g t o f i s h on the l a k e t o d a y , i t would p r o b a b l y be i n the comfo r t o f a hea ted b o m b a r d i e r and the t r i p wou ld l a s t o n l y f o r t h a t d a y . The work o f M e t i s Women In the v i l l a g e , f o r many y e a r s , most o f t he work o f t he M e t i s women was done i n and a round t h e i r own home. Those who had p a y i n g j o b s worked f o r c o t t a g e - o w n e r s a t t h e l o c a l b e a c h e s . Most o f t he work i n v o l v e d h o u s e c l e a n i n g , f rom wa-s h i n g f l o o r s , window c l e a n i n g , w a s h i n g c l o t h e s t o baby s i t -t i n g . An e l d e r i n f o r m a n t s a i d : "See my hands , t h e y a re no t 89 smooth , t h e y a r e r o u g h - l o o k i n g , bu t a t l e a s t t h e y a r e c l e a n and t h a t i s because I have kep t them i n wa te r most o f my l i f e " . A few women a l s o worked f o r the nuns a t t h e i r conven t o r a t the s c h o o l , a g a i n f o r h o u s e c l e a n i n g even though some worked as cooks and b a k e r s i n t h e i r huge k i t c h e n . Some a l s o worked as c l e r k s a t the l o c a l g e n e r a l s t o r e s . A l e x a n d r e Cou tu owned the l o c a l h o t e l f o r many y e a r s and employed M e t i s women as w a i t r e s s e s , maids and d i s h w a s h e r s . A c c o r d i n g t o one i n f o r m a n t , most o f t h e s e j o b s i n the v i l l a g e were t empora ry and one c o u l d no t r e l y on them t o make a l i v i n g , "Bu t i t was b e t t e r t han n o t h i n g " , she added , " e s p e c i a l l y i n t h o s e d a y s , you d i d no t have f a m i l y a l l o w a n c e o r m o t h e r ' s a l l o w a n c e " . A n o t h e r r e s p o n d e n t r e l a t e d how some women would g e t t o g e t h e r on a w e e k l y b a s i s and t e a c h each o t h e r how t o sew and mend c l o t h e s . One i n f o r m a n t d e s c r i b e d her day w h i l e her husband was away w o r k i n g i n the c i t y . She would ge t up a t 5 :30 e v e r y m o r n i n g , do the c h o r e s , m i l k 2 o r 3 cows, s e p a r a t e the m i l k , make b u t t e r , wake up the c h i l d r e n , f eed them b r e a k f a s t and see them o f f t o s c h o o l . D u r i n g the d a y , she wou ld do her housework w h i c h c o n s i s t e d i n w a s h i n g the b a b y ' s c l o t h e s d a i l y and the f a m i l y ' s c l o t h e s e v e r y second d a y , a l l by hand. "There wou ld a l w a y s be the mending and s e w i n g o f c l o t h e s " , she added , "but the r e a l t h i n g was t o bake b r e a d , b a t c h e s o f t w e n t y o r t w e n t y - f i v e , once o r t w i c e a week, a l o n g w i t h the bannock and o t h e r p a s t r i e s , i n be tween , I a l s o had t o f i n d t ime t o p r e p a r e the f a m i l y m e a l s ; by n i g h t 90 t i m e , the soone r the c h i l d r e n were i n bed , the soone r I wou ld have some t ime t o m y s e l f " . As a r e s u l t , many M e t i s women were eager t o see S a t u r d a y come as t h e y knew t h e y c o u l d r e l a x t h e n . A mother o f e i g h t d e s c r i b e d how she f e l t a t the end o f the week: " H a p p i n e s s t o me meant t o be c o m f o r t a b l y s e t t l e d w i t h my f a m i l y i n t h e o l d l o g - h o u s e on a S a t u r d a y n i g h t i n the c o l d o f the w i n t e r . The c h o r e s a re done , the f l o o r s s c r u b b e d and the c l o t h e s washed , an aroma o f f r e s h n e s s and c l e a n l i n e s s pe rmea tes the e n t i r e h o u s e h o l d . The f l u t t e r i n g f l ame o f the ke rosene lamp on the cupboard shed enough l i g h t f o r a l l t o s e e . The c h i l d r e n a r e p l a y f u l and e n j o y i n g t h e m s e l v e s as t h e y t a k e t u r n s b a t h i n g i n a tub b e s i d e the p o t - b e l l i e d s t o v e as t h e y p r e p a r e f o r b e d . My husband i s busy s k i n n i n g the minks and w e a s e l s he caugh t e a r l i e r i n the day and he c a r e f u l l y hangs the f u r s on r a c k s t o d r y b e h i n d the s t o v e . The f i r e c r a c k l e s i n my k i t c h e n - s t o v e as I bake bannock and p i e s f o r the Sunday m e a l . O u t s i d e , i n the c o l d w i n t e r n i g h t , a b l i z z a r d i s b r e w i n g , the snow s t a r t s t o f a l l c a r e l e s s l y and the wind howls i n t e r m i t t e n t l y as the dog b a r k s away a t some d i s t a n t o b j e c t . A f t e r a l i g h t s n a c k , t he f a m i l y r e t i r e s p e a c e f u l l y f o r the n i g h t " . Based on the above , M e t i s women, i n the p a s t , showed much r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s i n t h e i r work and d e d i c a t i o n t o t h e i r f a m i l y . L o c a l l y , t h e y s u r v i v e d t h e b e s t ways t h e y c o u l d w i t h the l i m i t e d economic means t h a t t h e y had . Most women who l o o k e d f o r permanent work had j o b s o u t s i d e the v i l l a g e . As soon as t h e y were o l d enough, many wou ld l e a v e home t o l o o k f o r work i n W i n n i p e g . Among the most common j o b s , a t the t i m e , were w a i t r e s s e s i n r e s t a u r a n t s o r f o r c a t e r i n g s e r v i c e s , housemaids and b a b y -s i t t i n g i n p r i v a t e homes, manual and l a b o r j o b s w i t h m a n u f a c t u r i n g f i r m s and depar tmen t s t o r e s . F o r t h o s e who had the chance t o go t o h i g h s c h o o l , t h e r e were u s u a l l y o t h e r j o b s s u c h as c l e r k s , t y p i s t s , o r s e c r e t a r i e s . They would work f i v e days a week i n the c i t y and many r e t u r n e d home by bus e v e r y week-end . O t h e r s wou ld move p e r m a n e n t l y t o the c i t y o r e l s e w h e r e , m a i n l y , an i n f o r m a n t s t a t e d , "because t h e y d i d n o t see any economic f u t u r e f o r t h e m s e l v e s i n the v i l l a g e " . T h u s , s e e k i n g p a y i n g j o b s o u t s i d e the v i l l a g e marked the b e g i n n i n g o f t he t r a n s i t i o n from a s u b s i s t e n c e economy t o a c a s h economy f o r many M e t i s women o f S t . L a u r e n t . HojjejDL^ Today , a c c o r d i n g t o some women, t h i n g s have n o t improved a l o t . One i n f o r m a n t s a i d : "Nowadays, l i f e here i s n o t much b e t t e r f o r the women, t h e r e a r e no j o b s t o keep them h e r e , most o f them l e a v e and go t o work i n W i n n i p e g o r t h e y c o l l e c t Unemployment I n s u r a n c e , i t i s a d i s g r a c e t h a t i n t h i s day and age , some women s t i l l have t o l i v e from day t o d a y " . A n o t h e r r e s p o n d e n t s t a t e d : "There a r e no j o b s nor 92 any i n d u s t r i e s here f o r women; a t s c h o o l , t h e r e a r e about f i f t e e n on s t a f f , and o n l y two l o c a l M e t i s women work t h e r e ; most young p e o p l e who ge t an e d u c a t i o n move t o the c i t y as t h e r e i s a b s o l u t e l y no work to keep them h e r e " . On the o t h e r hand, some women w i l l say t h a t t h a t i s no t a l l t r u e . One i n f o r m a n t e x p l a i n e d i t t h i s way: "Some women do s t a y here and make a d e c e n t l i v i n g , some have even s t a r t e d a b u s i n e s s on t h e i r own and a r e s u c c e s s f u l a t i t " . Some have become s c h o o l t e a c h e r s , s t o r e owners , and h a i r d r e s s e r s w h i l e o t h e r s have i n i t i a t e d a d a y - c a r e c e n t r e and a women's c l o t h i n g b o u t i q u e and one c o n d u c t s a D r i v e r ' s E d u c a t i o n P r o g r a m . There was a t ime when most o f the s t o r e s and b u s i n e s s e s were owned and o p e r a t e d by n o n - M e t i s , " b u t , t h a t i s no t so t o d a y " , a c c o r d i n g t o one i n f o r m a n t . In 1966, a c l o t h i n g f i r m , e m p l o y i n g as many as t h i r t y women, opened i n S t . L a u r e n t . The women worked i n an a s sembly l i n e and p roduced a l l - s e a s o n s j a c k e t s f o r men and women. One i n f o r m a n t who worked t h e r e t h r o u g h o u t the e n t i r e y e a r s o f o p e r a t i o n s a i d t h a t the j o b s t h e r e were good f o r the economy o f S t . L a u r e n t . " I t was a r e g u l a r s o u r c e o f income f o r the f a m i l y and under good w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s . Some women would c u t ou t the p i e c e s o f the c l o t h m a t e r i a l , o t h e r s would a ssemble them, w h i l e o t h e r s y e t wou ld sew them arid pu t them t o g e t h e r . Some worked by hand bu t t he m a j o r i t y worked a t the s e w i n g - m a c h i n e . We worked f o r t y hour s a week, two t h i r d s o f the women w o r k i n g t h e r e were M e t i s from S t . L a u r e n t , our boss was a l o c a l M e t i s man who u n d e r s t o o d h i s j o b v e r y w e l l . 93 Then , i n 1980, we were i n f o r m e d by the company t h a t i t was g o i n g t o c l o s e down, and the r e a s o n g i v e n t o us was t h a t t h e r e was n o t enough marke t f o r t he j a c k e t s t h a t we m a n u f a c t u r e d . Some o f u s , to t h i s d a y , a re s t i l l w o n d e r i n g whe ther we were t o l d the t r u t h o r n o t , a l l I know i s t h a t t h e r e was a change o f government a t the p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l a t t he t i m e " . The above i n f o r m a t i o n i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e r e were l i m i t e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r M e t i s women t o make a l i v i n g i n S t . L a u r e n t . N o n e t h e l e s s , i t has been shown t h a t w i t h w i l l -power and a sense o f i n i t i a t i v e , some M e t i s women have c r e a t e d new j o b s f o r t h e m s e l v e s and , t h u s , have c o n t r i b u t e d t o the deve lopment o f the l o c a l economy. The c l o t h i n g manufac tu re e x p e r i e n c e a l s o i n d i c a t e s t h a t M e t i s women can be p e r s i s t e n t i n t h e i r j o b s as w e l l as anybody e l s e and , g i v e n the economic o p p o r t u n i t y , t h e y can c o n t r i b u t e e q u a l l y . F u r t h e r m o r e , i t u n d e r l i n e s the p o i n t t h a t when p e o p l e g i v e up an economy based on the l o c a l e n v i r o n m e n t and adopt a c a s h economy dependent on o u t s i d e r e s o u r c e s , t h e y can e x p e c t t o have t h e i r j o b s t a k e n away from them and t h e y have v e r y l i t t l e t o say about i t . S p e c i f i c a l l y , i t shows t h a t when p e o p l e a r e n o t i n c o n t r o l o f t h e i r economic means and p o l i c i e s t h e s e same means can be swept from under a t any moment. F o l l o w i n g t h e n , a r e examples w h i c h w i l l s e r v e t o i l l u -s t r a t e how t h r e e M e t i s women, among o t h e r s , were a b l e to c r e a t e j o b s f o r t h e m s e l v e s i n the c o n t e x t o f t he modern e c o -94 nomy. The f i r s t i n f o r m a n t i s t h i r t y - f i v e y e a r s o l d and i s a t e a c h e r a t the l o c a l C o l l e g i a t e . She t o l d me she became i n t e r e s t e d i n t e a c h i n g a t an e a r l y age . She g o t m a r r i e d a f t e r h i g h s c h o o l and s t a r t e d s u b s t i t u t e t e a c h i n g . Then she a p p l i e d a t t he Impact Program a t Brandon U n i v e r s i t y and was a c c e p t e d . I t was a t w o - y e a r p r o g r a m , she s a i d . F i r s t , t h e r e were s t u d y s k i l l s s u c h as r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g , and some p r a c t i c a l t e a c h i n g a t S t . A m b r o i s e , S t . E u s t a c h e and a t S t . L a u r e n t . The second y e a r , she c o n t i n u e s , was c o n c e r n e d more w i t h e d u c a t i o n a l c o u r s e s s u c h as s c i e n c e , drama and a r t w i t h a p r a c t i c u m b o t h a t S t . L a u r e n t and a t R i v e r s , M a n i t o b a . Her f i r s t f u l l y e a r o f t e a c h i n g was a t S t . L a u r e n t i n 1978, w i t h t h e g rade ones and t e a c h i n g a l l s u b j e c t s . " I l e a r n e d how t o d e a l w i t h c h i l d r e n . I t was c h a l l e n g i n g , as t h e r e was a l w a y s s o m e t h i n g d i f f e r e n t w i t h them. I t h i n k I wou ld have been bo red a t an o f f i c e j o b . I a l s o t a u g h t g rade f o u r and f i v e and l a t e r g r ade seven and e i g h t . Bu t my f a v o r i t e s u b j e c t has a l w a y s been a r t , because i t a l l o w s f o r freedom o f e x p r e s s i o n t h r o u g h s u c h t h i n g s as c e r a m i c s , o i l p a i n t i n g , o i l p a s t e l , f l o w e r a r r angemen t , d r a w i n g and p i c t u r e -f r a m i n g " . I n g e n e r a l , s t u d e n t s l i k e d c e r a m i c s b e s t : "They f e e l t h e y can be more c r e a t i v e " . She d e s c r i b e d the p r o c e s s o f c e r a m i c s : "Some o f the t o o l s we need a r e the m o l d s , a k i l n , l i k e a b a k i n g o v e n , c l e a n i n g t o o l s , b u f f i n g p a d s , sponges and b r u s h e s . We s t a r t w i t h the l i q u i d c l a y and pour i t i n a m o l d . I t has t o s t a y a t l e a s t a week, t hen we t a k e the a r t 95 m o l d , c l e a n i t and pu t i t i n a k i l n t o bake o v e r n i g h t . Nex t m o r n i n g , i t i s r eady t o p a i n t . A t the same t i m e , the s t u d e n t s l e a r n about the v o c a b u l a r y i n v o l v e d i n the p r o c e s s , f o r example , the t y p e s o f p a i n t s , d i f f e r e n t m o l d i n g p r o c e s s e s from the p o u r i n g t o the f i n i s h e d p r o d u c t and t h a t can be a n y t h i n g from a cup t o a v a s e " . When I asked her what go t her i n t e r e s t e d i n a r t s i n the f i r s t p l a c e , she r e p l i e d : "When I was g r o w i n g up , I n o t i c e d my mothe r , A l i c e R o u l e t t e , was v e r y good a t making q u i l t s and r u g s w i t h o l d r a g s and s t o c k i n g s . I was t o l d t h a t she even made her own f l o w e r bouquet and ar rangement f o r her wedd ing day i n 1937, my Dad has a p i c t u r e o f t h a t . I guess my i n t e r e s t i n a r t s comes from h e r " . What about t he f u t u r e ? I a s k e d . "Because o f my p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e , I f e e l t he need f o r more s t u d y . My own c h i l d r e n a r e now i n s c h o o l , so I have some t ime t o m y s e l f . I t a k e two c o r r e s p o n d e n c e c o u r s e s f rom the U n i v e r s i t y o f M a n i t o b a , one i n Human geography and the o t h e r i n P s y c h o l o g y . She c o n c l u d e d w i t h : " I wou ld l i k e t o go i n t o s p e c i a l E d u c a t i o n f o r s t u d e n t s who have l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s and who r e q u i r e s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n " . A n o t h e r example i s a h a i r d r e s s e r . She i n f o r m e d me t h a t she became i n t e r e s t e d i n h a i r d r e s s i n g as a g i r l a t home w h i l e e x p e r i m e n t i n g on her younger s i s t e r s who had t o have t h e i r p i c t u r e s t a k e n a t s c h o o l . A f t e r she f i n i s h e d s c h o o l , she a t t e n d e d a t e n month c o u r s e a t Red R i v e r Community C o l l e g e i n W i n n i p e g . "The f i r s t month" , she r e c a l l s , "was 96 a l l about human b i o l o g y : n a i l s , head , t e x t u r e o f h a i r , s k i n , m u s c l e s and r e l a t e d i l l n e s s e s . A f t e r t h a t , we worked on mannequins e x p e r i m e n t i n g w i t h f i n g e r waves , p i n c u r l s , r i n g l e t s , s e t s and perm r o d s . O n l y a f t e r t h r e e months , do we s t a r t w o r k i n g w i t h r e a l p e o p l e . The re i s a minimum o f 1,400 hour s o f s c h o o l f o l l o w e d by t h e o r y and p r a c t i c u m exams. I f we do w e l l , we ge t a d i p l o m a w i t h w h i c h we can o b t a i n a l i c e n c e from the government and work i n a S a l o n " . Her f i r s t j o b was a t the Bay i n W i n n i p e g , f o r one and a h a l f y e a r s . Then on t o E a t o n ' s i n Edmonton f o r more e x p e -r i e n c e . " T h i s was a v e r y good j o b " , she s a i d , " i t i n c l u d e d d e m o n s t r a t i o n s and t e l e v i s i o n c o m m e r c i a l s , I was even s e n t t o C h i c a g o f o r an advanced h a i r d r e s s i n g c o u r s e . I s p e n t f o u r y e a r s i n Edmonton" . Then I asked her what made her come t o work and s e t t l e i n S t . L a u r e n t , " I remember a t t e n d i n g a b i n g o game h e r e " , she s a i d , " I o b s e r v e d the p e o p l e and I c o n c l u d e d t h e y needed a h a i r d r e s s e r here and , b e s i d e s , I needed a change o f s c e n e r y i n my l i f e . The l o c a l p e o p l e were v e r y r e c e p t i v e and e n c o u r a g i n g " . I had t o admi t t o t h i s b r i g h t and i n t e l l i g e n t l a d y t h a t I was no t t oo k n o w l e d g e a b l e i n m a t t e r s o f c u t t i n g h a i r , so I a sked her what a r e some o f the b a s i c t h i n g s one has t o know t o be a h a i r d r e s s e r . " W e l l " , she s t a r t e d , "one has t o know how t o c u t h a i r , i t seems r a t h e r o b v i o u s , bu t a h a i r d r e s s e r has to know t h a t . Tha t i s my s p e c i a l t y , o t h e r s can s p e c i a l i z e i n perms o r i n h a i r d y i n g ; t o know how t o j udge s c a l p i s a l s o b a s i c . And t h e n , i t i s no t j u s t a q u e s t i o n o f 97 c u t t i n g o n e ' s h a i r , t he t y p e o f h a i r c u t has t o s u i t the p e r s o n a l i t y o f the i n d i v i d u a l , the way the p e r s o n d r e s s e s , h i s / h e r age , way o f l i f e and p r o f e s s i o n . I n o t h e r w o r d s , the c u t must be d e s i g n e d t o s u i t t he p e r s o n . Somet imes , I o f f e r s u g g e s t i o n s s u c h as a c o l o r o f h a i r dye t o s u i t t he c o l o r o f t h e i r eyes o r I can p o i n t out t o them t h a t t h e i r h a i r s t y l e i s n o t q u i t e a p p r o p r i a t e based on t h e p r o f i l e o f t h e i r f a c e o r the shape o f t h e i r head . O t h e r p e o p l e a re s i m p l y i n a r u t . They have had the same h a i r - d o f o r t he l a s t t e n y e a r s w h i l e the r e s t o f t h e i r body has changed" ! " I have been here f o r e l e v e n y e a r s , now", she c o n t i n u e d , "We a re t h r e e q u a l i f i e d h a i r d r e s s e r s h e r e , our w o r k - l o a d i s heavy . Our cus tomers come from a f o r t y , f i f t y m i l e r a d i u s , 50% are women, 50% a re men. When I a r r i v e d h e r e , men were somewhat r e l u c t a n t and shy t o have t h e i r h a i r c u t done by a woman. Today , t h e y ask us t o g i v e them perms . " I was a l s o i n v o l v e d i n some e v e n t s here a t t he community l e v e l . F o r example , a commit tee asked me t o be i n cha rge o f t he M i s s S t . L a u r e n t Pagean t p r o m o t i n g t a l e n t e x p r e s s i o n and a f a s h i o n show. I e n j o y a r r a n g i n g h a i r d o ' s , make-up and c l o t h i n g f o r young p e o p l e . One y e a r , we had a show c a l l e d C _ e j a £ u r x . . ^ Some p e o p l e a l s o come f o r a d v i c e r e g a r d i n g an upcoming wedd ing i n t h e i r f a m i l y , about h a i r - d o and c l o t h i n g . Someday, I wou ld l i k e t o be a c l o t h i n g d e s i g n e r . I was a l s o i n v i t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n a F a n t a s y Program on F u t u r i s t i c Ways o f H a i r S t y l e s i n W i n n i p e g . And 98 t h e n , the M a n i t o b a Government made a 5 -minu te movie on my work here as p a r t o f C a r e e r Week f o r M a n i t o b a H i g h S c h o o l s " . Then she added: "Sometimes a h a i r d r e s s e r i s l i k e a p s y c h i a t r i s t , we have t o l i s t e n t o p e o p l e ' s p r o b l e m s " . To c o n c l u d e , I a sked t o what she a t t r i b u t e d her s u c c e s s , "Hard w o r k " , she s a i d . " I t was a l s o i m p o r t a n t t o l e a v e S t . L a u r e n t and t o f i n d out how the r e s t o f t he w o r l d l i v e s , and then r e t u r n h e r e . I d i d no t want t o change the p e o p l e h e r e , bu t I wanted t o change the way t h e y l o o k e d and I t h i n k I have s u c c e e d e d " . The l a s t example i n v o l v e s the S t . L a u r e n t Co-op Day Ca re C e n t r e I n c . The i n f o r m a n t t o l d me t h a t back i n 1969 t h e r e were g r a n t s a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h the U n i o n N a t i o n a l e M e t i s s e , the S t . B o n i f a c e - b a s e d F r e n c h M e t i s o r g a n i z a t i o n . A mo t ion was pa s sed s t a t i n g the need o f a c o - o r d i n a t o r i n the v i l l a g e f o r an E a r l y C h i l d h o o d E d u c a t i o n P r o g r a m . She a p p l i e d and g o t t he j o b . " I n 1 9 7 0 - 7 1 " , she went o n , "we used the o l d s c h o o l b u i l d i n g f o r our p r e - s c h o o l p rog ram, ages one t o s i x . P e o p l e were i n v o l v e d i n r e m o d e l l i n g and f u r n i s h i n g the b u i l d i n g t h r o u g h the Summer J o b s and W i n t e r Works P r o g r a m . We s t a r t e d as e a r l y as 7 :00 am, e s p e c i a l l y f o r t he p a r e n t s who worked a t the s e w i n g f a c t o r y . We o p e r a t e d f o u r days a week, up t o t e n hour s a d a y . "The program was c o m p r i s e d o f v a r i o u s a c t i v i t i e s from d r a w i n g , m u s i c , p u z z l e s , e d u c a t i o n a l f i l m s and w a l k s , r e s t p e r i o d s , s n a c k s , some f i e l d t r i p s , and a t t i m e s we had t o change the d i a p e r s o f the younger o n e s " . She added : " g r a n t s 99 a re a v a i l a b l e f o r e a r l y c h i l d h o o d e d u c a t i o n , why n o t t a k e the o p p o r t u n i t y ? Such f a c i l i t i e s and r e s o u r c e s can h e l p a c h i l d i n h i s / h e r e a r l y d e v e l o p m e n t " . As t o i n q u i r i e s about the advan tages o f s u c h a p rog ram, she r e p l i e d : "Such a p rogram f o r c h i l d r e n c e n t r e s a round the good e f f e c t s o f e a r l y s u p e r v i s e d s o c i a l i z i n g w i t h o t h e r k i d s and a d u l t s . The re i s a l s o s p e c i a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r s l o w l e a r n e r s . Such m a t t e r s a r e d i s c u s s e d w i t h the p a r e n t s ; the o n e - p a r e n t c h i l d o f t e n needs s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n , pe rhaps more l o v e and a f f e c t i o n than the o t h e r s . B a s i c a l l y , we must remember t h a t a c h i l d i s w i s e a t two , t h r e e and f o u r y e a r s o l d . The program i s s t i l l g o i n g on t o d a y , I q u i t w o r k i n g t h e r e two y e a r s a g o " . What about the o r g a n i z a t i o n ? I a s k e d . " W e l l , t o s t a r t o f f , the p a r e n t s ' r e a c t i o n was g o o d . We must remember t h a t t h e y have t o pay n i n e d o l l a r s p e r c h i l d p e r d a y ; t h e r e a r e t h r e e o r f o u r p e o p l e on f u l l s t a f f and we o p e r a t e under the M i n i s t r y o f H e a l t h and S o c i a l Deve lopmen t . We have an A n n u a l M e e t i n g w i t h e l e c t i o n o f o f f i c e r s , f i n a n c i a l r e p o r t s and new b u s i n e s s . B e s i d e s b e i n g good f o r the c h i l d r e n , Day-c a r e i s a l s o good f o r the community and p r o v i d e s some employment f o r M e t i s women". 100 Abjci E_L pe rmanent ; £_L s e a s o n a l ; L l l o c a l ; 0_i o u t s i d e ; Ex.e„-.....ia5.0_ - lardjLz" JjQbs„. JE_1_S_1 L_J_IL L L I J L J J L J J I M o t h e r ' s A l l o w . x x H o u s e w i f e x x x x H o u s e h o l d c h o r e s x x x , x H i r e d d o m e s t i c x x x x x x Farm c h o r e s x x x Hunt s m a l l game x x C a s u a l j o b s x x x x x x Housemaids x x x W a i t r e s s e s x x x x x x C l e r k s x x x x x x D a y - C a r e x x T e a c h e r x x H a i r d r e s s e r x x Custom p l a n t x x C l o t h i n g f a c t o r y x x The t a b l e shows the s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d f o r M e t i s women then and now. I t i n d i c a t e s t h a t most j o b s , p r e - 1 9 5 0 , were s e a s o n a l and l o c a l . There were few p a y i n g j o b s t h e n . Today , t h e r e a r e some j o b s t h a t a r e permanent and l o c a l , bu t t h e y employ o n l y a few women. Those who ge t p a y i n g j o b s work 101 m o s t l y o u t s i d e the v i l l a g e . I n the p a s t , t h e r e were few o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r M e t i s women t o work o u t s i d e the home and the v i l l a g e . Most o f t h e i r work was m a i n l y d o m e s t i c w i t h g r e a t d e d i c a t i o n t o f a m i l y l i f e . The c h a r t s show t h a t t h e y a c c o m p l i s h e d a l l k i n d s o f t a s k s i n and a round the house and on the f a r m . T h i s was o f t e n heavy p h y s i c a l work w i t h g r e a t d i f f i c u l t i e s and h a r d s h i p s . N o n e t h e l e s s , M e t i s women d i s p l a y e d a l o t o f r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s , i n d u s t r i o u s n e s s and i n i t i a t i v e i n c a r r y i n g ou t t h e i r l a b o r i o u s t a s k s . T h e i r work was a n y t h i n g bu t c a r e e r - o r i e n t e d . Today , the work o f M e t i s women has become more s p e c i a l i z e d and c a r e e r - o r i e n t e d . M e t i s women now have a c c e s s t o a d i v e r s i t y o f j o b s t h a t t h e y d i d n o t have b e f o r e . T h i s d e f i n i t e l y marks the t r a n s i t i o n from a s u b s i s t e n c e t o a ca sh economy. The Day C a r e p r o j e c t i s s u c h an example . M e t i s women i n t e r e s t e d i n s p e c i a l i z e d e d u c a t i o n f o r y o u n g s t e r s made t h e most o f a v a i l a b l e o p p o r t u n i t i e s . In some c a s e s , M e t i s women make p e r s o n a l c h o i c e s o f what t h e y want t o do s u c h as t e a c h i n g and h a i r - d r e s s i n g and work l o c a l l y , bu t t he m a j o r i t y have moved t o the c i t y and have t a k e n permanent j o b s t h e r e . W i t h e a s i e r j o b o p p o r t u n i t i e s , M e t i s women t o d a y e a r n t h e i r own l i v e l i h o o d , a r e more i ndependen t f rom f a m i l y t i e s . At t he same t i m e however , t h e y have become more dependent on t h e i r employer and the w a g e - s c a l e economy. I t i s a l l p a r t o f t he p r o c e s s o f becoming C a n a d i a n . 102 The t r a d i t i o n a l economy o f most M e t i s men i n S t . L a u r e n t has a l w a y s been c o n c e r n e d w i t h o u t d o o r a c t i v i t i e s . These i n -c l u d e d h u n t i n g , f i s h i n g , t r a p p i n g , d i g g i n g s e ne c a r o o t , c u t -t i n g wood, some f a r m i n g f o r o n e s e l f o r f o r o t h e r s . A good number o f M e t i s men worked on d i f f e r e n t c o n s t r u c t i o n j o b s i n the c i t y o r a round the p r o v i n c e i n the summer, a l w a y s r e t u r -n i n g t o S t . L a u r e n t i n the f a l l t o p r e p a r e f o r w i n t e r f i s h i n g on " L ' G r a n d l a c M a n i t o b a " . " F i s h i n g i s i n M e t i s b l o o d " , q u i p p e d an e x p e r i e n c e d f i s h e r m a n , " i t i s l i k e a b u g , no m a t t e r where you a re w o r k i n g , some men j u s t have t o come back here on the l a k e t o f i s h e v e r y w i n t e r " . F i s i x i i l g As e a r l y as i n September a common s i g h t i n S t . L a u r e n t i s the p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r f i s h i n g . As a v i s i t o r d r i v e s a round the c o u n t r y s i d e , he w i l l r e a d i l y o b s e r v e men d i s e n t a n g l i n g and seaming t h e i r n e t s , a t t a c h i n g f l o a t s and s i n k e r s t o them. A f t e r t h e y f i n i s h , t h e y w i l l n e a t l y s e t them i n 12 X 24 X 16 b o x e s , two n e t s pe r b o x , r eady t o c a s t i n the l a k e . N e t s a r e made o f v a r i o u s m a t e r i a l from c o t t o n t o n y l o n and p l a s t i c . The f a m i l i a r s i g h t on e a r l y Monday m o r n i n g s , w h i l e i t was s t i l l d a r k , was a t r a i n o f cabooses o f f i s h e r m e n , l o a d e d w i t h p r o v i s i o n s and hay f o r the week, w i t h smoke c u r l i n g out o f t h e i r s t o v e p i p e ch imney , s l o w l y s t a r t i n g t h e i r t r e k t owards " L ' G r a n d l a c M a n i t o b a " . Once on the l a k e , the c a -103 boose c o u l d a l s o s e r v e as a bunkhouse . They would t r a v e l a good d i s t a n c e on the f r o z e n and b a r r e n l a k e , some t e n and f i f t e e n m i l e s w h i l e o t h e r s would go t w e n t y m i l e s . Some would meet f i s h e r m e n from a c r o s s the l a k e g o i n g the o t h e r way. A few f i s h e r m e n a l s o t r a v e l l e d by d o g s l e d . S e t t i n g up camp was no t d i f f i c u l t . Any p l a c e would d o , p r o v i d i n g t h e r e was no open w a t e r c l o s e b y . The team o f h o r s e s wou ld be w e l l l o o k e d a f t e r . C o v e r e d w i t h b l a n k e t s and s h e l t e r e d by the shack from the n o r t h w i n d , t h e r e would be p l e n t y o f hay and o a t s f o r them. One i n f o r m a n t s t a t e d t h a t t h e y g o t l o s t coming back home one d a y . So , what d i d t h e y do? They would l e t t he h o r s e s l e a d the way and w e l l enough, the h o r s e s found t h e i r way home. In the p a s t , t he c h i s e l and the n e e d l e b a r were the b a s i c t o o l s t o make a h o l e i n the i c e . The i c e v a r i e d i n t h i c k n e s s f rom s i x i n c h e s t o f o u r f e e t . The h o l e was about one t o two f e e t i n d i a m e t e r , enough t o l o w e r the ne t i n the w a t e r . The n e t i t s e l f wou ld v a r y i n l e n g t h from s e v e n t y t o one hundred y a r d s l o n g . A c c o r d i n g t o a v e t e r a n f i s h e r m a n , i t t a k e s two men t o c a s t a n e t , he d e s c r i b e s i t i n the f o l l o w i n g way: " L e t ' s c a l l f i s h e r m a n A , the c o r d p u l l e r and f i s h e r m a n B the one who f o l l o w s the j i g g e r . A j i g g e r i s the main i n s t r u m e n t f i s h e r m e n use t o c a s t a n e t . I t i s a p l a n k 12 f e e t l o n g by 10 i n c h e s wide and by 2 i n c h e s t h i c k . About a f o o t from the f r o n t and down the m i d d l e , we make a 3 f o o t l o n g by 3 i n c h e s wide c u t r i g h t t h r o u g h the p l a n k . C o v e r i n g t h i s a r e a would 104 be a s m a l l e r p l a n k w i t h a 2 i n c h c h i s e l a t t a c h e d t o i t . U n d e r n e a t h the p l a n k would be a f l a t - i r o n ba r t o w h i c h the f i s h i n g c o r d would be t i e d . A t the end o f t he l a r g e r p l a n k , t h e r e would be a s m a l l p u l l e y . A f t e r l o w e r i n g the j i g g e r i n the w a t e r under the i c e , f i s h e r m a n A would p u l l t he rope as f i s h e r m a n B would l i s t e n c l o s e l y t o the c h i s e l h o o k i n g i t s e l f t o the i c e . The j i g g e r would advance about f o u r f e e t each t ime the rope was p u l l e d . They would r e p e a t t h i s u n t i l the e n t i r e l e n g t h o f t h e n e t was c o v e r e d . Then , f i s h e r m a n B , a t t he o t h e r end , maybe e i g h t y o r a hundred y a r d s away would make a h o l e i n the i c e and g rab the f i s h i n g c o r d from the p u l l e r . I n the meant ime, f i s h e r m a n A , a t the o t h e r end t i e s t he n e t a t the end o f t he f i s h i n g c o r d . F i s h e r m a n B p u l l s t he c o r d and n e t up t o h i s p o i n t and the ne t i s s e t . They would t h e n c o v e r the h o l e s w i t h i c e and snow w i t h an i d e n t i f i a b l e p i c k e t b e s i d e i t . On the a v e r a g e , i t would t a k e e x p e r i e n c e d f i s h e r m e n f i f t e e n m i n u t e s t o c a s t one n e t and up t o t w e n t y - f i v e n e t s i n a d a y . They would l e t i t s e t t h e r e f o r two o r t h r e e days and then t h e y would p u l l i t ou t h o p i n g f o r a b i g c a t c h . F i f t y f i s h p e r n e t was c o n s i d e r e d an e x c e l -l e n t c a t c h , a t f i r s t , we go t 5 c e n t s a pound f o r p i c k e r e l and a c e n t and a h a l f f o r j a c k f i s h " . A f i s h e r m a n had t o keep i n m o t i o n on the l a k e o r e l s e he wou ld f r e e z e , s a i d a r e s p o n d e n t . " I t d i d n o t m a t t e r how c o l d i t was , somet imes 50 be low F a h r e n h e i t , i t s e ldom made us s t o p w o r k i n g . The o n l y t i m e s we s t o p p e d was when a 105 b l i z z a r d caused so much i n v i s i b i l i t y t h a t we c o u l d no l o n g e r see what we were d o i n g o r where we were g o i n g " . At t he end o f t he d a y , the f i s h e r m e n would come back t o t h e i r caboose o r s h a c k , l i g h t a l a n t e r n , hea t up the o l d w o o d - s t o v e and p r e p a r e f o r s u p p e r . As one i n f o r m a n t t o l d me, most o f the food was p r e - c o o k e d by t h e i r w i v e s back home. " A l l we had t o do was hea t i t up . The g r u b - b o x was f u l l o f good h e a r t y f o o d , s u c h as r o a s t p o r k o r b e e f , l o t s o f p o t a t o e s , v e g e t a b l e s , bannock , home-made r a s p b e r r y o r c r a n b e r r y jam and o f c o u r s e , t e a " . To pas s the l o n g w i n t e r e v e n i n g s , t he f i s h e r m e n would r e p a i r any equipment so t o be r e a d y t o s t a r t e a r l y a g a i n n e x t m o r n i n g . Some would v i s i t t h e i r n e i g h b o r s , o t h e r s wou ld r e a d o r p l a y c a r d s , w h i l e o t h e r s wou ld t r y and l i s t e n t o b a t t e r y o p e r a t e d r a d i o s . A few i n c i d e n t s t h a t happened on the l a k e reminded the community how dange rous f i s h i n g c o u l d become. Some would ge t caugh t on a d r i f t i n g p i e c e o f i c e , somet imes f o r hour s w i t h no one i n s i g h t t o r e s c u e them. O t h e r s would g e t l o s t and w a l k and w a l k a f t e r l o s i n g t h e i r sense o f d i r e c t i o n . One s u c h man was found by f i s h e r m e n o f the n e i g h b o u r i n g town some t w e n t y - f o u r hours a f t e r he had g o t l o s t coming home. The re were , and s t i l l a re a few i n c i d e n t s o f men and equipment b r e a k i n g t h r o u g h the i c e . I n t h e n i n e t e e n f o r t i e s , s u c h an a c c i d e n t c l a i m e d the l i v e s o f two l o c a l f i s h e r m e n . As one w i f e e x p l a i n e d : " I am a l w a y s w o r r i e d about my husband 106 w o r k i n g on the l a k e , you n e v e r know when an a c c i d e n t can happen" . On S a t u r d a y , i t was the j o u r n e y back home, some w i t h more f i s h than o t h e r s . F o r a l o n g t ime the f i s h e r m e n s o l d t h e i r f i s h t o l o c a l b u y e r s . Among the most p o p u l a r f i s h were the p i c k e r e l , j a c k f i s h , sauger and w h i t e f i s h . They would pu t them i n 80 pound boxes and s h i p them t o W i n n i p e g v i a the l o c a l t r a n s f e r . By the e a r l y 1 9 5 0 ' s , a few t r a c t o r s and b o m b a r d i e r s had r e p l a c e d some o f the cabooses and s h a c k s on the l a k e . A bom-b a r d i e r i s a l a r g e c o v e r e d v e h i c l e used f o r t r a v e l l i n g o v e r snow and i c e , u s u a l l y equ ipped w i t h t r a c k e d w h e e l s a t the r e a r and a s e t o f s k i s a t t he f r o n t . S k i - d o o , a n o t h e r name f o r s n o w m o b i l e , i s a s m a l l , open motor v e h i c l e f o r t r a v e l l i n g o v e r snow and i c e , e q u i p p e d w i t h s k i s a t t he f r o n t , by w h i c h i t i s s t e e r e d , and a c a t e r p i l l a r t r a c k benea th the body . They a r e used m a i n l y as a means o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , and a l s o f o r s p o r t . Today , s k i - d o o s and b o m b a r d i e r s have r e p l a c e d the h o r s e - d r a w n c a b o o s e s . O n l y the more a m b i t i o u s s t a y o v e r n i g h t on the l a k e . Most f i s h e r m e n now come home e v e r y n i g h t . Few use the n e e d l e b a r and c h i s e l , t hey now use the e l e c t r i c hugger on the b o m b a r d i e r t o d r i l l t he h o l e s i n the i c e . E f f i c i e n c y i s t he name o f the game! A c c o r d i n g t o one i n f o r m a n t , t h e r e a r e about 50 l i c e n s e d f i s h e r m e n and as many as 30 own t h e i r b o m b a r d i e r s t o d a y . F i s h e r m e n from S t . L a u r e n t and some from the s u r r o u n d i n g v i i -107 l a g e s have formed a f i s h i n g c o - o p e r a t i v e , the Lake M a n i t o b a F i s h i n g Co-op L i m i t e d . " I n the p a s t " , he e x p l a i n s , " t h e r e were p r i v a t e f i s h b u y e r s who would s e l l the f i s h t o v a r i o u s companies i n W i n n i p e g and the buye r wou ld g e t t he p r o f i t . Now w i t h the Co-op the p r o f i t i s d i v i d e d among the members and , a t t i m e s , some g e t an a n n u a l r e b a t e . We h i r e p a c k e r s and a b o o k e e p e r , so we do pay some a d m i n i s t r a t i v e f e e s ; bu t t h e n , we s e l l our f i s h d i r e c t l y to the F r e s h Water and F i s h M a r k e t i n g C o r p o r a t i o n who buy , c l e a n and s e l l t he f i s h f o r u s . One advan tage o f the m a r k e t i n g boa rd i s t h a t i t h e l p s t o s t a b i l i z e t h e p r i c e o f f i s h ; b e f o r e t h a t , we were n e v e r q u i t e s u r e what the p r i c e o f f i s h was g o i n g t o b e . "Our C o - o p s t a r t e d i n 1969" , he c o n t i n u e d . "We have a b o a r d o f D i r e c t o r s t h a t meets f o u r t i m e s a y e a r . We d i s c u s s some o f the p r o b l e m s f i s h e r m e n e n c o u n t e r and we g e t a c q u a i n t e d w i t h the new d i r e c t i v e s from the M a r k e t i n g B o a r d . The f i s h e r m e n ge t money a c c o r d i n g t o the amount o f f i s h t h e y c a t c h . Even though no t a l l f i s h e r m e n b e l o n g t o the F i s h i n g C o - o p , most o f them s t i l l s e l l t h e i r f i s h t h e r e " . A n o t h e r p o p u l a r s o u r c e o f l i v e l i h o o d f o r the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t was t r a p p i n g . Most men who f i s h e d on the l a k e were a l s o known t o be a v i d t r a p p e r s . Such men were L u d o v i c C h a r t r a n d , J ean L a r e n c e and Jerome L a v a l l e e . A c c o r d i n g t o an i n f o r m a n t , t h e y were c a l l e d S e n i o r T r a p p e r s , t h e y worked under the s u p e r v i s i o n o f the game warden . Each one had a 108 zone he was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r and each had e i g h t t r a p p e r s t o l o o k a f t e r . H i s r o l e was to r e c o r d t h e i r c a t c h i n a book and r e p o r t i t t o the game warden . Our main r e s p o n d e n t , Roy C h a r t r a n d , i n f o r m e d me t h a t he s t a r t e d t r a p p i n g muskra t when he was n i n e y e a r s o l d . " I remember", he r e c a l l e d , " t h r e e teams o f h o r s e s and s l e i g h s g o i n g t o the D e l t a M a r s h e s , a p o p u l a r h u n t i n g and t r a p p i n g a r e a , a p p r o x i m a t e l y s i x t y k i l o m e t r e s s o u t h - w e s t o f the v i l l a g e a round the l a k e ( F i g . 2 ) . F i f t e e n t r a p p e r s spen t a month t h e r e and I had t o d r i v e a team o f h o r s e s back home, t h a t was i n 1935. Tha t was a good y e a r . Each t r a p p e r came home w i t h f o u r t o f i v e hundred m u s k r a t s , s e l l i n g them f o r f o r t y t o s e v e n t y - f i v e c e n t s e a c h " . A n o t h e r i n f o r m a n t s a i d t h a t t h e y hunted muskra t as f a r N o r t h as The P a s , Cedar Lake and Lake S t . G e o r g e . "We would spend the day l o o k i n g f o r muskra t h o u s e s " , he r e l a t e d , " s e t t r a p s , s k i n the m u s k r a t s under the c a n d l e - l i g h t i n the t e n t and then s e t them up on r a c k s . We d i d t h a t f o r t h r e e o r f o u r weeks e v e r y S p r i n g t ime f o r many y e a r s " . A n o t h e r p o p u l a r a r e a was the S tony R i d g e and Jimmy Lake a r e a , some s i x m i l e s e a s t o f S t . L a u r e n t . C l o s e r t o the v i l l a g e , some good s p o t s were Lake F r a n c i s and the "Dredge" a r e a , l o c a l p e o p l e p ronounce i t the "Drudge" ( F i g . 2 ) . T h i s was a c a n a l b u i l t a p p r o x i m a t e l y one hundred y a r d s i n l a n d o f f Lake M a n i t o b a so t h a t b o a t s and b a r g e s t r a v e l l i n g from Reaburn t o C a m p e r v i l l e ( F i g . 2) would be a b l e t o t u r n 109 a r o u n d . When the r a i l w a y t r a c k was c o n s t r u c t e d i n S t . L a u r e n t i n 1904 ( M e r c i e r : 1 9 7 6 ) , t h a t marked the end o f t he Dredge . I was c u r i o u s t o know j u s t what k i n d o f p r e p a r a t i o n a t r a p p e r made f o r a d a y ' s work . Our main i n f o r m a n t r e p o r t e d : " F i r s t o f a l l , we have t o p r e p a r e the t r a p s , we have t o c l e a n them, b r u s h them, wax them and check them w e l l t o ensu re t h e y a r e i n p r o p e r w o r k i n g o r d e r " . He then d e s c r i b e d some o f the t r a p s t h a t he u s e d : " A t f i r s t , we had the l e g -h o l d t r a p , the s m a l l e r wou ld be s i z e 0 , and the s i z e would i n c r e a s e t o 1, 1 1/2, 2 , and so o n . We would use the f i r s t t h r e e f o r m u s k r a t s , t he number 2 f o r minks and r a c c o o n s , s i z e 3 and 4 f o r the f o x e s and the c o y o t e s . The re i s a " s t o p - l o s s " on the t r a p . When the r a t g e t s c a u g h t , a s p r i n g pushes the r a t away from i t s l e g so as no t t o chew i t and g e t away. A f t e r t he s t o p - l o s s t r a p , the c o n i b e a r t r a p became p o p u l a r . I t i s made i n the shape o f a s q u a r e , when i t opens up , t he whole body o f the r a t g e t s caught a t the mid s e c t i o n and the r a t chokes up i n s t a n t l y . The advan tages o f s u c h a t r a p i s t h a t i t does no t d e s t r o y the f u r , t h e r a t does n o t have t ime t o f i g h t back and t h e r e i s no b l o o d l o s s . "Then , we would l e a v e f o r a week o r f o r a month some-t i m e s , w i t h h o r s e - d r a w n s l e i g h s . U s u a l l y , t h e r e wou ld be t h r e e o f u s . We would s e t up our t e n t w i t h heavy hay u n d e r n e a t h and a warm s t o v e i n s i d e . Weather p e r m i t t i n g , we would g e t up e a r l y i n the m o r n i n g . I f i t was t oo c o l d and f r e e z i n g , we would n o t go , bu t i f we hea rd wa te r d r i p p i n g o u t s i d e the t e n t a round 5:00 am, then we wou ld be up and 110 away. U s u a l l y , we would go f o r h a l f a day u n t i l noon , s e t t i n g about t w e n t y - f i v e t r a p s " . At t h i s p o i n t , I was c u r i o u s t o know how he knew where t o s e t h i s t r a p s . He e x p l a i n e d : " I had to f i n d the r a t houses f i r s t and t h e n , u s i n g a s p e a r w h i c h I made m y s e l f , I wou ld p i c k a t the r a t house . I f the house was f r o z e n so hard • t h a t the s p e a r d i d no t go t h r o u g h , then I c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e r e were no r a t s i n t h e r e . Bu t i f the s p e a r went t h r o u g h and I heard r a t s j u m p i n g and s p l a s h i n g i n the w a t e r i n s i d e , t hen I knew t h i s was a good p l a c e t o s e t t r a p s " . He a l s o men t ioned how r a t s can somet imes f r e e z e and d i e i f t h e r e i s n o t enough w a t e r ; o r e l s e r a t s w i l l s i m p l y move ou t o f t h e i r house and l i v e i n a h o l e i n the g round t h a t t h e y d i g f o r t h e m s e l v e s . "One y e a r , some 4 0 , 0 0 0 r a t s d i e d because o f l a c k o f wa te r and o f f o o d . The t h i n g i s p e o p l e d r a i n t oo much wa te r by making c a n a l s f o r f a r m l a n d s . " U s i n g a s h o v e l , you t hen make a h o l e i n the r a t house and , a f t e r t y i n g the t r a p t o a p i c k e t , you s e t i t where you t h i n k the r a t w i l l d i v e . I n s i d e the r a t house , t h e r e i s l i k e a f l o o r where the r a t comes t o s l e e p and r e s t . I wou ld s e t t he t r a p j u s t above the wa te r where h i s r e s t i n g p l a c e i s . N o r m a l l y , I would l e a v e the t r a p o v e r n i g h t , t a k e the r a t ou t and s e t i t a g a i n . The re a r e about e i g h t r a t s t o one r a t h o u s e . Somet imes , the r a t can come t o s t a y i n the r a t house and n o t come c l o s e t o the t r a p . In t h e i r own way, t h e y a re smar t and o n l y an e x p e r i e n c e d t r a p p e r can d e t e c t t h a t " . I l l I a sked my i n f o r m a n t what he en joyed the most about muskra t h u n t i n g . H i s r e p l y was t o the p o i n t : "From day one, I wanted and l i k e d t o t r a p m u s k r a t s and minks and badge r s and f o x e s and c o y o t e s . S i n c e the t ime I was o l d enough to go t o the marshes , I en joyed b e i n g i n the w i d e - o p e n s p a c e s . A t d a y b r e a k , e a r l y i n the m o r n i n g , I en joyed the c l e a n f r e s h a i r and the f reedom o f b e i n g my own boss w i t h no one t e l l i n g me t o do t h i s o r t o do t h a t " . T h i s a t t i t u d e r e f l e c t s t h a t o f t he M e t i s a t Red R i v e r and s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a s a c e n t u r y e a r l i e r d u r i n g the h e y - d a y s o f the b u f f a l o h u n t . GjaidjLag_..a^ A n o t h e r s o u r c e o f l i v e l i h o o d f o r t he M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t was g u i d i n g f o r h u n t e r s i n the f a l l . Some would t r a v e l t o v a r i o u s p o i n t s i n M a n i t o b a or N o r t h e r n O n t a r i o , bu t a good number wou ld r emain i n the I n t e r l a k e a r e a . In 1988, one s u c h g u i d e , Tom L a m b e r t , w i l l c e l e b r a t e f i f t y c o n s e c u t i v e y e a r s o f g u i d i n g f o r the same p e o p l e . " I s t a r t e d g u i d i n g a t M a l l a r d L o d g e , D e l t a M a r s h , 14 m i l e s f rom P o r t a g e L a P r a i r i e , a t the age o f t w e n t y " , he s a i d . "My f a t h e r - i n -law found the j o b f o r me. H a v i n g been a d u c k - h u n t e r s i n c e the age o f f o u r t e e n , I l e a r n e d q u i c k l y . A t f i r s t , we d i d no t have good b o a t s , some were l e a k i n g and we had t o b r i n g a can t o empty the w a t e r . Once , we go t caugh t i n a s t o r m and we had a hard t i m e g e t t i n g back t o camp. Today , we l e a v e a t 5 :00 am, we b r i n g about s i x t e e n d e c o y s , duck and goose c a l l s . We d i d n o t have dogs t h e n , bu t t o d a y , we have w e l l -112 t r a i n e d Golden R e t r i e v e r s with us. We used row boats only s i n c e motors are not allowed i n marshes. At f i r s t , we would go two or three miles and come back by noon. The hunters would shoot only the M a l l a r d and canvasback ducks, they would not even look at the b l u e b i l l s and there was no l i m i t then as to the number of ducks one could k i l l i n a day. Today, we r e t u r n by ten a.m. because the l i m i t i s down to s i x ducks a day per hunter". My next q u e s t i o n was how d i d they come to choose one spot over another. "That depends on the d i r e c t i o n the wind blows", he r e l a t e d , " b e t t e r winds are northwinds, the ducks w i l l then land i n the marsh, otherwise they land on Lake Manitoba o u t s i d e our reach. The northwind a l s o makes the lake too heavy with waves, then the ducks p r e f e r to land i n the marshes. We put the decoys where the water i s calm i n the shade of the wind and we b u i l d a b l i n d , the p l a c e where hunters hide. I t i s made of weeds and reeds, we hide there dressed i n yellow and green c l o t h e s which serve as camouflage. Some hunters b r i n g a l i t t l e s t o o l to s i t on and then we c a l l the ducks; sometimes they come, sometimes they don't, so we move to another b l i n d . Ducks come f l y i n g i n mostly from the s i d e s , not overhead, sometimes as f a s t as 75 mph. Depending on the wind v e l o c i t y , sometimes a hunter has to shoot up to ten f e e t ahead of the duck i f he wants to h i t i t . The hunters unload t h e i r shotguns, the dog r e t r i e v e s the ducks and b r i n g s them back to the b l i n d " . 113 Thus , f o r M e t i s men i n S t . L a u r e n t , the t r a d i t i o n a l economy was many y e a r s c o n c e r n e d w i t h o u t d o o r a c t i v i t i e s l i k e h u n t i n g , f i s h i n g , g u i d i n g and t r a p p i n g and t h e y w e r e h i g h l y s u c c e s s f u l a t i t . S o u r c e s o f L i v e l i h o o d The re have been many o t h e r s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d f o r the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t i n the p a s t . L o c a l l y , a c t i v i t i e s s u c h as d i g g i n g s e n e c a r o o t , f a r m i n g and h a y i n g , s e l l i n g wood and hay , w o r k i n g on the r a i l w a y t r a c k f o r the CNR s e c t i o n o r on the g r a d e r and snowplough f o r t he M u n i c i p a l i t y were a l w a y s common. B u t , as one i n f o r m a n t t o l d me: " I t i s v e r y e x p e n s i v e f o r a young p e r s o n t o go i n the f a r m i n g b u s i n e s s t o d a y , the c o s t o f t he l a n d , o f the m a c h i n e r y and f e r t i l i z e r i s way s k y - h i g h and you have no t even s t a r t e d y e t . O n l y the b i g f a r m e r s s u r v i v e , even though the s m a l l f a r m e r s can g e t l o a n s from the government . However , by the t ime t h e y pay t h e i r l o a n b a c k , i t i s h a r d l y w o r t h a l l t h a t e f f o r t w i t h t h e l i t t l e p r o f i t t h a t t hey make. The t h r e e l o c a l d a i r y f a r m e r s do b e t t e r as t h e y g e t s u b s i d i e s from the government f o r t h e i r m i l k " . The f o l l o w i n g i s an example o f how one i n d i v i d u a l , C l a u d e Lamber t i s making use o f the l o c a l r e s o u r c e s i n a p r o f i t a b l e way. H i s b u s i n e s s i s p i c k i n g f r o g s a round Lake M a n i t o b a and s h i p p i n g them by p l a n e t o v a r i o u s p o i n t s i n N o r t h A m e r i c a s u c h as T o r o n t o , P h i l a d e l p h i a , C a l i f o r n i a and N o r t h C a r o l i n a . A t the moment, he i s the o n l y l i c e n s e d 114 p e r s o n i n M a n i t o b a and the second one i n Canada t o buy and s e l l ( e x p o r t ) f r o g s . "The season i s s h o r t " , he e x p l a i n s , "two months , September and O c t o b e r , so we have t o make the most o f i t , I have as many as t h r e e hundred men p i c k i n g up f r o g s f o r me a l l a round the l a k e . I pu t up n o t i c e s i n s t o r e s and p o s t o f f i c e s and p e o p l e come out and work . I d r i v e a round the l a k e t w i c e a week t o p i c k up the f r o g s , the ave rage p i c k f o r a y e a r i s e i g h t t o n s " . The i n f o r m a n t a l s o s a i d t h a t t he f r o g s a r e used m a i n l y as b i o l o g i c a l spec imens i n s c h o o l l a b o r a t o r i e s and r e s e a r c h c e n t r e s , and o f c o u r s e , as a d e l i c a c y i n r e s t a u r a n t s . "The k i n d s o f f r o g s t h a t we p i c k a r e the b u l l - f r o g and the l e o p a r d f r o g . They have t o be a minimum o f t h r e e i n c h e s i n s i z e from v e n t t o t i p o f the nose and g reen or brown i n c o l o r . N o r m a l l y , f r o g s a r e found 1/2 t o 1 m i l e f rom the l a k e i n A u g u s t , 1/2 m i l e on September 1s t and by September 1 5 t h , r i g h t c l o s e t o t h e l a k e . F r o g s m i g r a t e from l o w - l e v e l w a t e r l a k e s and s l o u g h s t o Lake M a n i t o b a t o a v o i d the " w i n t e r k i l l ' . Farm f e r t i l i z e r s k i l l f r o g s so I go where t h e r e i s no a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d " . " I s t a r t e d i n 1982" , he c o n t i n u e d , "as a way t o s t a y and work i n S t . L a u r e n t , I d i d no t l i k e t o t r a v e l m o r n i n g and n i g h t t o work i n W i n n i p e g . I t i s f i n e t o f i s h i n w i n t e r , bu t I canno t depend o n l y on t h a t t o make a l i v i n g . I n s p r i n g t i m e , I do o t h e r j o b s s u c h as f e n c i n g and i n the f a l l , g u i d i n g . We a l s o p i c k up s n a k e s , the p l a i n g a r t e r and the r e d - b e l l i e d . The l a t t e r i s p o p u l a r and used as a p e t i n 115 C a l i f o r n i a homes. We o r g a n i z e o u r s e l v e s a l o n g t h e same l i n e as f o r f r o g - p i c k i n g . F i v e y e a r s ago , we p i c k e d c l o s e t o 5 0 , 0 0 0 s n a k e s , bu t o n l y 8 ,000 l a s t y e a r " . P e r h a p s one p o i n t o f i n t e r e s t r e g a r d i n g the way p e o p l e made t h e i r l i v i n g i n S t . L a u r e n t was the e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f the s t e p - l a d d e r f a c t o r y . I n 1970, the l o c a l M e t i s o r g a n i z a t i o n s u c c e s s f u l l y n e g o t i a t e d the p u r c h a s e o f a v a c a n t s c h o o l b u i l d i n g . I t employed as many as f o u r t e e n men a t one t i m e . I t s c o m m e r c i a l p r o d u c t was the d o m e s t i c s t e p l a d d e r s made o f hemlock wood. I t a l s o h a n d l e d h e a v i e r - d u t y l a d d e r s f o r i n -d u s t r i a l use and o f f i c e d e s k s and c h a i r s . The s m a l l manu-f a c t u r i n g f i r m s h i p p e d i t s f i r s t p r o d u c t s i n J a n u a r y , 1971 . I n l a t e r y e a r s , i t had o r d e r s from as f a r as B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a and O n t a r i o . S a l e s grew from 4 , 2 0 0 l a d d e r s i n 1971 t o 10 ,000 i n 1973. E i g h t y e a r s l a t e r , the s t e p - l a d d e r f a c t o r y c l o s e d i t s d o o r s . A c c o r d i n g t o an i n f o r m a n t , t h i s was due t o a change o f government a t t he p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l . W h i l e the c l o s u r e o f the l a d d e r f a c t o r y can be l o o k e d upon as an economic s e t b a c k s f o r t he communi ty , i t was n o t j u s t due t o " a change o f gove rnmen t " . I t r e i t e r a t e s the p o i n t made e a r l i e r t h a t from the moment the S t . L a u r e n t community made the t r a n s i t i o n from a s u b s i s t e n c e t r a d i t i o n a l economy t o a c a s h and more complex one , i t became dependent on an u n r e l i a b l e , w h i m s i c a l , and even h o s t i l e e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t . The c l o t h i n g and l a d d e r f a c t o r i e s were no t owned by the l o c a l p e o p l e , bu t by o u t s i d e i n t e r e s t s . L o c a l p e o p l e and the w o r k e r s had l i t t l e t o say i n 116 t h e i r management, t h e y p r o v i d e d manpower and the l a b o r o n l y . Hence , t h e i r j o b s e c u r i t y was a l w a y s u n p r e d i c t a b l e and t h e r e were no u n i o n s t o n e g o t i a t e c o n t r a c t s . The o p e r a t i o n and the f u t u r e o f t h e s e f a c t o r i e s depended e n t i r e l y upon economic p o l i c i e s f o r m u l a t e d o u t s i d e o f S t . L a u r e n t and based on the i d i o s y n c r a c i e s and c a p r i c e s o f company owners , government o f f i c i a l s and u l t i m a t e l y o f c o r p o r a t e f i n a n c i e r s . I t r e i t e r a t e s the p o i n t t h a t when a community i s no t i n c o n t r o l o f i t s economic means and p o l i c i e s t h e s e can be t a k e n away from them a t any t ime and t h e y have v e r y l i t t l e t o s ay i n i t . T h u s , becoming C a n a d i a n f o r M e t i s p e o p l e i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y an easy nor a j o y f u l p r o c e s s . T a b l e 5 ( n e x t page) shows the s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d f o r M e t i s men, b o t h then and t o - d a y . 117 Sje.u..rjsjej§...j?X._lixa.liMQ.di ISULJ&S&ISL Hsu AJbjc.j. P_j_ permanent ; S _ L s e a s o n a l ; L _ L l o c a l ; Qj. o u t s i d e . Ex.e.-ia.M iQrAsjL Jflbs E......1 S_.I„L_...L-_.Q Z.._...JZ..J...._..§..._..1 L_! Q' F i s h i n g x x x x H u n t i n g x x x x T r a p p i n g x x x x x x G u i d i n g x x x x x x G a r d e n i n g x x x x F a r m i n g : - C a t t l e x x x x - G r a i n x x - H a y i n g x x x x C u t / h a u l / w o o d / h a y x x D i g S e n . / r o o t x x x x x x Cheese f a c t o r y x x CNR s e c t i o n x x x x M u n i c . Roads ma in tenance x x x x C o n s t r u c t i o n x x x x x T a x i - d r i v e r - 1 9 5 0 ' s x x L a d d e r f a c t o r y - 1 9 7 0 ' s x x T o u r i s m x x F r o g - p i c k i n g x x Custom P l a n t x x In g e n e r a l , t he t a b l e r e v e a l s t h a t most s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d a r e l o c a l and s e a s o n a l . T h i s i s complemented by some o u t s i d e j o b s w h i c h a re a l s o s e a s o n a l . Most M e t i s men r e l y on two o r t h r e e j o b s f o r t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d , w i t h w i n t e r f i s h i n g b e i n g the main s o u r c e . Whereas h u n t i n g , t r a p p i n g and 118 g u i d i n g were i n the p a s t major s o u r c e s o f s u b s i s t e n c e t h e y have become i n r e c e n t y e a r s due t o the p r o c e s s o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n l e s s so f o r most p e o p l e . F o r many p e o p l e , t h e s e t r a d i t i o n a l s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d have now become r e c r e a t i o n and s p o r t a c t i v i t i e s . C.QHCJL.MMQ.11 T h i s c h a p t e r sough t t o d e s c r i b e the s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d o f b o t h M e t i s men and women o v e r the y e a r s a t S t . L a u r e n t . D a t a r e v e a l s t h a t m o d e r n i z a t i o n has changed d r a m a t i c a l l y the s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d o f the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t . One p o i n t t h a t i s r a t h e r c l e a r i s t h a t the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t have e x p e r i e n c e d the t r a n s i t i o n from a s u b s i s t e n c e economy, a s u c c e s s f u l economy h i g h l y i n t e g r a t e d t o the l a n d and t o i t s e n v i r o n m e n t t o a more complex c a s h economy. Most p e o p l e t o d a y have p a y i n g j o b s w i t h the m a j o r i t y r e l y i n g on two o r more s e a s o n a l j o b s . The whole o p e r a t i o n o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n s e r v e s t o move M e t i s p e o p l e ou t o f t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l s u b s i s t e n c e economy i n t o the ma ins t r eam o f s o c i e t y and modern economy based on a w a g e - s c a l e s y s t e m , w o r k - d a y s c h e d u l e and s a l a r i e d j o b s , a l l f a c t o r s r e l a t e d t o the m a r k e t - p l a c e economy. No o t h e r p l a c e was t h i s t r a n s i t i o n b e t t e r i l l u s t r a t e d than w i t h the e x p e r i e n c e o f the c l o t h i n g and l a d d e r f a c t o r i e s . F i n a l l y , the d a t a i n d i c a t e s t h a t the e l d e r s have , and pe rhaps some s t i l l d o , e x p e r i e n c e d a t e n s i o n between i n t e r -n a l community v a l u e s and the demands and the t e m p t a t i o n s o f 119 t he e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t . Whereas some e l d e r s p e r c e i v e d the e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t as somewhat c o n t r a r y t o t h e i r way o f l i f e , e v i d e n c e shows t h a t t he M e t i s y o u t h o f t o d a y seem t o l o o k a t the o u t s i d e e n v i r o n m e n t as more a g r e e a b l e and f r i e n d l y . They w i l l g i v e t h e m s e l v e s more w i l l i n g l y t o the e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t , s e e k i n g o u t s i d e o p p o r t u n i t i e s and j o b s and a c c e p t i n g the c a s h economy as a way o f l i f e more r e a d i l y f o r t h e m s e l v e s and f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n than t h e i r e l d e r s d i d . The c h a r t s a l s o show t h a t young M e t i s p e o p l e who a re f i n a n c i a l l y s u c c e s s f u l a t S t . L a u r e n t t o d a y have been exposed t o o u t s i d e i d e a s and o f t e n m o t i v a t e d by them t o e x p l o i t l o c a l r e s o u r c e s whe ther t h a t i s t e a c h i n g , h a i r d r e s s i n g o r f r o g - p i c k i n g . These p e o p l e have t r a v e l l e d and have seen how the r e s t o f t he w o r l d l i v e s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , upon t h e i r r e t u r n , t h e y saw p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f b u s i n e s s e s l o c a l l y w i t h mone ta ry g a i n s , t r i e d i t and a r e s u c c e s s f u l a t i t . The p o i n t i s t h a t t he t r a d i t i o n a l M e t i s v a l u e s o f the community mean l i t t l e t o many M e t i s y o u t h o f t o d a y and w i l l p r o b a b l y mean l e s s f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n . Thus , f o r some p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t , M e t i s n e s s may be becoming o r a l r e a d y i s an h i s t o r i c a l v a l u e , o f t he p a s t . W h i l e r e t a i n i n g p e r s o n a l p r i d e i n t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l o r i g i n s and t r a d i t i o n s , many M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t have a l r e a d y chosen and a c c e p t e d the C a n a d i a n way o f l i f e , w h i l e o t h e r s a r e i m -p l i c i t l y o p t i n g f o r o r b e i n g f o r c e d , f o r economic r e a s o n s , i n t o becoming C a n a d i a n s . 120 S j o j i i a J L J j . i ^ I n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r , we saw how the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t made t h e i r l i v i n g f rom an economic p e r s p e c t i v e . I n t h i s c h a p t e r , we w i l l examine t h r e e a s p e c t s o f M e t i s l i f e : s o c i a l l i f e , r e l i g i o n and p o l i t i c s . F i r s t , we w i l l w i l l l o o k a t t he v a r i o u s g roups and a c t i v i t i e s t h a t have c o n t r i b u t e d t o the community f o r m a t i o n and , i n the p r o c e s s , I w i l l a t t emp t t o show how M e t i s p e o p l e g i v e p r i o r i t y t o p e r s o n a l and community r e l a t i o n s as a b a s i c f i b r e c o n s t i t u t i v e o f t h e i r s o c i a l l i f e . S e c o n d , we w i l l l o o k a t some o f t h e i r r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s and examine how r e l i g i o u s l e a d e r s h i p was e x p r e s s e d and has changed t h r o u g h o u t the l i f e - s p a n o f t he i n f o r m a n t s . And t h i r d , we w i l l f o l l o w a c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r t o a p p r e c i a t e the p o l i t i c a l l i f e o f t h e M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t , u n d e r l y i n g how t h e y e x e r c i z e d p o l i t i c a l w i l l and l e a d e r s h i p . The t h e o r e t i c a l f ramework f o r our i n q u i r y i n t o r e l i g i o n and p o l i t i c s w i l l be l e a d e r s h i p as p e r c e i v e d and e x p e r i e n c e d by the p e o p l e . The s o u r c e s o f d a t a f o r t h i s c h a p t e r a r e d e r i v e d f rom b o t h p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n and from i n t e r v i e w s w i t h i n f o r m a n t s i n the f i e l d . 121 Eairie__ejOLt£jd; I n t he p a s t , t he s o c i a l l i f e o f the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t u s u a l l y t o o k p l a c e i n the homes, the p a r i s h h a l l and w i t h i n the b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e v i l l a g e a r e a . E x c e p t i o n s wou ld be the hockey and b a s e b a l l teams who would compete i n tournaments i n s u r r o u n d i n g v i l l a g e s . At home, p e o p l e c r e a t e d t h e i r own e n t e r t a i n m e n t . An e l d e r r e c a l l e d how c a r d - p l a y i n g was a f a v o u r i t e p a s t - t i m e , e s p e c i a l l y d u r i n g the l o n g w i n t e r n i g h t s . Members o f the f a m i l y , p a r e n t s and c h i l d r e n s a t a round the t a b l e and would spend two hours a t games s u c h as " c a s i n o v o l e u r s ' ( F r e n c h f o r c a s i n o b a n d i t s ) and " l a b a t a i l l e ' ( w a r ) . C h i l d r e n wou ld a l s o have games o f t h e i r own s u c h as "hot and c o l d ' : one h i d e s an o b j e c t and the o t h e r t r i e s t o l o c a t e i t and d e p e n d i n g on the d i s t a n c e t h e y a re t o t h e o b j e c t , t h e y a r e e i t h e r hot o r c o l d . " L a P e n i t e n c e ' , s i m i l a r t o " f o r f e i t s ' i n E n g l i s h was a p a r t i c u l a r l y p o p u l a r c a r d -game i f t h e r e were many t o p l a y i t . The a s p e c t o f the game t h a t made i t i n t e r e s t i n g was who was g o i n g t o come up w i t h the w e i r d e s t penance . A l o s e r c o u l d be asked t o go and p l a n t a k i s s on a v i s i t o r ' s b a l d - h e a d o r s l o w l y w a l k a round the house i n the d a r k o f t he n i g h t w i t h the ace o f spades f i r m l y c l a s p e d i n o n e ' s hands . I n the minds o f some p e o p l e , the ace o f spades r e p r e s e n t e d the f o r k o f the d e v i l ! 122 In the w i n t e r , boys would p l a y i n the snow w i t h a home-made s l e i g h or p l a y hockey on a f r o z e n d i t c h w i t h s t i c k s made from s t u r d y w i l l o w b r a n c h e s and puck o f f r o z e n ho r se manure. Some would s k a t e on the l a k e i f i t was n o t too c o l d . An a v i d outdoorsman remembered the t i m e when he and h i s two f r i e n d s s k a t e d f o r about f i v e m i l e s on the l a k e , o n l y t o f a c e a s t i f f n o r t h wind on t h e i r way b a c k . " B e s i d e s , f o r many y e a r s , we d i d no t have a hockey r i n k i n S t . L a u r e n t , l e t a l o n e an a r e n a l i k e t h e y have t o d a y , so the o n l y p l a c e s we c o u l d s k a t e were on d u g - o u t s , d i t c h e s o r " L " G r a n d L a c M a n i t o b a " . D u r i n g the summer e v e n i n g s , c h i l d r e n o f a n e i g h b o r h o o d would p l a y b a l l among t h e m s e l v e s u n t i l d a r k n e s s s e t i n . T h i s was w i t h a sponge b a l l , remarked a fo rmer p l a y e r . The o b j e c t was t o b r i n g i n as many runs as p o s s i b l e p r o v i d e d the p l a y e r s were n o t a l l pu t " o u t ' . Then , i t wou ld be up t o the " s a f e ' p l a y e r s t o d e l i v e r the " o u t ' p l a y e r s . When a l l the " s a f e ' p l a y e r s were " o u t ' , the o t h e r team would come t o b a t . As many as t e n p l a y e r s p l a y e d on each s i d e , somet imes more. O t h e r p o p u l a r games were h i d e and seek and "pom-pom p u l l - a w a y ' . An i n f o r m a n t r e l a t e d t h a t the l a t t e r game was somet imes r o u g h , as p l a y e r s would t r y and run t h r o u g h an a r e a defended by two o r t h r e e o t h e r s . Those who were s t opped were h i t on the back t h r e e t i m e s by the d e f e n d e r who s a i d : " o n e - t w o - t h r e e pom-pom p u l l - a w a y ' , and the i n t r u d e r was out o f t he game and had t o s t a n d on the s i d e l i n e s . 123 A s e n i o r woman r e l a t e d how she and her f r i e n d s e n j o y e d p l a y i n g the " k n i f e game ' . I t i n v o l v e d two or more p l a y e r s . "We used a p o c k e t k n i f e " , she s a i d , "bu t somet imes a k i t c h e n k n i f e would d o , t o o . One would p l a c e the k n i f e i n the pa lm o f one hand, on the back o f the hand, on the w r i s t , t he e lbow and s h o u l d e r , i n sequence , and t r y t o make i t come down and s t i c k i n the g r o u n d . I f i t d i d no t s t i c k , you l o s t y o u r t u r n " . The game would end w i t h a f i n a l t h row b e h i n d o n e ' s b a c k . A d u l t s a l s o c r e a t e d t h e i r own e n t e r t a i n m e n t . The most p o p u l a r was c a r d - p l a y i n g . The more p o p u l a r games a f t e r Wor ld war I I we re : " C h a r l e m a g n e ' , " F i v e h u n d r e d ' , "Le p i t r o u ' , " W h i s t ' , "Le M a j o r ' , "The f o u r T e n s ' and " Y o k e r ' . Many o f t h e s e games would go on l a t e i n t o the n i g h t and would o f t e n f i n i s h o f f w i t h a b i g l u n c h . A l a d y whose p a r e n t s , g r a n d p a r e n t s , u n c l e s and aun t s had e n t e r t a i n e d s u c h t r a d i t i o n s f o r many g e n e r a t i o n s o b s e r v e d : "Sometimes the c a r d - p l a y e r s wou ld have a f u l l - c o u r s e meal o f m e a t - b a l l s o r p i c k e r e l f i s h i n the wee hours o f the m o r n i n g " . She goes on t o d e s c r i b e "Le M a j o r ' c a r d game: "There wou ld be f o u r p l a y e r s , u s u a l l y the husbands a g a i n s t the w i v e s , each p l a y e r r e c e i v e d t h r e e c a r d s . The o b j e c t o f t h e game was t o c o l l e c t f i v e " b r i c e s " ( F r e n c h f o r a t e n o r an A c e ) b e f o r e y o u r opponent i n one r o u n d . I f you were s u c c e s s f u l , t h i s wou ld e n t i t l e you t o t u r n the e n t i r e deck o f c a r d s o v e r and a d m i n i s t e r " L a C r e p e " t o y o u r opponent ( F r e n c h f o r p a n c a k e , t he t u r n i n g o f t he deck o f c a r d s 124 c o r r e s p o n d s t o the t u r n i n g o f pancakes i n t h e pan) and you would s c o r e p o i n t s a c c o r d i n g l y . Many p l a y e r s would k i d each o t h e r as t h e y a r r i v e d t o s t a r t the game by a s k i n g who had b r o u g h t the s y r u p f o r " L a c r e p e " t o - n i g h t . A t t i m e s , t h e r e would be some r e a l hea ted a rguments , e s p e c i a l l y when the women accused the men o f c h e a t i n g , bu t I r e a l l y wou ld no t be a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d what t h e y were s a y i n g t o each o t h e r as most o f the t ime the e l d e r s would speak i n the S a u l t e a u x l anguage among t h e m s e l v e s . I guess the main t h i n g i s t h a t t h e y seemed t o have a l o t o f f u n " . O t h e r s e n i o r s would spend hour s p l a y i n g c h e c k e r s , s i t t i n g q u i e t l y , w i t h a c l o u d o f smoke r i s i n g above t h e i r heads . House s o c i a l s Home s o c i a l s were a l s o common, r e p o r t e d a n o t h e r s e n i o r : "We would have b i r t h d a y and a n n i v e r s a r y dances i n p r i v a t e homes, n o t h i n g f a n c y . E v e r y b o d y was i n v i t e d , one d i d n o t need t o ge t a f o r m a l i n v i t a t i o n l i k e t o d a y , and as soon as t h e r e were enough p e o p l e , we would have a s q u a r e - d a n c e . E v e r y o n e en joyed the f i d d l e and g u i t a r m u s i c . I f m u s i c i a n s were u n a v a i l a b l e , we wou ld c r a n k the o l d gramophone up and dance t o 78 rpm r e c o r d s " . C h r i s t m a s and New y e a r s was a s p e c i a l t ime f o r home v i -s i t s . A r e s p o n d e n t s t a t e d t h a t t h i s was c a l l e d : " f a i r e son j o u r de l ' A n " ( l o c a l F r e n c h e x p r e s s i o n meaning t o v i s i t f r i e n d s and r e l a t i v e s and c e l e b r a t e the New Y e a r s w i t h t hem) . P e o p l e t r a v e l l i n g i n h o r s e - d r a w n s l e i g h s , cabooses 125 and c u t t e r s would wave a t each o t h e r and exchange good w i s h e s as t h e y met on the r o a d . The e n t i r e day was spen t v i s i t i n g house t o house . There wou ld a l w a y s be p l e n t y o f t r a d i t i o n a l M e t i s food and r e f r e s h m e n t s f o r the v i s i t o r s , .sometimes t h r e e o r f o u r s i t t i n g s . They would s t a r t e a r l y i n the a f t e r n o o n and u s u a l l y end up "au p ' t i t j o u r e t e n c o r e " , ( F r e n c h f o r : u n t i l dawn and b e y o n d ) . The l o c a l h o t e l was a l s o a f a v o u r i t e s o c i a l - g a t h e r i n g p l a c e . F o r a l o n g t i m e , the h o t e l a t S t . L a u r e n t was the o n l y one on h ighway s i x f rom W i n n i p e g . U n t i l r e c e n t y e a r s , t he b e e r - p a r l o r was open o n l y to men. As an i n f o r m a n t t o l d me, the women u s u a l l y w a i t e d f o r t h e i r husband o u t s i d e i n the t r u c k o r c a r . When the b e e r - p a r l o r c l o s e d a t t e n o ' c l o c k i n the o l d d a y s , the p l a c e wou ld o f t e n be packed on S a t u r d a y n i g h t s and somet imes t h e r e wou ld be some f i g h t s . Some p e o p l e abused a l c o h o l , she c o n t i n u e d , and t h a t c r e a t e d some p r o b l e m s , somet imes d e p r i v i n g f a m i l i e s o f the b a s i c n e c e s s i t i e s o f l i f e l i k e food and c l o t h i n g . The re were a l s o some a l c o h o l - r e l a t e d a c c i d e n t s i n v o l v i n g d e a t h s t h a t shocked and h o r r i f i e d the e n t i r e community f o r many y e a r s and f o r some, up t o t h i s day , whenever t h e s e i n c i d e n t s a re m e n t i o n e d . F o r example , p e o p l e were k i l l e d by the " r o c k t r a i n " , ( a s i t was c a l l e d because i t s c a r s c a r r i e d o n l y gypsum r o c k from G y p s u m v i l l e , a mine l o c a t e d one hundred m i l e s n o r t h o f S t . L a u r e n t on the CNR l i n e ) o r by some o t h e r 126 k i n d s o f v i o l e n t d e a t h s , i n c l u d i n g h o m i c i d e and s u i c i d e . As a r e s u l t , S t . L a u r e n t d e v e l o p e d a r e p u t a t i o n o f b e i n g a v e r y rough p l a c e t o l i v e i n o r even to v i s i t , w i t h a s e v e r e and h i g h r a t e o f a l c o h o l i s m and v i o l e n c e among i t s p e o p l e . So much so t h a t f o r a w h i l e many o u t s i d e r s a v o i d e d coming t o the v i l l a g e and d i d t h e i r b u s i n e s s e l s e w h e r e , s u c h was the s t i g m a a t t a c h e d t o the v i l l a g e and t o the p e o p l e . "Those were the d a r k days o f S t . L a u r e n t " , she r e c a l l e d s a d l y , " f rom the t h i r t i e s t o the f i f t i e s " . T h i s s t i g m a has n o t t o t a l l y d i s a p p e a r e d , a c c o r d i n g t o a s e n i o r . T h i s s t e r e o t y p e has a f f e c t e d the p o p u l a t i o n so much t h a t i t has p roduced a n e g a t i v e s e l f - i m a g e among some mem-b e r s o f t he communi ty . T h i s , i n t u r n , has somewhat s t i f l e d t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h the o u t s i d e w o r l d : some w i t h d r e w from o u t s i d e a c t i v i t i e s f o r a w h i l e , o t h e r s r e f u s e d t o g e t i n v o l v e d i n community e v e n t s and kep t to t h e m s e l v e s , w h i l e some became too shy t o go ou t and s t a t e o p e n l y t h a t t h e y were from S t . L a u r e n t . To ease t h e i r p a i n , some t u r n e d to more a l c o h o l , bu t t h a t a g g r a v a t e d the s i t u a t i o n . Some t r i e d t o n e g l e c t , i g n o r e o r m i n i m i z e t h e i r p a i n , h o p i n g i t would go away by i t s e l f . And o f c o u r s e , t h a t d i d n o t work e i t h e r . However , the m a j o r i t y o f p e o p l e seem t o have done s o m e t h i n g about t he s i t u a t i o n . Many q u i t d r i n k i n g a l t o g e t h e r and d e v e l o p e d a r e s p o n s i b l e way o f l i f e f o r t h e m s e l v e s and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . F o r the l a s t twen ty y e a r s the f e l l o w s h i p o f A l c o h o l i c Anonymous has been a c t i v e i n S t . L a u r e n t s e r v i n g the community and the s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a . 127 T_he.....Cjpjm F o r many y e a r s , the b i g a n n u a l s o c i a l even t i n the summer was the community p i c n i c . F o r days and weeks , p e o p l e wou ld work and p r e p a r e f o r t he g r e a t d a y . I t f e a t u r e d some o f the b e s t b a s e b a l l i n the p r o v i n c e , ho r se r a c e s and f o o t r a c e s f o r p e o p l e o f a l l ages , and t u g - o - w a r . There would be games and a m e r r y - g o - r o u n d f o r t he c h i l d r e n . Women would s e r v e l u n c h e s a l l d a y . The p i c n i c g rounds a t t he t i m e were s i t u a t e d west o f h ighway number s i x a c r o s s F r a n k Ducha rme ' s p l a c e . ( F i g . 2 ) . An e l d e r r e c a l l e d the p o p u l a r i t y o f t he ho r se r a c e s : " F o r m e r l y , the h o r s e s would run i n a s t r a i g h t l i n e , maybe a h a l f a m i l e o r s o . In l a t e r y e a r s , we b u i l t an o v a l t r a c k w h i c h became dangerous a t t i m e s , e s p e c i a l l y i f one o f t he h o r s e s b o l t e d i n t o the c r o w d . Some p e o p l e were i n j u r e d . And f o r a few y e a r s , t r o t t e r s a l s o r a c e d t h e r e . I have n o t h i n g a g a i n s t what t he young p e o p l e a r e o r g a n i z i n g t o d a y , t h a t i s f i n e , bu t I would say t h a t t h o s e were the r e a l " M e t i s D a y s " , as p e o p l e would come from a l l o v e r and camp i n t h e i r t e n t s f o r t h r e e o r f o u r s days i n the s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a " . The c h u r c h p a r i s h - h a l l o r ' L e C e r c l e ' ( F r e n c h f o r p a r i s h h a l l ) was f o r many y e a r s the s o c i a l c e n t r e f o r the p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t . One i n f o r m a n t r e p o r t e d t h a t p r a c t i c a l l y a l l s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s were h e l d t h e r e : from c a r d 128 p a r t i e s and b i n g o s , t o b a z a a r s and p l a y s o r " l e s chansons a c t e e s " , ( a c t e d s o n g s ) . A l l o f the money would go t o the c h u r c h . On Sunday n i g h t s , t he p l a c e wou ld be packed f o r the w h i s t c a r d - p a r t i e s as t h e r e was a f r i e n d l y r i v a l r y between the p a r i s h i o n e r s o f t h e n o r t h end and o f t he s o u t h end t o see who c o u l d r a i s e the most money. Then , t h e r e were p i e s o c i a l s and b a s k e t s o c i a l s . " I r e a l l y g o t mad a t my boy f r i e n d one t i m e , r e l a t e d an e l d e r l a d y , because he d i d no t b i d h i g h enough t o buy my b a s k e t and I had pu t i n so much t i m e p r e p a r i n g i t f o r h im! And worse y e t , I had t o go and s i t and ea t w i t h the man who had bought i t and he was one whom I d i d no t l i k e too much". I n the l a t e f i f t i e s and s i x t i e s , weddings and s o c i a l s moved ou t o f t he homes and i n t o community h a l l s where l i q u o r l i c e n s e s c o u l d be o b t a i n e d . In S t . L a u r e n t , some p a r i s h -i o n e r s once asked the p r i e s t f o r t he use o f the p a r i s h h a l l f o r a f a m i l y wedd ing r e c e p t i o n w h i c h would have i n -c l u d e d l i q u o r . The p r i e s t r e f u s e d t o l e n d the h a l l . As a r e s u l t , some p a r i s h i o n e r s became somewhat con fused as t o the s t a t u s o f the h a l l , e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r he had t o l d them t h a t i t was " t h e i r ' p a r i s h h a l l ! F u r t h e r m o r e , o t h e r p a r i s h i o n e r s n o t e d t h a t the p r i e s t was pe rhaps e x c e e d i n g h i s a u t h o r i t y i n the m a t t e r . T h a t , a c c o r d i n g t o one i n f o r m a n t was a d e c i s i v e moment i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the c h u r c h and the p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t . From then o n , he c o n t i n u e d , t he p e o p l e b u i l t t h e m s e l v e s a community r e c r e a t i o n c e n t r e where t h e y now have a l l t h e i r s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . The p a r i s h h a l l d e t e r i o r a t e d 129 and was e v e n t u a l l y t o r n down as t h e r e was no use f o r i t anymore. lke.JtLejLM The new community r e c r e a t i o n c e n t r e a t S t . L a u r e n t had i t s b e g i n n i n g s i n the e a r l y s e v e n t i e s . A c c o r d i n g t o one i n f o r m a n t , t he l o c a l f i s h e r m e n wanted t o b u i l d a f i s h c o - o p and s t o r a g e a r e a , w h i c h t hey d i d a f t e r some o f them had f o l -lowed a c a r p e n t r y c o u r s e . But t h e n , he c o n t i n u e s , t h e y found t h e i r b u i l d i n g somewhat too s m a l l f o r t h e i r p u r p o s e . So t h e y d e c i d e d t o t u r n the b u i l d i n g o v e r t o a commi t t ee o f l o c a l p e o p l e w h i c h , i n t u r n , became the R e c r e a t i o n C e n t r e Commi t t ee . The monies f o r t he c o m p l e t i o n o f t he p r o j e c t came t h r o u g h a g r a n t o f the Manpower Depar tment o f the p r o v i n c i a l government , bu t more i m p o r t a n t , t he l o c a l p e o p l e t h e m s e l v e s r a i s e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount o f money t h r o u g h l o c a l f u n d -r a i s i n g s e v e n t s and a c t i v i t i e s , i n c l u d i n g doo r t o door c a n -v a s s i n g and s e l l i n g o f l o t t e r y t i c k e t s . A f t e r some f i f -t e en y e a r s o f ha rd work , t h e S t . L a u r e n t R e c r e a t i o n C e n t r e I n c o r p o r a t e d was formed t o manage the r e c r e a t i o n c e n t r e , the h a l l , t h e a r e n a and the s p o r t s g r o u n d s . I t c o n s i s t s o f p e o -p l e who a re e l e c t e d f o r a t w o - y e a r t e rm a t t he a n n u a l p u b l i c m e e t i n g . Today , d i f f e r e n t g roups make use o f t he r e c r e a t i o n c e n t r e . S o c i a l s and weddings a r e h e l d t h e r e on a r e g u l a r b a s i s . V a r i o u s community g r o u p s meet t h e r e f o r t h e i r b u s i -n e s s : f i s h e r m e n and t r a p p e r s r e u n i o n s , p o l i t i c a l r a l l i e s , 130 M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n l o c a l g a t h e r i n g s , s p o r t s b a n q u e t s , women g r o u p s , the L e g i o n , and as one i n f o r m a n t s a i d : " L e t us no t f o r g e t the f o u r w e e k l y b i n g o s ! " O t h e r community a c t i v i t i e s i n c l u d e the S p o r t s Days and B a l l t o u r n a m e n t s , t r a c t o r p u l l and p r o v i n c i a l h o r s e - s h o e tournament i n the summer. In the w i n t e r , t h e r e a r e o n - g o i n g minor and s e n i o r hockey and F i g u r e I c e S k a t i n g programs and the a n n u a l c a r n i v a l , a t the a r e n a . One e l d e r r e c a l l e d how t h e y used t o f l o o d the o u t d o o r r i n k i n the o l d days w i t h p a i l s and b a r r e l s o f wa te r and s m a l l wa te r h o s e s . Today , t h e y have an a u t o m a t i c sweeper . F o r m e r l y , t h e y had t o c l e a n the snow o f f t he i c e w i t h wooden s c r a p e r s . The R e c r e a t i o n C e n t r e a l s o p r o v i d e s the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r many v o l u n t e e r s t o work a t the c o n c e s s i o n s t a n d s and f o r the c a t e r i n g s e r v i c e o f community e v e n t s . A n o t h e r s i g n i f i c a n t even t i n the l i f e o f the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t was the t r a n s i t i o n o f t he s c h o o l sys t em from the s c h o o l d i s t r i c t w i t h government a p p o i n t e d i n s p e -c t o r s t o s c h o o l d i v i s i o n s w i t h a d m i n i s t r a t i o n t h r o u g h e l e c t e d t r u s t e e s . As one i n f o r m a n t t o l d me, t h a t marked the end o f the N u n s ' s c h o o l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n S t . L a u r e n t . When the s c h o o l d i v i s i o n t o o k o v e r i n the e a r l y s e v e n t i e s , he added , many nuns c o u l d no t t e a c h here anymore as t h e y were n o t q u a - l i f i e d . The s c h o o l d i v i s i o n a c c e p t e d o n l y t e a c h e r s who had t e a c h i n g c e r t i f i c a t e s r e c o g n i z e d by the P r o v i n c e . As 131 a r e s u l t , many o f the nuns g r a d u a l l y r e t u r n e d t o t h e i r n a t i v e p r o v i n c e o f Quebec . A fo rmer s c h o o l t r u s t e e r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e r e a r e s i x wards i n the p r e s e n t s c h o o l d i v i s i o n . The s c h o o l p rogram i s t he same a l l o v e r w i t h a p p r o p r i a t e a d a p t a t i o n s l o c a l l y . Ten y e a r s ago , he c o n t i n u e d , i t c o s t $ 1 , 5 0 0 . 0 0 pe r s t u d e n t pe r y e a r a t s c h o o l . Today , i t i s more l i k e $ 4 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 w i t h the government p a y i n g 60% and the m u n i c i p a l i t y c o n t r i b u t i n g the r e m a i n i n g 40%. F o l l o w i n g i s t a b l e 6 w i t h a l i s t o f some o f the community g roups w h i c h have o p e r a t e d a n d / o r a r e s t i l l o p e r a t i n g i n S t . L a u r e n t t o d a y : 132 IabJLa_a Ahr.^ : E : E x i s t ; N.E.L. N o n - e x i s t i n g E : NJE E : IE Lake M a n i t o b a F i s h i n g Co-op x x M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n l o c a l x x Day C a r e C e n t r e , I n c . x x The S t . L a u r e n t R e c r e a t i o n C e n t r e I nc x x A l c o h o l i c Anonymous x x M i n o r and S e n i o r hockey x x F i g u r e S k a t i n g C l u b x x B a s e b a l l x x D r i v e r s E d u c a t i o n Program x x Four s t o r e s , two M e t i s owned x x Three r e s t a u r a n t s , one M e t i s owned x x Three g a r a g e s , none M e t i s owned x x One h o t e l , no t M e t i s owned x x H a i r d r e s s e r and B o u t i q u e x x C r e d i t U n i o n x x M u n i c i p a l o f f i c e x x P a r i s h H a l l x x Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h x x E v a n g e l i c a l C h u r c h x x S e n i o r C i t i z e n ' s Lodge x x I n t e r l a k e P a c k e r s x x T o u r i s t Bureau and C r a f t s shop x x C o l l e g i a t e x x Convent s c h o o l x x S imonet s c h o o l x x Nun"s Conven t x x N u n ' s r e s i d e n c e x x O b l a t e F a t h e r ' s N o v i t i a t e x x O b l a t e F a t h e r ' s R e c t o r y x x The S t . L a u r e n t A r e a Development C o r p . x x V o l u n t e e r F i r e B r i g a d e x x H o u s i n g deve lopment x x 133 F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e r e a re l o c a l p e o p l e who now r e p r e s e n t the S t . L a u r e n t i n t e r e s t s r e g u l a r l y on r e g i o n a l commi t t ee s and o r g a n i z a t i o n s . Some o f t h e s e g roups a r e : 1. The I n t e r l a k e Development B o a r d 2 . The Wes te rn I n t e r l a k e P l a n n i n g D i s t r i c t 3 . The Day C a r e C e n t r e I n c . 4 . The Lake M a n i t o b a F i s h e r m e n and T r a p p e r A s s o c i a t i o n 5 . The Lake M a n i t o b a R e c r e a t i o n D i s t r i c t Commit tee 6 . The Lake M a n i t o b a F i s h i n g Co-op 7 . The Whi t e Horse P l a i n S c h o o l D i v i s i o n 8. The M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n I n c . 9 . The S t . L a u r e n t A r e a Development C o r p o r a t i o n I n sum, d a t a r e v e a l s t h a t f a m i l y and community a c t i v i t i e s n u r t u r i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s have a l w a y s abounded i n S t . L a u r e n t . However , i n r e c e n t y e a r s , f a m i l y - c e n t e r e d a c t i v i t i e s s u c h as c a r d - p l a y i n g and c h i l d r e n ' s games have g r a d u a l l y g i v e n way t o community s p o n s o r e d e v e n t s l i k e S p o r t s d a y s , o r g a n i z e d b a s e b a l l and minor h o c k e y . The e x t e n d e d - f a m i l y g a t h e r i n g s a t C h r i s t m a s and New Y e a r s have a l l bu t d i s a p p e a r e d . Today , o n l y the immedia te members o f t he f a m i l y g e t t o g e t h e r f o r s u c h e v e n t s . D a t a shows t h a t many new g roups have f l o u r i s h e d i n the community t o meet the new r e c r e a t i o n a l needs . T h u s , t h e r e have been a l o t o f changes i n community f o r m a t i o n and s o c i a l l i f e i n S t . L a u r e n t i n the l a s t t h i r t y - f i v e y e a r s . The t a b l e i n d i c a t e s t h a t the l o c a l p e o p l e have made s i g n i f i c a n t p r o g r e s s i n b e t t e r i n g t h e m s e l v e s and t h e i r communi ty . T h i s 134 i s e s p e c i a l l y e v i d e n t i n the r e c r e a t i o n and community deve lopment a r e a s : h o u s i n g , S e n i o r ' s Home, R e c r e a t i o n C e n t r e and a r e n a . A n o t h e r v i t a l a s p e c t o f g r o w t h t h a t i s becoming more and more appa ren t has been the p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f l o c a l r e s i d e n t s on commi t t ees a f f e c t i n g the r e g i o n as a w h o l e . T h u s , t he p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t a r e no l o n g e r l e f t ou t o r i s o l a t e d from the r e s t o f t he d i s t r i c t , bu t r e p r e s e n -t a t i v e s o f the v i l l a g e now c o n t r i b u t e t o and p a r t i c i p a t e i n the r e s e a r c h , t he f o r m u l a t i n g and the i m p l e m e n t i n g o f s o c i o -economic p o l i c i e s a f f e c t i n g no t o n l y the v i l l a g e bu t a l s o the r e g i o n , t h u s o v e r c o m i n g t h e n e g a t i v e s e l f - i m a g e o f t h e m s e l v e s and o f t he v i l l a g e t h a t some p e o p l e had d e v e l o p e d o v e r the y e a r s . As a r e s u l t , t he b a s i s o f o p e r a t i o n o f t h e i r s o c i a l l i f e has expanded from b e i n g c e n t e r e d s o l e l y on the i n t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t o f S t . L a u r e n t , t o i n c l u d e now the w i d e r e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t o f the d i s t r i c t and o f the r e g i o n . I n the p r o -c e s s , the M e t i s have c o n t i n u e d t o m a i n t a i n and d e v e l o p a c o r e c u l t u r a l e l e m e n t , t h e i r community r e l a t i o n s . F u r t h e r -more, t he d a t a d i s c l o s e s t h a t t he M e t i s a r e a communi ty -minded p e o p l e who, a t the same t i m e c h e r i s h t h e i r sense o f i n d e p e n d e n c e . Thus i n the M e t i s way o f l i f e a t S t . L a u r e n t , community l i f e and independence a r e v a l u e s t h a t a r e n o t i n o p p o s i t i o n , bu t r a t h e r t h e y go t o g e t h e r , t h e y a r e complemen ta ry . I n sum, i n s p i t e o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n , many M e t i s 135 a t S t . L a u r e n t were a b l e t o r e t a i n some v a l u e s o f t h e i r M e t i s n e s s , as men t ioned above . 136 The Roman C a t h o l i c r e l i g i o n has a l w a y s had a l a r g e i n f l u e n c e on the l i v e s o f the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t . As a p r e l i m i n a r y , we w i l l l o o k b r i e f l y a t the h i s t o r y o f the p r e s e n c e o f the p r i e s t s and nuns t h e r e . Then , we w i l l examine some o f the r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s and o b s e r v a n c e s o f t he p e o p l e a t home, a t c h u r c h and i n the s c h o o l t h r o u g h o u t the l i f e - s p a n o f t he i n f o r m a n t s . Our a n a l y s i s w i l l f o c u s on the e x e r c i s e o f l e a d e r s h i p i n the c h u r c h and the r o l e the M e t i s p l a y e d t h e r e i n . ,!.!..L..a.JtI.iss.i.Q.n..l In t he f i r s t c h a p t e r i t was men t ioned t h a t , because o f i t s u n s u a l s e t t l e m e n t p a t t e r n , v i s i t o r s were somet imes a t a l o s s when a p p r o a c h i n g the v i l l a g e from the s o u t h end: no t a s i n g l e house i n s i g h t . I f the same v i s i t o r c o n t i n u e d towards the n o r t h , i n a moment, huge g r e y s t o n e b u i l d i n g s on the l e f t hand s i d e wou ld c a t c h o n e ' s a t t e n t i o n . Many an e l d e r r e f e r r e d t o t h i s a r e a as " L a M i s s i o n ' o r t he m i s s i o n com-pound . ( F i g . 2 ) . There i n a l l t h e i r s p l e n d o r and g r a n d i o s i t y s t o o d f o u r g i g a n t i c s t o n e s t r u c t u r e s : one t o house the nuns whose numbers r o s e t o 30 a t one t i m e , a n o t h e r , a t t a c h e d t o the conven t was the s c h o o l o p e r a t e d by them. A c r o s s the road t o the n o r t h was the c h u r c h whose two hundred f o o t h i g h s t e e p l e was once p a i n t e d by C a l i x t e R i c h a r d , a l o c a l M e t i s e l d e r . Then , j u s t n o r t h o f the c h u r c h was the f o u r - s t o r e y 137 O b l a t e F a t h e r s ' N o v i t i a t e and r e s i d e n c e . An e l d e r remarked t h a t i t was, to say the l e a s t , a most i m p r e s s i v e and i m p o s i n g s i g h t , e s p e c i a l l y i f one compared t h e s e b u i l d i n g s w i t h the r e s t o f the r e s i d e n c e s i n the v i l l a g e , t he a r c h i -t e c t u r e o f w h i c h were f a r more modest . A n o t h e r e l d e r a d m i t t e d t h a t one c o u l d no t h e l p bu t f e e l somewhat overwhelmed a t t i m e s by the p r e s e n c e o f the c h u r c h , whose power was s y m b o l i z e d by t h e s e b u i l d i n g s . Y e t a n o t h e r i n f o r m a n t r e l a t e d how v i s i t o r s wou ld pass r emarks a t t i m e s t o the l o c a l p e o p l e : "I guess i t i s the p r i e s t s and the nuns who run y o u r l i v e s h e r e ' t h e y would s a y , o r " these p e o p l e must have a l o t o f money t o have b u i l d i n g s l i k e t h a t , b e s i d e s , d i d t h e y n o t buy most o f t he l a n d a round h e r e ? ' The f a c t was, as one i n f o r m a n t s a i d , the p r i e s t s and the nuns d i d own a l o t o f l a n d . How e l s e c o u l d t h e y s u r v i v e ? F o r example , t h e y bought l a n d e a s t o f the t r a c k s f o r t he wood t h e y needed t o hea t a l l t h e i r b u i l d i n g s and the l a n d west o f t he h ighway towards the l a k e was f o r t h e i r p a s t u r e l a n d . "They d i d have b i g f a r m s , I know", he added , "because I worked f o r them f o r two summers". Today , a l l t h e s e b u i l d i n g s have d i s a p p e a r e d . Some were d e s t r o y e d by f i r e , o t h e r s were t o r n down because t h e y had become o b s o l e t e . A new c h u r c h was c o n s t r u c t e d i n the e a r l y s i x t i e s . The o l d s c h o o l was r e p l a c e d by the C o l l e g i a t e a t a n o t h e r l o c a t i o n . The O b l a t e F a t h e r ' s N o v i t i a t e w h i c h housed as many as t w e n t y - f i v e p e o p l e a t one t i m e , i n c l u d i n g many t r a i n i n g f o r t h e p r i e s t h o o d , moved out o f the v i l l a g e i n 138 1950. No e x p l a n a t i o n was g i v e n t o the p e o p l e f o r the move, one r e s p o n d e n t s a i d , and nobody e v e r knew why. One e l d e r i n -fo rmant b l u n t l y a sked the q u e s t i o n : "Were the O b l a t e F a t h e r s e n t i r e l y c a r e l e s s about what the l o c a l p e o p l e migh t f e e l about the N o v i t i a t e c l o s i n g i t s d o o r s ? " Today , f o u r nuns now l i v e i n a m o t e l - s t y l e r e s i d e n c e , two t e a c h a t t he C o l l e g i a t e and one works i n the p a r i s h . One p r i e s t r e s i d e s i n the r e c t o r y . "The m i s s i o n compound a i n ' t what i t used t o b e " , s t a t e d an e l d e r . " I t i s no t l i k e i t once was; many p e o p l e have fond memories o f t h e s e b u i l d i n g s , bu t we l i v e i n new t i m e s now". ReJLigJLQjyLS—^ The r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s and o b s e r v a n c e s o f the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t r e f l e c t e d the m e n t a l i t y and t h e c a t h o l i c t h e o l o g y o f t he t i m e : d e v o t i o n a l and l e g a l i s t i c . A t home, r e c a l l e d a r e s p o n d e n t , t he main d e v o t i o n c e n t r e d a round M a r y , t he Mother o f God , w i t h the r e c i t a t i o n o f the r o s a r y i n the f a m i l i e s p r a c t i c a l l y e v e r y n i g h t . O t h e r p r a y e r s , l i k e the l i t a n y o f the s a i n t s and p r a y e r s f o r the d e a d , were a l s o common. The w a l l s were u s u a l l y c o v e r e d w i t h many h o l y p i c t u r e s , somet imes , each p e r s o n would have h i s o r her f a v o u r i t e s a i n t t o p r a y t o . One would a l s o n o t i c e c r u c i f i x e s and pa lm b r a n c h e s t a c k e d on the w a l l s i n a p r o m i n e n t p l a c e i n the house . "Of c o u r s e , h o l y wa te r was a l w a y s p l e n t i f u l " , r e l a t e d a s e n i o r . "We would use i t e s p e c i a l l y d u r i n g t h u n d e r s t o r m s and 139 l i g h t n i n g . My w i f e would go a round the house , u p s t a i r s , i n the bedrooms, and d o w n s t a i r s and s p r i n k l e the e n t i r e p l a c e w i t h h o l y w a t e r , e s p e c i a l l y a round the windows . We r e a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t i t was p r o t e c t i n g us a g a i n s t t he d a n g e r . A l s o , b e f o r e r e t i r i n g f o r t he n i g h t , i t was a common p r a c t i c e t o make the s i g n o f t he c r o s s w i t h h o l y w a t e r . O t h e r p e o p l e wou ld make t h e i r p r a y e r s c o i n c i d e w i t h the c o n v e n t b e l l r i n -g i n g the A n g e l u s P r a y e r a t 5 :30 pm". P e o p l e s t i l l keep r e l i g i o u s a r t i f a c t s i n t h e i r homes. Many p e o p l e c h e r i s h c r o s s e s o r s t a t u e t t e s as s o u v e n i r s o f r e l i g i o u s e v e n t s s u c h as the v i s i t o f our Lady o f the Cape o r F a t h e r P e y t o n ' s Crusade o f the R o s a r y . One man was p roud t o show me a s m a l l g r o t t o t o the B l e s s e d Mother t h a t he had b u i l t i n h i s b a c k y a r d . I l e a r n e d l a t e r t h a t a few f a m i l i e s i n S t . L a u r e n t had b u i l t such " f a m i l y s h r i n e s ' , as t h e y c a l l e d them, i n a s e c l u d e d s p o t i n t h e i r b a c k y a r d s . One i n f o r m a n t r e l a t e d how L e n t e n p r a c t i c e s were a l s o r i g i d l y adhered t o . G i v i n g up y o u r f a v o u r i t e h a b i t o r food was u s u a l l y the main penance . The re would be no d a n c i n g no r any t y p e o f e n t e r t a i n m e n t t o d i s t r a c t one from the sombre l e n t e n a tmosphe re . V e r y o f t e n , the p a r i s h p r i e s t wou ld t a k e the o p p o r t u n i t y t o make h i s p a r i s h v i s i t s i n the homes d u r i n g t h a t t i m e . He would r emind the p a r i s h i o n e r s o f some o f the f ads and c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s t h a t s h o u l d be a v o i d e d , s u c h as the s h o r t c u t o f o n e ' s s l e e v e s o r o f t oo much o p e n i n g a t the c o l l a r . Of c o u r s e , no wa te r nor food c o u l d be 140 t a k e n a f t e r m i d n i g h t i f one wanted t o go t o communion the n e x t d a y . At c h u r c h , t he mass wou ld be the most o b s e r v e d p r a c t -i c e . Each f a m i l y p a i d f o r t h e i r pew, and one had t o have a good r e a s o n t o m i s s mass on Sundays . B e s i d e s , a t t h a t t i m e , t h e r e was no q u e s t i o n o f work on Sundays as t h a t was c o n s i d e r e d t o be a s e r i o u s s i n . An i n f o r m a n t o b s e r v e d t h a t r e l i g i o n has changed a l o t i n t he l a s t few y e a r s . There was a t i m e , one r e c a l l e d , when we knew what s i n was. The law made i t c l e a r f o r e v e r y o n e . "Bu t t o d a y , I am n o t t oo s u r e what s i n i s anymore. E v e r y b o d y i s r i g h t . Good and e v i l has d i s a p p e a r e d from the v o c a b u l a r y . P e o p l e seem t o do t h e i r own t h i n g , but no t o n l y t h a t , t h e y a l s o seem t o ge t away w i t h i t ! " A n o t h e r s a i d : " I n my d a y s , my mother t a u g h t me my p r a y e r s , r e l i g i o n was s t r o n g a t home. Today , young p e o p l e do no t even know the b a s i c p r a y e r s anymore. I t i s d i s t u r b i n g , many do no t go o r do no t want t o go t o c h u r c h on Sunday. Too many changes had happened a t o n c e , t he changes were no t e x p l a i n e d enough t o the p e o p l e , " l i k e why can we ea t meat on F r i d a y s now?" A n o t h e r s e n i o r s i m p l y gave up g o i n g t o c h u r c h . " I have a ha rd t i m e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a l l t h o s e changes , though I have n o t h i n g a g a i n s t p e o p l e who s t i l l a t t e n d " . T h u s , t h r o u g h t h e i r p r a y e r s and r i t u a l s , M e t i s p e o p l e a p p e a l e d t o the s u p e r n a t u r a l w o r l d f o r a i d and p r o t e c t i o n . 141 F u r t h e r m o r e , r e l i g i o n s a n c t i o n e d a wide range o f c o n d u c t i n the l i v e s o f the M e t i s by p r o v i d i n g n o t i o n s o f r i g h t and wrong . There were o t h e r r e l i g i o u s e v e n t s t h r o u g h o u t the y e a r s . Somet imes , t h e r e would be a p a r i s h r e t r e a t . Some o f the p r i e s t s wou ld p r e a c h i n the S a u l t e a u x l a n g u a g e , r e c a l l e d an e l d e r . The v i s i t o f the s t a t u e o f t he B l e s s e d V i r g i n would s t i r up the f e r v o r o f many p e o p l e , the M i d n i g h t masses a t C h r i s t m a s and the H o l y Week s e r v i c e s were a l l t i m e s o f deep s p i r i t u a l f e r v o r and p r a y e r . A woman remembers the t ime when, d u r i n g the month o f May, as a f a m i l y , eve ryone would a t t e n d B e n e d i c t i o n e v e r y n i g h t a t 7 :30 pm. Then , on the l a s t day o f the month, t h e r e would be the c r o w n i n g o f a l o c a l h i g h s c h o o l g i r l as the Queen o f May, r e p r e s e n t i n g M a r y , a l o n g w i t h many s c h o o l c h i l d r e n who, because o f t h e i r good c o n d u c t t h r o u g h o u t the y e a r were now rewarded as f o r m i n g her e n t o u r a g e . The m a j o r i t y o f t h e s e s t u d e n t s b e l o n g e d t o the C r o i s e s ( c r u s a d e r s ) o r C a d e t s , w h i c h were C a t h o l i c A c t i o n movements t h a t o r i g i n a t e d i n Quebec and b r o u g h t here by the nuns . F o r a l l t he t i m e the nuns were i n the o l d conven t s c h o o l , r e l i g i o n and c a t e c h i s m were t a u g h t t h e r e on a r e g u l a r b a s i s . T h i s i s no t t he case t o d a y a t t he c o l l e g i a t e . As one e l d e r r e l a t e d , the most b e a u t i f u l r e l i g i o u s even t o f t he y e a r was the a n n u a l p r o c e s s i o n o f the B l e s s e d 142 Sacrament on the f e a s t o f Corpus C h r i s t i h e l d i n J u n e . The p r o c e s s i o n would s t a r t i n s i d e the c h u r c h w i t h d i f f e r e n t a s s o c i a t i o n s o f the p a r i s h , each w i t h t h e i r g roup b a n n e r , w a l k i n g i n o r d e r . There would be the l a d i e s o f S t . A n n e , the c h i l d r e n o f M a r y , a l l d r e s s e d i n s p e c i a l a t t i r e f o r t he o c -c a s i o n . Then the mens g r o u p s , the c o n g r e g a t i o n , the a l t a r b o y s , the C r u s a d e r s and C a d e t s , t he c h o i r , and f i n a l l y the p r i e s t c a r r y i n g the B l e s s e d Sac ramen t . The p r o c e s s i o n would c o v e r c l o s e t o h a l f a m i l e and t h e r e wou ld be b r a n c h e s and p o p l a r t r e e s p l a n t e d a l l a l o n g the p r o c e s s i o n r o u t e , as peo -p l e r e c i t e d the r o s a r y , sang hymns and r e c i t e d t h e l i t a n y o f the S a c r e d H e a r t . The whole a tmosphere would be one o f p i e t y and r e v e r e n c e . The p e o p l e wou ld w a l k t o a s p e c i a l t e m p o r a r y a l t a r where t h e r e wou ld be B e n e d i c t i o n and s p e c i a l p r a y e r s f o r t he communi ty . The a l t a r , d e c o r a t e d w i t h m u l t i c o l o u r e d f l o w e r s was c o v e r e d w i t h an a r c h made o f l o c a l t r e e s and b r a n c h e s . The s ac ramen t s o f i n i t i a t i o n were c o n s i d e r e d i m p o r t a n t e v e n t s i n the l i f e o f the i n d i v i d u a l and o f the f a m i l y . The b a p t i s m o f a baby was h e l d on Sunday a f t e r n o o n s , i n the s a c r i s t y o f the c h u r c h . I t was a f a m i l y a f f a i r , u n d e r l i n i n g t h e passage o f the c h i l d f rom the s t a t e o f o r i g i n a l s i n t o the new s t a t e o f a c h i l d o f God . S p e c i a l d r e s s e s f o r the baby were c a r e f u l l y chosen f o r t he o c c a s i o n . A f t e r the ceremony, the g o d f a t h e r was a l l o w e d t o r i n g 143 t he c h u r c h b e l l s as l o n g as he wanted as a way t o n o t i f y the p e o p l e and t o c e l e b r a t e t h a t t r a n s i t i o n . An i n f o r m a n t gave the f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n : "When the c h i l d r e ached seven o r e i g h t y e a r s o l d , he p r e p a r e d f o r the f i r s t c o n f e s s i o n and the f i r s t communion. T h i s was a community e v e n t , u s u a l l y h e l d a t one o f the r e g u l a r Sunday masses . Then , by the t ime the c h i l d was t w e l v e , i t was t i m e f o r C o n f i r m a t i o n , t he c e -remony t h a t o f f i c i a l l y r e c o g n i z e d and i n c o r p o r a t e d a p e r s o n i n t h e C h u r c h a l o n g w i t h the r e p o n s i b i l i t i e s a t t a c h e d t o i t . T h i s was done by the B i s h o p , and t h e r e was a l o t o f p r e p a -r a t i o n f o r t h a t . The nuns u s u a l l y p l a y e d a b i g r o l e i n p r e -p a r i n g the c h i l d r e n f o r the r e c e p t i o n o f t h e s e s a c r a m e n t s . As f a r as I know, the i n f o r m a n t c o n c l u d e d , the p e o p l e h e r e , have a l w a y s been i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e s e s a c r a m e n t s , a l o n g w i t h m a r r i a g e and the sac rament o f t he s i c k . How o f t e n p e o p l e wou ld r u s h t o g e t the p r i e s t t o come and g i v e an i l l p e r s o n the sac rament o f t he s i c k i In the eyes o f many, i t wou ld be an a s s u r a n c e o f g o i n g t o heaven , i f the p e r s o n was no t c u r e d " . Most M e t i s p e o p l e l o o k e d a t t h e s e r e l i g i o u s e v e n t s as i m p o r t a n t s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n s i n t h e i r l i v e s . On one hand, t h e y p r o v i d e d c o m f o r t i n the b e l i e f t h a t s u p e r n a t u r a l a i d was made a v a i l a b l e t o them, e s p e c i a l l y i n t i m e o f c r i s i s . On the o t h e r hand, t h e y p l a y e d a l a r g e r o l e i n f o s t e r i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s and i n m a i n t a i n i n g s o c i a l c o h e s i o n and s o l i d a r i t y among the M e t i s p e o p l e . 144 a d m i n i s t r a t i o n A l o n g t i m e r e s i d e n t i n f o r m e d me t h a t i n the l a s t few y e a r s , t h e r e have been some m i n o r changes i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and management o f t he C a t h o l i c c h u r c h a t S t . L a u r e n t . I n the p a s t , t h e r e were two o r t h r e e male t r u s t e e s , who a s s i s t e d the p r i e s t i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t he p a r i s h . Then , i n the s i x t i e s , the p a r i s h c o u n c i l was i n t r o d u c e d . A t f i r s t , i t was m o s t l y n o n - M e t i s who were members and u s u a l l y the same p e o p l e , w i t h some e x c e p t i o n s . A M e t i s woman r e p o r t e d t h a t she d i d n o t know what a p a r i s h c o u n c i l was when she was phoned t o be on i t . " I a c c e p t e d " , she s a i d . "And I l e a r n e d a l o t about l i t u r g y and p r a y e r , f i n a n c e s and ma in t enance and c a t e c h i s m f o r the c h i l d r e n ; we met once a month and a s s i s t e d the p r i e s t i n the work o f the p a r i s h . Now we have e l e c t i o n s o f the members on the p a r i s h c o u n c i l , c h u r c h m a t t e r s a r e a d m i n i s t e r e d more o p e n l y now, d e c i s i o n s a r e made by a l l the members o f the c o u n c i l , no t o n l y by the p r i e s t , a l l mee t i ngs a r e open t o the p u b l i c and a t t e n d a n c e i s u s u a l l y 100%". T h u s , the p a r i s h c o u n c i l s t r u c t u r e p r o v i d e s a c h a n n e l f o r p e o p l e t o d a y t o p a r t i c i p a t e more i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and management o f t he c h u r c h than i n t he p a s t . 145 T a b l e 7 i l l u s t r a t e s some o f the changes t h a t have t a k e n p l a c e i n the l e a d e r s h i p and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f the p a r i s h . TjaLhle_Z. Era=iaSfl Ifldaz P o w e r / I n f l u e n c e A d m i n 1 s t r a t i o n D e c i s i o n - m a k i n g T r u s t e e s P a r i s h C o u n c i l R e l i g i o u s E d u c a t i o n L i t u r g y P r i e s t s P r i e s t s P r i e s t s Yes No P r i e s t s / N u n s P r i e s t s / N u n s P r i e s t / P e o p l e P r i e s t / P e o p l e P r i e s t / P e o p l e No Yes P r i e s t / N u n s / P e o p l e P r i e s t / N u n s / P e o p l e T a b l e 7 i n d i c a t e s t h a t M e t i s p e o p l e now e x e r c i s e more power and i n f l u e n c e i n the l e a d e s h i p and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t he C a t h o l i c C h u r c h a t S t . L a u r e n t t han the p r e - 1 9 5 0 p e r i o d . T h i s i s e x p r e s s e d by t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the d e c i s i o n -mak ing p r o c e s s a t t he p a r i s h c o u n c i l l e v e l . O t h e r p e o p l e a l s o b e l o n g t o commi t t ee s s u c h as L i t u r g y and R e l i g i o u s E d u c a t i o n and t h e r e b y h e l p f o r m u l a t e p o l i c i e s a f f e c t i n g t h e i r l i v e s . I n sum, d u r i n g the p r e - 1 9 5 0 e r a , t he p r i e s t s and nuns were i n e f f e c t the o n l y p e o p l e r u n n i n g the p a r i s h . Nowadays due t o new mechanisms s u c h as the p a r i s h c o u n c i l , M e t i s p e o p l e p a r t i c i p a t e more f u l l y i n the l i f e o f t he c h u r c h . Hence , the c h u r c h i s l e s s c l e r g y - c e n t e r e d t o - d a y and more l a y p e o p l e - c e n t e r e d . Some p e o p l e s t i l l f e e l n e v e r t h e l e s s t h a t t h e r e i s l o t s o f room f o r improvement i n t h i s a r e a . 146 T a b l e 8 shows some o f the r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s o f t he M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t , then and now. £xe.rl£L5ja E Kfi E M A t home F a m i l y r o s a r y I n d i v i d u a l r o s a r y H o l y wa te r C r u c i f i x e s H o l y P i c t u r e s F a m i l y g r o t t o s P r i e s t v i s i t A.t s.QhjpjpJL D a i l y c a t e c h i s m C a t h o l i c A c t i o n A t C h u r c h Sunday Mass Sacraments P r o c e s s i o n s G r o t t o Month o f Mary L e n t e n O b s e r v a n c e s C h i l d r e n o f Mary P a r i s h R e t r e a t s B i b l e s t u d y x X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X The t a b l e s i n d i c a t e t h a t M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t have had a t r a d i t i o n o f r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s f o r a l o n g t i m e . As f o r o t h e r t r a d i t i o n a l p e o p l e s , r e l i g i o n f o r t he M e t i s i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a b e l i e f i n s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s and f o r c e s and t h r o u g h p r a y e r and r i t u a l p r a c t i c e s p e o p l e a p p e a l t o the s u p e r n a t u r a l w o r l d f o r a i d . Through the p r e s e n c e and the i n f l u e n c e o f the p r i e s t s and nuns , r e l i g i o n a l s o s a n c t i o n e d 147 a wide range o f c o n d u c t f o r the p e o p l e by p r o v i d i n g n o t i o n s o f r i g h t and wrong . D a t a shows t h a t many o f t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l r i t u a l p r a c t i c e s have bu t a l l d i s a p p e a r e d : t he f a m i l y r o s a r y , d a i l y c a t e c h i s m , c a t h o l i c a c t i o n , p a r i s h p r o c e s s i o n s , most o f the l e n t e n o b s e r v a n c e s , the month o f Mary and some s a c r a m e n t a l o b s e r v a n c e s s u c h as c o n f e s s i o n s . As f a r as i t i s p o s s i b l e t o know, t h e s e p r a c t i c e s and r i t u a l s have no t been r e p l a c e d . O t h e r r i t u a l p r a c t i c e s s u c h as p a r i s h r e t r e a t s and Sunday mass and the use o f i t e m s s u c h as h o l y w a t e r , h o l y p i c t u r e s and c r u c i f i x e s s t i l l e x i s t t oday bu t t o a l e s s e r d e g r e e . The o n l y new r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e the p e o p l e have i n t r o d u c e d i n t h e i r l i v e s i s t he f a m i l y g r o t t o and t h e r e a re o n l y few o f t h o s e i n e x i s t e n c e . Over the y e a r s , t he nuns a l s o i n t i a t i a t e d a w e e k l y B i b l e s t u d y . The p r o c e s s o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n has t a k e n p l a c e i n S t . L a u r e n t . The i n s t i t u t i o n a l c h u r c h no l o n g e r e x e r c i s e s t h e i n f l u e n c e i t once d i d ove r the l i v e s o f the p e o p l e . The s e c u l a r and the r e l i g i o u s s p h e r e s o f t he M e t i s p e o p l e have been d e f i n e d and s e p a r a t e d and each o p e r a t e s from i t s r e s p e c t i v e d o m a i n . S e c u l a r i z a t i o n a l s o r a i s e s the i s s u e o f the r o l e o f r i t u a l i n s o c i e t y . The D u r k h e i m i a n v i e w t h a t r e l i g i o n o r r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l i s a u n i f y i n g e lement o f g roup i d e n t i t y ( i n a t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t y ) i s he reby c h a l l e n g e d by the phenomenon o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n . The q u e s t i o n i s whe ther s e c u l a r r i t u a l s a r e e q u i v a l e n t t o r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s o r do 148 r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s do t h e same t h i n g , p roduce the same e f f e c t i . e . u n i f y i n g e l e m e n t , i n a s e c u l a r c o n t e x t ? I am i n c l i n e d t o t h i n k t h a t r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s p o i n t t o v e r y l i t t l e i f a n y t h i n g i n a s e c u l a r c o n t e x t . What Durkhe im f o r g o t t o say was t h a t r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s s i m p l y l o s e o r have l i t t l e o r no meaning ( o r f o r c e ) i n a s e c u l a r c o n t e x t . S e c u l a r i z a t i o n s i m p l y d e t r a c t s the v a l u e o f r i t u a l . F o r the M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t , r e l i g i o n , i n the p a s t , was i n t e g r a t e d i n t h e i r l i f e and i n t e g r a t e d t h e i r l i f e a t t he same t ime ( i . e . u n i f y i n g e l e m e n t ) . W i t h the adven t o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , the d a t a c o n f i r m s t h a t many r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s have l o s t t h e i r v a l u e w h i l e some have been r e t a i n e d and o n l y a few new ones have s u r f a c e d . However , t h a t does n o t mean t h a t the r e l i g i o u s l i v e s o f the M e t i s p e o p l e has d i s i n t e g r a t e d o r has d i s a p p e a r e d a l t o g e t h e r or t h a t i t i s a t a s t a n d s t i l l o r t h a t r e l i g i o n has become j u s t p r i v a t i z e d , as some p r o p o n e n t s o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n would l e a d us t o b e l i e v e . T a b l e 7 i n d i c a t e s t h a t p e o p l e p l a y a more c o n s t r u c t i v e r o l e i n the a f f a i r s o f t he p a r i s h community than e v e r b e f o r e , f o r example , i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n and d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g i n te rms o f t h e p a r i s h as a w h o l e , i n R e l i g i o u s E d u c a t i o n and i n L i t u r g y . As a r e s u l t , some p e o p l e have d e v e l o p e d a s t r o n g e r sense o f b e l o n g i n g and o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e c h u r c h . F o r example , t h o s e who a t t e n d c h u r c h t o d a y do so more ou t o f p e r s o n a l c o n v i c t i o n than s i m p l y ou t o f f e a r o f s a n c t i o n s o r t o f u l f i l l a p u r e l y l e g a l o b l i g a t i o n . 149 Thus , r e l i g i o n c o n t i n u e s t o p l a y a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n the l i v e s o f the M e t i s i n S t . L a u r e n t as i t has done i n the p a s t , bu t t o d a y , w i t h new e x p r e s s i o n s and new d i m e n s i o n s . So much so t h a t I wou ld a rgue t h a t r e l i g i o n has a l w a y s been and r ema ins u n d e r s t o o d as a c o r e c u l t u r a l v a l u e i n the l i v e s o f M e t i s . 150 The aim o f t h i s s e c t i o n i s t o d e s c r i b e some a s p e c t s o f the p o l i t i c a l l i f e o f the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t . As w i t h r e l i g i o n i n the p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n , t he t h e o r e t i c a l f ramework f o r our d i s c u s s i o n w i l l be l e a d e r s h i p as p e r c e i v e d and e x e r c i z e d by the M e t i s . We w i l l l o o k a t t he h i s t o r y o f t he r u r a l m u n i c i p a l i t y w i t h s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n g i v e n t o the degree o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f t he M e t i s i n i t s a f f a i r s . I n the p r o c e s s , I hope t o shed some l i g h t on the e x t e n t t o w h i c h M e t i s p e o p l e c o n t r o l l e d t h e i r p o l i t i c a l l i v e s , how much power and p o l i t i c a l i n f l u e n c e t h e y p o s s e s s e d and t o what e x t e n t t h e y p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s t h a t a f f e c t e d t h e i r l i v e s . The s o u r c e s o f d a t a i n c l u d e i n t e r v i e w s w i t h i n f o r m a n t s i n the f i e l d , p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n and a r c h i v a l r e s e a r c h o f the m u n i c i p a l r e c o r d s a t S t . L a u r e n t . A t the moment, we have no knowledge o f e x i s t i n g r e c o r d s d e p i c t i n g the p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s h i p o f t he M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t , from the t ime t h e y a r r i v e d t h e r e c i r c a 1824 t o 1881. P e r h a p s , one can assume t h a t l i k e o t h e r t r a d i t i o n a l p e o p l e s , the M e t i s had no f o r m a l p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s as s u c h . As H a v i l a n d ( 1 9 8 5 : 5 2 9 ) r e m a r k s : " S o c i a l c o n t r o l s may be i n t e r n a l i z e d , b u i l t i n t o i n d i v i d u a l s . B u i l t - i n c o n t r o l s r e l y on s u c h d e t e r r e n t s as p e r s o n a l shame and f e a r o f s u p e r n a t u r a l p u n i s h m e n t " . 151 S t . L a u r e n t has a l o n g h i s t o r y o f m u n i c i p a l p o l i t i c s . The l o c a l m u n i c i p a l r e c o r d s show t h a t the m u n i c i p a l i t y was f i r s t i n c o r p o r a t e d on March 25 , 1881 and the f i r s t m e e t i n g was h e l d on J a n u a r y 17, 1882. A man o f the c l o t h , B r o t h e r J . M u l v i h i l l , OMI, was e l e c t e d Reeve by a c c l a m a t i o n , and he s e r v e d f o r t h i r t e e n y e a r s . The c o u n c i l l o r s were D a n i e l D e v l i n , P i e r r e R i c h a r d , J ean M o i s e Ducharme, Damase B o y e r , P i e r r e Chaboyer and P i e r r e L a v e r d u r e . A c c o r d i n g t o an i n f o r m a n t , t he m u n i c i p a l i t y o p e r a t e d under a Reeve and C o u n c i l f o r f o r t y - e i g h t y e a r s u n t i l 1929, when, on the eve o f t he D e p r e s s i o n y e a r s , i t d e c l a r e d f i n a n c i a l b a n k r u p t c y . H.W. C o n n e l l y , an I r i s h m a n , was r e e v e a t the t i m e . From t h a t y e a r u n t i l 1975, o r f o r the n e x t f o r t y - s i x y e a r s , t h e r e were no e l e c t e d Reeve and C o u n c i l a t S t . L a u r e n t , the a f f a i r s o f the m u n i c i p a l i t y were managed by one man o n l y , an a d m i n i s t r a t o r a p p o i n t e d by the p r o v i n c i a l government . In 1972, an A d v i s o r y B o a r d composed o f t h r e e l o c a l M e t i s p e o p l e was s e t up t o a d v i s e and t o make recommen-d a t i o n s to the A d m i n i s t r a t o r r e g a r d i n g i s s u e s a f f e c t i n g the l i v e s o f t he p e o p l e and the a f f a i r s o f t he m u n i c i p a l i t y . The B o a r d had no power , s a i d an i n f o r m a n t , the a d m i n i s t r a t o r c o u l d t a k e o r l e a v e what t he A d v i s o r y B o a r d s a i d . Many p e o p l e though t t h a t the p o l i t i c a l power was c o n c e n t r a t e d too much i n the hands o f one i n d i v i d u a l . As one i n f o r m a n t 152 s t a t e d : "The a d m i n i s t r a t o r had a l l the power o f d e c i s i o n -m a k i n g , one p e r s o n r a n the e n t i r e m u n i c i p a l i t y ' . N o n e t h e l e s s , t he a d m i n i s t r a t o r a t t he t i m e , was open t o the s u g g e s t i o n o f c o n s i d e r i n g b r i n g i n g back the Reeve and c o u n c i l s y s t e m . " A t f i r s t " , added an i n f o r m a n t , "We were " i n the d a r k ' as t o what was g o i n g on r i g h t here i n S t . L a u r e n t . D i s c u s s i o n s t o o k p l a c e on m a t t e r s a f f e c t i n g our l i v e s and d e c i s i o n s were made and we were n e v e r c o n s u l t e d . Now, we have a say i n what i s g o i n g on and we know what i s g o i n g o n . B e s i d e s , i t was m o s t l y M e t i s p e o p l e w h i c h s t a r t e d the A d v i s o r y B o a r d w h i c h l e d t o the Reeve and C o u n c i l " . The work o f the A d v i s o r y B o a r d can be q u a l i f i e d as an i n d i c a t i o n o f a new p o l i t i c a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s among the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t . A r e s p o n d e n t a t t r i b u t e s i t s f o u n d a t i o n t o the g r o w i n g awareness o f p o t e n t i a l p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s h i p among M e t i s p e o p l e b r o u g h t about by the c r e a t i o n o f the M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n l o c a l . Hence , from a p o l i t i c a l framework where t h e r e was no p a r t i c i p a t i o n , the M e t i s sought t o c r e a t e mechanisms whereby t h e i r v i e w s would be hea rd and d e a l t w i t h a c c o r d i n g l y by a government w h i c h r e p r e s e n t e d them. I n sum, the A d v i s o r y Board was a s t e p p i n g - s t o n e t o a c h i e v e a M u n i c i p a l form o f Government where t h e y would r e g a i n the c o n t r o l o f t h e i r l i v e s t h r o u g h e f f e c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n and d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g . 153 On March 19, 1975, the f i r s t e l e c t i o n o f Reeve and C o u n c i l i n f o r t y - s i x y e a r s t o o k p l a c e a t S t . L a u r e n t . A r e -p r e s e n t a t i v e from the Depar tment o f M u n i c i p a l A f f a i r s had the Reeve and C o u n c i l l o r s sworn under o a t h . He a l s o a s s i s t e d the C o u n c i l i n f o r m u l a t i n g g u i d e l i n e s f o r i t s work and o p -e r a t i o n s and , as a fo rmer c o u n c i l l o r t o l d me, he h e l p e d the c o u n c i l i n d e v e l o p i n g and f o r m u l a t i n g i t s own b y - l a w s . The A d v i s o r y B o a r d ceased t o e x i s t a t t h a t p o i n t and the Government r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t hanked the o u t - g o i n g A d m i n i s t r a t o r f o r sound f i n a n c i a l management and f o r a smooth t r a n s i t i o n from one form o f government t o a n o t h e r . S t . L a u r e n t became once a g a i n a s e l f - g o v e r n i n g m u n i c i p a l i t y w i t h i t s e l e c t e d Reeve and C o u n c i l . I J m J £ u j 3 i . . c ^ There a re s i x wards i n the p r e s e n t M u n i c i p a l i t y , t h r e e i n S t . L a u r e n t , n o r t h , s o u t h and c e n t e r , and as an i n f o r m a n t r e p o r t e d , t h e y a r e p r e d o m i n a n t l y p o p u l a t e d by M e t i s p e o p l e and M e t i s p e o p l e have a l w a y s r e p r e s e n t e d t h e s e w a r d s . The o t h e r t h r e e wards a r e composed m a i n l y o f n o n - M e t i s p e o p l e . The beach w a r d , the e a s t ward and the Oak P o i n t w a r d , a s m a l l h a m l e t , s i x m i l e s n o r t h o f the v i l l a g e , have t h e i r own e l e c t e d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s ( n o n - M e t i s ) on the C o u n c i l . M u n i c i p a l e l e c t i o n s have t a k e n . p l a c e a t r e g u l a r i n t e r -v a l s , the f i r s t i n 1975, t he second i n 1977, t he t h i r d i n 154 1980, t he f o u r t h i n 1983 and the f i f t h i n 1986. No M e t i s p e r s o n was e v e r e l e c t e d as Reeve . A former c o u n c i l l o r i n f o r m e d me t h a t t h e r e a r e as many as seven s u b - c o m m i t t e e s o p e r a t i n g under the Reeve and C o u n c i l . These a r e the H o u s i n g , T r a n s p o r t a t i o n , R e c r e a t i o n , S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e , Ambulance and F i r e , The Wes te rn I n t e r l a k e P l a n n i n g Boa rd and the I n t e r l a k e Development C o r p o r a t i o n . When I e n q u i r e d about the p e r c e n t a g e o f the p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t who a re on W e l f a r e and who r e c e i v e S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e , he s a i d t h a t he was i n no p o s i t i o n t o d i s c l o s e s u c h f i g u r e s , bu t t h a t , t h i r t y y e a r s ago, t he p e r c e n t a g e was v e r y h i g h , and t o d a y , t he p e r c e n t a g e i s no h i g h e r than f o r any o t h e r v i l l a g e s w i t h the same p o p u l a t i o n . I n the i n t e r v a l , t he M u n i c i p a l i t y j o i n e d w i t h two n e i g h b o u r i n g m u n i c i p a l i t i e s , C o l d w e l l and S i g l u n e s , to ' form the Wes te rn I n t e r l a k e P l a n n i n g D i s t r i c t . Two c o u n c i l l o r s f rom each m u n i c i p a l i t y formed the Boa rd and r e p o r t e d t o C o u n c i l . A r e s p o n d e n t s t a t e d : "We had a deve lopment p l a n and we h e l d h e a r i n g s t o s e t up g u i d e l i n e s f o r the z o n i n g o f the l a n d , f o r example , i n towns , i n d u s t r i a l , r e s i d e n t i a l and r e c r e a t i o n a l , i n r u r a l a r e a s , fa rm or r e s i d e n t i a l . T h i s a l s o i n c l u d e d the z o n i n g o f t he beach a r e a s i n S t . L a u r e n t " . H a v i n g had no e x p e r i e n c e i n m u n i c i p a l p o l i t i c s , I asked an i n f o r m a n t what would be some advan tages and weaknesses i n the p r e s e n t m u n i c i p a l form o f government f o r the p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t . "Heavy b u r e a u c r a c y " , he r e m a r k e d , " i s a s l o w p r o c e s s and i s t o be c o n s i d e r e d a drawback o f t h i s form o f 155 government , bu t t h e n " , he c o n t i n u e d , " the s t r u c t u r e a l l o w s f o r the c o u n c i l l o r t o be c l o s e t o the c o n s t i t u e n t s , he can meet the p e o p l e o f h i s ward and c o n s u l t them p r a c t i c a l l y e v e r y d a y i f he wants t o . The p r e s e n t s t r u c t u r e , t hough no t p e r f e c t , i s good t o answer our needs a t the moment". A t f i r s t , some p e o p l e d i d no t u n d e r s t a n d f u l l y how a m u n i c i p a l government f u n c t i o n e d . " I , f o r o n e , " s t a t e d a l o n g - t i m e r e s i d e n t and fo rmer c o u n c i l l o r , "wanted t o h e l p the p e o p l e educa te t h e m s e l v e s on m u n i c i p a l gove rnmen t . F o r example , how does the sys t em work? What i s the s t r u c t u r e , t h e f u n d i n g and the budge t? How does the t a x sy s t em o p e r a t e , the g e n e r a l t a x or s p e c i a l t a x l i k e f o r the s c h o o l s ? What i s a l e v y , an a s se s smen t , where does the money go? The s c h o o l t a x , f o r example i s p a i d by a l l c i t i z e n s , r e g a r d l e s s o f age o r i f one has c h i l d r e n i n the s c h o o l or n o t . These a r e i m p o r t a n t q u e s t i o n s t o w h i c h p e o p l e have t o have answers i f t h e y want t o v o t e w e l l " . My i n f o r m a t i o n r e v e a l s t h a t t h e r e was o n l y about f i f t y p e r c e n t o f the p o p u l a t i o n t h a t v o t e d a t f i r s t . Some were s i m p l y n o t i n t e r e s t e d , o t h e r s a d m i t t e d t h e y d i d no t u n d e r s t a n d the i s s u e s . I n many c a s e s , p e o p l e based t h e i r v o t e on whe the r t h e y " l i k e d ' a c a n d i d a t e o r n o t r a t h e r on what the p e r s o n c o u l d a c t u a l l y d o . He c o n c l u d e d by s a y i n g t h a t most p e o p l e p r e f e r t o go d i r e c t l y t o t h e i r c o u n c i l l o r 156 t o c o m p l a i n i n s t e a d o f s p e a k i n g i n f r o n t o f t he e n t i r e c o u n c i l . In t he c o u r s e o f my f i e l d - w o r k , I was f o r t u n a t e t o meet some o f the p r e s e n t and fo rmer c o u n c i l l o r s . To t r y and f i n d ou t what made them d e c i d e t o run f o r the o f f i c e o f c o u n -c i l l o r was uppermost i n my m i n d . T h e i r answers seemed t o speak t o one o r two b a s i c i s s u e s : i n e x p e r i e n c e and l a c k o f i n f o r m a t i o n . A l l s a i d t hey were c u r i o u s t o f i n d ou t how a m u n i c i p a l government f u n c t i o n e d . " I n e v e r knew b e f o r e " , s a i d a r e s p o n d e n t . "Nobody eve r t o l d us o r e x p l a i n e d a n y t h i n g t o u s . Now we p u b l i s h a l l the m i n u t e s o f t he c o u n c i l m e e t i n g f o r eve ryone t o s e e . I l e a r n e d t h a t p e o p l e ' s b u s i n e s s and the a f f a i r s o f t he m u n i c i p a l i t y a r e b e t t e r run by s i x e l e c t e d p e o p l e than by j u s t one man". I a l s o a sked him i f he was i n t e r e s t e d i n one a r e a o f government more t han the o t h e r . He r e p l i e d t h a t a c o u n c i l l o r , though he may s i t on a s u b c o m m i t t e e , he s t i l l has t o be i n t e r e s t e d and be as k n o w l e d g e a b l e as he can on a l l a s p e c t s o f an i s s u e . " F o r example , f o r t he s u b - d i v i s i o n o f l a n d , we had t o h i r e a l a w y e r t o a s s i s t the m u n i c i p a l i t y and t o make the e n t i r e c o u n c i l u n d e r s t a n d the l e g a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f s u c h an i s s u e . " A f t e r t h i s f i r s t e x p e r i e n c e , we would know how t o o p e r a t e i n the f u t u r e . Today , I have a good i d e a what M u n i c i p a l A f f a i r s a r e a l l a b o u t , i t d e a l s m a i n l y w i t h i s s u e s and p r o b l e m s a f f e c t i n g the communi ty , and I am a l s o l e a r n i n g a l i t t l e b i t o f what t h i s game o f p o l i t i c s i s a l l a b o u t " . 157 A n o t h e r c o u n c i l l o r s a i d t h a t he a l w a y s wanted t o ge t i n s i d e the c o u n c i l room and f i n d ou t what was g o i n g on t h e r e . "We n e v e r go t any i n f o r m a t i o n o f what was g o i n g on i n t h e r e . I guess t h a t w a n t i n g t o f i n d out what goes on a t a c o u n c i l m e e t i n g and w a n t i n g t o be p a r t o f i t was what i n t e r e s t e d me the most i n w a n t i n g t o become a c o u n c i l l o r " . -Sr m -^n 3^  yi 3» n What about c a m p a i g n i n g ? I e n q u i r i e d . He d e s c r i b e d h i s e x p e r i e n c e i n the f o l l o w i n g way: " I was " g r e e n ' , I d i d no t know what I was g e t t i n g i n v o l v e d i n . I went doo r t o d o o r , bu t I n e v e r made any p r o m i s e s , a l l I s a i d was t h a t I would do my b e s t i f e l e c t e d and i t was up t o the p u b l i c to d e c i d e . I n e v e r s a i d , v o t e f o r me and I ' l l do t h i s o r t h a t f o r y o u " . A c c o r d i n g t o a n o t h e r i n f o r m a n t , " t h i s wou ld be " p e t t y p o l i t i e s ' . One can make p r o m i s e s and then f i n d out t h a t i t i s n o t easy t o c a r r y them o u t . Because i t i s one t h i n g t o say t o the p e o p l e t h a t you a re g o i n g t o do s o m e t h i n g , bu t i t i s a d i f f e r e n t b a l l - g a m e once you ge t i n s i d e t h a t c o u n c i l room. F i r s t , you have t o s t a r t by c o n v i n c i n g and g e t t i n g y o u r f e l l o w c o u n c i l l o r s ' s u p p o r t and t h a t i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y an easy t a s k . The re a re p r e s s u r e g r o u p s w i t h i n c o u n c i l j u s t l i k e anywhere e l s e , t h a t i n d i v i d u a l c o u n c i l l o r s t a k e s i d e s , f o r o r a g a i n s t an i s s u e i s n o r m a l p r o c e d u r e . F u r t h e r m o r e , C o u n c i l does n o t n e c e s s a r i l y o r a u t o m a t i c a l l y approve one c o u n c i l l o r ' s s u g g e s t i o n o r r e c o m m e n d a t i o n " . 158 At e l e c t i o n t i m e , c o u n c i l l o r s v i s i t t h e i r c o n s t i t u e n t s . Some go d o o r - t o - d o o r , o t h e r s r e l y m o s t l y on c a s u a l v i s i t s a t the s t o r e s o r a t t he p o s t - o f f i c e , w h i l e o t h e r s ge t busy ma-k i n g t e l e p h o n e c a l l s a s k i n g p e o p l e f o r t h e i r s u p p o r t . Some-t i m e s t h e y have t o w n - h a l l m e e t i n g s w i t h a l l t h e c a n d i d a t e s p r e s e n t , e s p e c i a l l y f o r the p o s i t i o n o f Reeve . One c a n d i d a t e a d m i t t e d t h a t he d i d v e r y l i t t l e c a m p a i g n i n g , he s i m p l y r e l i e d on h i s e x i s t i n g ne twork o f f r i e n d s . To i n q u i r i e s r e g a r d i n g t h e mood o f the p e o p l e d u r i n g the e l e c t i o n campa ign , an i n f o r m a n t s a i d t h a t p e o p l e seemed t o become s t r a n g e r s f o r a l i t t l e w h i l e d u r i n g an e l e c t i o n . "Would you say t h a t t h e r e i s some t e n s i o n i n the a i r ? " , I a s k e d . "Yes t h a t i s i t " , he r e p l i e d . "There i s a c e r t a i n t e n s i o n and a c e r t a i n d i s t a n c e bu t w i t h no i l l f e e l i n g s d u r i n g an e l e c t i o n campaign t h a t d e v e l o p s , even between f r i e n d s " . A younger c o u n c i l l o r r e p o r t e d t h a t the p e o p l e were v e r y r e c e p t i v e . They asked q u e s t i o n s s u c h as w h i c h r e e v e c a n -d i d a t e t o s u p p o r t , w h i l e o t h e r s s a i d i t was about t ime young p e o p l e go t i n v o l v e d i n l o c a l m u n i c i p a l p o l i t i c s . " I was t w e n t y - s e v e n y e a r s o l d t h e n , and was e l e c t e d and s a t on two s u b c o m m i t t e e s . I would n o t change a n y t h i n g i f I were t o run a g a i n . I worked a l o n e , I had no commit tee w o r k i n g f o r me. I t h i n k I u n d e r s t o o d the p e o p l e o f my ward r a t h e r w e l l , I was b o r n and r a i s e d h e r e . When I found out I c o u l d no l o n g e r spend s u f f i c i e n t t ime w i t h my c o n s t i t u e n t s , I p u l l e d o u t . I t 159 was a p e r s o n a l and e n r i c h i n g e x p e r i e n c e because we a re a l -ways d e a l i n g w i t h the p u b l i c " . H a v i n g m y s e l f been away from the v i l l a g e f o r more than t h i r t y y e a r s , I a d m i t t e d my i g n o r a n c e t o my i n f o r m a n t s r e -g a r d i n g the s t a t e o f p o l i t i c s t h e r e , so I s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h e y d e s c r i b e the i n t e r e s t o f the l o c a l p e o p l e i n p o l i t i c s . I t wou ld seem, one r e l a t e d , t h a t p e o p l e g r a d u a l l y g o t i n t e -r e s t e d more i n m u n i c i p a l l i f e , f o r the s i m p l e r e a s o n t h a t t h e y a re more i n f o r m e d o f what was g o i n g o n . They c o u l d f o l l o w the deve lopment o f p r o j e c t s and s t u d i e s a f f e c t i n g t h e i r l i v e s . T h i s was no t t he ca se under the a d m i n i s t r a t o r . " M e t i s p e o p l e " , he s a i d , " l e a r n p o l i t i c s q u i c k l y i f g i v e n the o p p o r t u n i t y , p e o p l e a r e s m a r t , t hey w i l l no t be m i s l e d " . N o r m a l l y , i t i s the s e c r e t a r y o f the M u n i c i p a l i t y t h a t announces the d a t e o f the e l e c t i o n s . P o s t e r s a r e d i s t r i b u t e d i n the p o s t - o f f i c e and s t o r e s and the r e t u r n i n g o f f i c e r s r e v i s e the e l e c t o r s ' l i s t . F o l l o w i n g i s a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f a t y p i c a l v o t i n g day a t a p o l l i n g s t a t i o n a t S t . L a u r e n t as p r o v i d e d by a l a d y who has worked t h e r e as a c l e r k f o r many y e a r s . A f r i e n d c a l l e d her t o v o l u n t e e r as c l e r k on e l e c t i o n d a y , she s a i d . " I a c c e p t e d . I s t a r t e d i n 1975 and I d i d my j o b f o r t e n c o n s e c u t i v e y e a r s . The R e c r e a t i o n c e n t r e would s e r v e as a p o l l i n g s t a t i o n , L a u r e n t i a Beach would a l s o have t h e i r s . We s t a r t e d a t 7 :30 am u n t i l 10:00 pm. We a r r a n g e d the b a l l o t boxes w i t h w i t n e s s e s t o check the empty boxes and then l o c k them. My main j o b was t o t ake the names o f the p e o p l e who 160 came i n t o v o t e and t o check i f t h e i r name was on the e l e c t -i o n l i s t . Most p e o p l e come t o v o t e e a r l y i n the m o r n i n g , a t noon and a t o r a round the supper h o u r " . I a sked her i f t h e y e n c o u n t e r e d any p r o b l e m s a t the p o l l i n g s t a t i o n and asked her t o men t ion them, i f any . She s a i d some p e o p l e came t o v o t e w i t h o u t h a v i n g f i r s t r e g i s -t e r e d . I t a l s o happened a few t i m e s t h a t one o r two r e f u s e d t o t a k e an o a t h . "Of c o u r s e , we c o u l d accommodate the few p e o p l e who c o u l d n o t r ead no r w r i t e , as w e l l as t he p h y s i c a l l y h a n d i c a p p e d . A t the end o f the day , we coun ted the b a l l o t s . Somet imes , we made e r r o r s and we had t o s t a r t a l l o v e r a g a i n , under the w a t c h f u l eye o f w i t n e s s e s " . Sjojaei_dis^j^^ Some i n f o r m a n t s e x p r e s s e d t h e i r d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h t he work o f t he m u n i c i p a l i t y i n the a r e a . One r e s p o n d e n t s t a t e d , "As soon as someone wants to s t a r t a b u s i n e s s , the m u n i c i p a l i t y o v e r t a x e s him f o r the l e a s t l i t t l e t h i n g . They do n o t seem t o want t o see S t . L a u r e n t d e v e l o p o r l o c a l p e o p l e d e v e l o p t h e i r own b u s i n e s s e s . Why?". And a g a i n , as a n o t h e r i n f o r m a n t r e m a r k e d : " I t i s n i c e f o r the Depar tment o f T o u r i s m t o t e l l the p e o p l e t o do s o m e t h i n g . They encourage and even push f o r d e v e l o p m e n t . But when p e o p l e show i n i t i a t i v e and need t h e i r s u p p o r t , t h e y a r e n o t a round t o d e l i v e r . S t . L a u r e n t has had a l o n g h i s t o r y o f b e i n g i g n o r e d and n e g l e c t e d by the p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t s . Why?" .161 A n o t h e r i n f o r m a n t s a i d t h a t the wards w i t h i n the v i l l a g e o f S t . L a u r e n t have o n l y f i v e m i l e s o f m u n i c i p a l road bu t r e c e i v e h a r d l y any p u b l i c s e r v i c e s w h i l e t he t h r e e o t h e r wards i n the r e s t o f t he m u n i c i p a l i t y have o v e r one hundred m i l e s o f r o a d and t hey have s e r v i c e s l i k e ga rbage p i c k - u p , s t r e e t l i g h t s and b e t t e r r o a d s , and the p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t s t i l l pay t a x e s f o r t h e s e s e r v i c e s i n t h e s e o t h e r wards j u s t l i k e anyone e l s e . Why c a n ' t the wards o f S t . L a u r e n t r e c e i v e the same b e n e f i t s as t h e s e o t h e r wards o f t he M u n i c i p a l i t y d o , he asked? " L e t ' s f a c e i t " , s t a t e d an i n f o r m a n t , " the m u n i c i p a l i t y does n o t work f o r the wards o f t he M e t i s p e o p l e " . F u r t h e r -more, a c c o r d i n g t o some r e s i d e n t s , some beach r e s i d e n t s do n o t want t o see S t . L a u r e n t d e v e l o p e c o n o m i c a l l y s i m p l y because t h e y do n o t want t h e i r t a x e s t o go up . A c c o r d i n g t o the Annex A , UPDATED COMMUNITY P R O F I L E , c o m p i l e d by S a n d r a Funk , o f t he HKL & A s s o c i a t e s L t d o f W i n n i p e g , 1987, t he r e p o r t s t a t e s : "The community o f S t . L a u r e n t , l i k e many o t h e r s m a l l r u r a l M a n i t o b a c o m m u n i t i e s has e x p e r i e n c e d a d e c l i n e i n p o p u l a t i o n o v e r the l a s t 20 y e a r s . I n 1968 the p o p u l a t i o n was 1 ,676, i n 1981 i t was 1,114 and i n the most r e c e n t census the p o p u l a t i o n coun t was 1 ,119 . These p o p u l a t i o n numbers do n o t i n c l u d e the s e a s o n a l r e s i d e n t s who l i v e i n the v a r i o u s c o t t a g e deve lopmen t s i n the a r e a . I n summer the p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s e s d r a m a t i c a l l y . The e s t i m a t e d number o f a v a i l a b l e s u b d i v i s i o n c o t t a g e l o t s i n 1987 i s 1,150 and a p p r o x i m a t e l y 1,000 have c o t t a g e s on them. The S t . L a u r e n t 162 M u n i c i p a l O f f i c e 1986 v o t e r s l i s t i n c l u d e s 1,192 n o n -r e s i d e n t e l i g i b l e v o t e r s . The combined permanent and s e a s o n a l p o p u l a t i o n e s t i m a t e v a r i e s f rom 1,119 y e a r round t o o v e r 3 ,000 i n the summer months" . A c c o r d i n g t o a l i f e - l o n g r e s i d e n t , t h e r e have been a l o t o f changes a t the beaches i n the l a s t t e n y e a r s . Once upon a t i m e , l o c a l p e o p l e had easy a c c e s s t o go and swim t h e r e , w h i c h i s s i m p l y no t the ca se t o d a y . A c c e s s t o the beaches i s v e r y d i f f i c u l t f o r t he l o c a l p e o p l e t o d a y . As an i n f o r m a n t t o l d me, "The beaches have become s t r i c t l y a p r i -v a t e a f f a i r . The re a re p r a c t i c a l l y no p u b l i c beaches anymore f o r the l o c a l p e o p l e who have no c o t t a g e s t h e r e . Where as a k i d , I used t o go and p l a y t h e r e , I canno t b r i n g my own g r a n d c h i l d r e n a t t h a t same p l a c e t o d a y . I t h i n k " , he c o n -t i n u e d , " i t i s m o s t l y c i t y p e o p l e who have p u r c h a s e d the l a n d t h e r e and some have d e v e l o p e d l o t s f o r s a l e and t h e y make a l o t money s e l l i n g them". A n o t h e r i n f o r m a n t p o i n t e d ou t t h a t the beach p e o p l e , n o n e t h e l e s s , pay a l l the t a x e s l i k e anyone e l s e i n the m u n i c i p a l i t y even though t h e y l i v e d t h e r e o n l y d u r i n g the summer months and on week-ends . "They pay the p r o p e r t y t a x , t he s c h o o l t a x and the a s s e s s m e n t . As p r i v a t e c o t t a g e - o w n e r s and t a x - p a y e r s t hey have t h e i r e l e c t e d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e on the m u n i c i p a l c o u n c i l and as members o f a ward i n the m u n i c i p a l i t y t h e y can w e l l do what seems b e s t f o r t h e m s e l v e s j u s t l i k e anybody e l s e " . A s e v e n t y - f i v e y e a r o l d s e n i o r c a n d i d l y pu t i t t h i s way: "The o l d g e n e r a t i o n b e f o r e me fough t t o ge t t h i n g s g o -163 i n g and t h e y were s u c c e s s f u l . Bu t t h e n , my g e n e r a t i o n s o r t o f l e t go and t h i n g s g o t bad here f o r a w h i l e . F o r many y e a r s , we d i d n o t have our own e l e c t e d r e e v e and c o u n c i l , t he g o v e r n m e n t - a p p o i n t e d a d m i n i s t r a t o r made a l l the d e c i s i o n s f o r u s . Now, the younger g e n e r a t i o n i s p i c k i n g t h i n g s up a g a i n and t h a t i s a v e r y good s i g n " . T h i s s e n i o r i s r e f e r r i n g t o " o l d g e n e r a t i o n ' as t he M e t i s p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t b e f o r e the t u r n o f the c e n t u r y up t o the l a t e t w e n t i e s : t h e y had l e a d e r s h i p a t t he m u n i c i p a l l e v e l and t h e y en joyed a p r o d u c t i v e economy h i g h l y i n t e g r a t e d t o the l a n d . M e a n w h i l e , the p e r i o d o f ' h i s g e n e r a t i o n ' i s the p e r i o d between the t h i r t i e s and s i x t i e s , the t ime when the p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t had no e l e c t e d p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s h i p . As was men t ioned i n the s e c t i o n on S o c i a l L i f e , t h e r e were many s o c i a l and economic p rob l ems d u r i n g t h a t p e r i o d . When he speaks o f the "younger g e n e r a t i o n ' , he i s r e f e r r i n g t o the p e o p l e o f the s e v e n t i e s and e i g h t i e s who a g a i n have been a b l e t o e x p r e s s t h e i r p o l i t i c a l w i l l and l e a d e r s h i p . I t a j l i i j g . b j 3 . „ ^ A n o t h e r form o f p o l i t i c a l i n v o l v e m e n t f o r the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t was t h r o u g h the M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e -r a t i o n . I n 1970, the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t formed a l o c a l o f t h e M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n . The p e o p l e used t h i s v e h i c l e t o e x p r e s s t h e i r s o c i o - e c o n o m i c needs and n e g o t i a t e w i t h v a r i o u s d e p a r t m e n t s o f t he government i n o r d e r t o e f f -e c t u a t e n e c e s s a r y changes f o r the b e t t e r m e n t o f the comrau-164 n i t y . I n S t . L a u r e n t , the M e t i s l o c a l was p a r t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f the C r e d i t U n i o n , o f the L o w - C o s t H o u s i n g P r o j e c t and v a r i o u s community e v e n t s s u c h as the " M e t i s d a y s ' and community p i c n i c s . As we can r e a d i l y o b s e r v e , i t s g o a l s a re no t o n l y " p o l i t i c a l ' bu t s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and economic as w e l l . The M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n I n c . i s t he p r o v i n c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r the M e t i s o f M a n i t o b a . I t was formed i n 1967 i n W i n n i p e g . Today , i t has seven r e g i o n s o p e r a t i n g i n M a n i t o b a w i t h a t o t a l o f 147 l o c a l s . I n t u r n , the M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n i s a member o f the M e t i s N a t i o n a l C o u n c i l (MNC) w h i c h i s the n a t i o n a l v o i c e o f C a n a d a ' s M e t i s p e o p l e . Founded i n 1983, The MNC i s an a l l i a n c e o f f i v e M e t i s a s s o c i a t i o n s from the h i s t o r i c a l Me-t i s homeland i n Wes te rn Canada . A c c o r d i n g t o i t s N e w s l e t t e r o f F a l l 1984, MNC has 14 l o c a l s i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 100 i n A l b e r t a , 129 i n S a s k a t c h e w a n , 147 i n M a n i t o b a and 26 i n O n t a r i o . F i n a l l y , t he MNC i s a member o f the W o r l d C o u n c i l o f I n d i g e n o u s P e o p l e s founded i n Canada i n 1975. T h i s o r g a -n i z a t i o n r e p r e s e n t s o v e r t w e n t y c o u n t r i e s i n the w o r l d w i t h i n d i g e n o u s p o p u l a t i o n s . I n d i g e n o u s here r e f e r s t o the d e s -c e n d a n t s o f the o r i g i n a l i n h a b i t a n t s o f a g i v e n c o u n t r y , who l i v e d t h e r e p r i o r t o the a r r i v a l o f the c o l o n i a l powers and have remained t h e r e bu t who have l i t t l e o r no v o i c e i n the n a t i o n a l government o f t he s t a t e o r s t a t e s i n w h i c h t h e y l i v e . Through the e x i s t i n g ne twork o f I n d i g e n o u s o r g a n i -165 z a t i o n s , many M e t i s p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t now f e e l a s o l i -d a r i t y w i t h o t h e r M e t i s p e o p l e s o f t h e i r r e g i o n and o f t h e i r p r o v i n c e , and t o a l e s s e r deg ree w i t h o t h e r M e t i s i n Canada and o t h e r i n d i g e n o u s g r o u p s a round the w o r l d . The m u n i c i p a l form o f government , i n t u r n , p r o v i d e s them w i t h the o p p o r t u n i t y t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n and t o c o n t r i b u t e t o the C a n a d i a n way o f l i f e . Thus , t he M e t i s a r e no l o n g e r p o l i -t i c a l l y i s o l a t e d as t h e y once were . M a i n l y because o f t h e i r own p o l i t i c a l w i l l and i n i t i a t i v e , t he M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t now p a r t i c i p a t e i n the p o l i t i c a l l i f e o f the m u n i c i p a l i t y and o f t h e i r p r o v i n c e . They a l s o have t h e i r own o r g a n i -z a t i o n s no t o n l y w i t h i n the t e r r i t o r i a l l i m i t s o f t h e i r v i l l a g e bu t i n t h e r e g i o n , the p r o v i n c e and t h e c o u n t r y . T h i s p o l i t i c a l i n v o l v e m e n t o f the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t l o c a l l y , r e g i o n a l l y and n a t i o n a l l y c o n f i r m s them as b e i n g b o t h C a n a d i a n and M e t i s . 166 The R u r a l M u n i c i p a l i t y o f S t . L a u r e n t was f i r s t i n c o r p o r a t e d on March 25 , 1881, The f i r s t M e e t i n g o f the C o u n c i l t o o k p l a c e on J a n u a r y 17, 1882. 1824-1881: 1861-1881: 1881-1929: 1929-1975: 1970 1972 1975 1977 1980 1983 1986 D e c e n t r a l i z e d and i n f o r m a l p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e . L e a d e r s h i p i n f l u e n c e d by m i s s i o n a r i e s . E l e c t e d Reeve and M u n i c i p a l C o u n c i l . One man runs e n t i r e M u n i c i p a l i t y , an A d m i n i s t r a t o r a p p o i n t e d by p r o v i n c i a l government , no c o u n c i l l o r s . F o r m a t i o n o f M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n l o c a l . F o r m a t i o n o f A d v i s o r y Boa rd t o Reeve . T h i s A d v i s o r y Boa rd was g r e a t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r f a c i l i t a t i n g the t r a n s f e r from gove rnmen t -a p p o i n t e d Reeve t o e l e c t e d Reeve and C o u n c i l l o r s . F i r s t e l e c t i o n o f new Reeve and s i x C o u n c i l l o r s i n f o r t y - s i x y e a r s . A d v i s o r y Boa rd cease t o f u n c t i o n . Second e l e c t i o n . T h i r d e l e c t i o n . F o u r t h e l e c t i o n . F i f t h e l e c t i o n . 167 Ishla-ISL A b r : M e t i s Power and I n f l u e n c e : M e / P o - I n . M e t i s P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n D e c i s i o n - m a k i n g : Hs/R.S>z.D..SrJia^.. iLg.ZEjQr.Ln M /^Ea,.-D.fi.d!ia yes ao. yes no. 1881-1929 : Reeve and C o u n c i l x x 1929-1975 : A d m i n i s t r a t o r x x 1970: M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n l o c a l x x 1972: A d v i s o r y B o a r d x x 1975: Reeve and C o u n c i l x x I n sum, t h i s s e c t i o n s e t out t o d e s c r i b e some o f the p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s h i p e x p e r i e n c e s o f the M e t i s p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t . We c o v e r e d the h i s t o r y o f l e a d e r s h i p i n the l i v e s o f the M e t i s t h e r e . From a d e c e n t r a l i z e d and i n f o r m a l p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e i n 1824 t o a m u n i c i p a l form o f government i n the 1 9 8 0 ' s , the p o l i t i c a l l i v e s o f the M e t i s p e o p l e has been a c o n t i n u o u s see -saw e x p e r i e n c e . As s t a t e d by an e l d e r , t h e i r g r o w t h y e a r s seemed t o have c o i n c i d e d w i t h the y e a r s when t h e y were i n c o n t r o l o f t h e i r l i v e s under an e l e c t e d Reeve and c o u n c i l f rom 1881 t o 1929 and a g a i n from 1975 onward . Then , f o r some f o r t y - s i x y e a r s , between the y e a r s o f 1929 t o 1975, under the 168 l e a d e r s h i p o f a g o v e r n m e n t - a p p o i n t e d a d m i n i s t r a t o r , t h e i r l i v e s seemed t o s u f f e r from economic and s o c i a l i n s t a b i l i t y as b o t h c h u r c h and s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t y p r o v e d t h e m s e l v e s u n a b l e t o bea r the r e s p o n s i b i l i t e s t h e y had a r r o g a t e d t o t h e m s e l v e s . M a r g i n a l i z a t i o n once more became the c o n t e x t o f t h e i r l i v e s . A c c o r d i n g t o H a v i l a n d ( 1 9 8 5 : 5 2 9 ) , p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n r e f e r s t o the means by w h i c h a s o c i e t y m a i n t a i n s o r d e r i n t e r n a l l y and manages i t s a f f a i r s w i t h o t h e r s o c i e t i e s e x t e r n a l l y . The m u n i c i p a l s t r u c t u r e a t S t . L a u r e n t has f o r c e d the M e t i s p e o p l e t o l o o k n o t o n l y a t t h e i r own i n t e r n a l i n t e r e s t s and o r g a n i z a t i o n s bu t a l s o a t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h s u r r o u n d i n g s v i l l a g e s and m u n i c i p a l i t i e s and t h e i r i n t e r e s t s . T h i s i s an i m p o r t a n t f a c e t o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n . I n the p r o c e s s , the M e t i s p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t a c q u i r e d v a l u a b l e p o l i t i c a l know-how, from the A d v i s o r y Boa rd e x p e r i e n c e t o the c a m p a i g n i n g as a c o u n c i l l o r t o w o r k i n g as a c l e r k a t a p o l l i n g s t a t i o n . A l s o , t h e y seemed t o have d e v e l o p e d a p o l i t i c a l m a t u r i t y i n v i e w o f the q u e s t i o n s t h e y a re now a s k i n g r e g a r d i n g t h e i r p o l i t i c a l s t a t e and f u t u r e . The complacency o f t he o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n has begun t o d i s a p p e a r , the younger p e o p l e a r e n o t a f r a i d t o ask q u e s t i o n on b u r n i n g i s s u e s s u c h as the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the M u n i c i p a l i t y . One c o u n c i l l o r s a i d : "There a r e a l o t o f smar t p e o p l e i n S t . L a u r e n t and we have a l o t o f r e s o u r c e s here and t h e r e i s a l o t t o do i n the communi ty . We g o t to g e t i n v o l v e d , ge t ou t o f t he house and ge t our f e e t w e t " . 169 T h i s chapter has covered the i s s u e s of s o c i a l l i f e , r e l i g i o n and p o l i t i c s . In the f i r s t s e c t i o n on s o c i a l l i f e , s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s i n which a sense of independence combined with or was complementary to a s p i r i t of community l i f e , emerged as one of the core values of Metis c u l t u r e . The l e a d e r s h i p s expressed both i n r e l i g i o n and p o l i t i c s have undergone c o n s i d e r a b l e changes i n the l a s t few years. For many years, the p r i e s t s and the nuns were the only l e a d e r s i n the l i v e s of the Metis at St.Laurent. With the advent of s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , Church l e a d e r s no longer enforce a r e l i g i o u s regime of the people, as t h i s i s impossible i n a s e c u l a r i z e d world. Nonetheless, r e l i g i o n c ontinues to p l a y a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n the l i v e s of the Metis. Thus, due to new mechanisms, the Metis today have gained some c o n t r o l and i n f l u e n c e both i n the r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l spheres of t h e i r l i v e s . The experience of the Metis people i n the m u n i c i p a l form of government has given them the o p p o r t u n i t y to r e g a i n some c o n t r o l of t h e i r l i v e s though not as s a t i s f a c t o r i l y as some wished. F i n a l l y , the l o c a l Metis o r g a n i z a t i o n provided them with another mechanism to formulate t h e i r s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l needs and a s p i r a t i o n s and develop a new p r i d e i n t h e i r c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e and t r a d i t i o n s and e s t a b l i s h a s o l i d a r i t y with other Metis from other p a r t s of the pr o v i n c e and of the country. 170 C_h.ap..t.eji......8. M..e...tis.n..e.s..s.. In the previous chapter, we looked at some aspects of leadership in the Metis community at S t .Laurent . We saw how the people par t i c ipa ted in the decision-making process that affected t h e i r l i v e s . This chapter w i l l deal with Metisness. We w i l l attempt to demonstrate that Metis people at St .Laurent see the Michi f French language as a symbol of t h e i r group i d e n t i t y . After reviewing some aspects of the l i n g u i s t i c h i s tory of the Metis at St .Laurent , we w i l l look at some community r e c o l l e c t i o n s of i n i t i a l language contact as well as some experiences by the l o c a l people of l i n g u i s t i c accu l turat ion outside of S t .Laurent . While I par t i c ipa ted in and observed some of the community events such as soc ia l s and church serv ices , i t i s the interviewees in the f i e l d who provided most of the data for th i s chapter. The data comes from the interview trans-c r i p t s . IJie_J!i£ki^ This sect ion w i l l deal with the Michi f French language: i t s o r i g i n and h i s t o r i c a l development, the issue of l i n g u i -s t i c a s s i m i l a t i o n , and language as a d i sp lay of Metisness. 171 We w i l l a l s o examine the l a t e n t and m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n s o f a l a n g u a g e . A c c o r d i n g t o S p r a d l e y ( 1 9 7 5 : 3 9 ) , the f u n c t i o n o f any c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e r e f e r s t o the consequences i t has f o r t he members o f the s o c i e t y . When the members o f a s o c i e t y r e c o g n i z e a p a r t i c u l a r f u n c t i o n , we r e f e r t o i t as a m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n . When the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t , as an o u t s i d e o b s e r v e r , i d e n t i f i e s t h e s e consequences , we r e f e r t o them as l a t e n t f u n c t i o n s . I n J u n e , 1985, t h e f i r s t M i c h i f l anguages c o n f e r e n c e was h e l d i n W i n n i p e g , M a n i t o b a . I n the i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the f i n a l r e p o r t , one r e a d s : "The name "MICHIF' attempts to e l i c i t the pronunciation of the word "Metis', as i t has been t r a d i t i o n a l l y used in wide ranging areas of the Metis homeland. I t also represents the s p e l l i n g adopted by at least one researcher, Dr. John Crawford, of the University of North Dakota, to describe the language of some Michif people. The languages of the Metis people have received l i t t l e attention by scholarly researchers. Although some of the aboriginal languages which are, in fa c t , spoken by some Metis such as Cree and Saulteaux, have indeed been the subject of extensive scholarly analysis, l i t t l e , i f any research has focused s p e c i f i c a l l y on these as well as other languages which r e f l e c t and carry the p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l stamp of the Metis. The Metis moulded the aboriginal and s e t t l e r languages into coherent patterns which r e f l e c t e d t h e i r own c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l circumstances. Over the generations, grammatical structure, accent and idiom trans-formed into p e c u l i a r l y Metis usages. And what was p e c u l i a r l y Metis varied, of course, from place to place and from group to group, r e f l e c t i n g as i t did the unique l i n g u i s t i c , c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l antecedents of each group". ( M i c h i f Languages C o n f e r e n c e : 1985: 1 ) . 172 The M i c h i f Language C o n f e r e n c e i d e n t i f i e d f o u r main M i c h i f - r e l a t e d l a n g u a g e s : M i c h i f C r e e , M i c h i f F r e n c h , O j i b w a y and Swampy C r e e . M i c h i f F r e n c h i s t he l anguage o f the M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t , the f o c u s o f t h i s r e s e a r c h . The M i c h i f F r e n c h language i s a d i a l e c t o f F r e n c h . As a d i a l e c t , i t i s a n o n - s t a n d a r d form o f the F r e n c h l a n g u a g e . As the mother tongue o f the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t , i t i s a v a l i d form o f l anguage and no t a mi suse o f t he s t a n d a r d f o r m . The d i f f e r e n c e between the two l i e s m o s t l y i n phono-l o g y ( sound sys t em) w i t h some s y n t a c t i c ( s e n t e n c e s t r u c t u r e ) ad jus tmen t and s e m a n t i c d i s t i n c t i o n s (meanings w h i c h i n c l u d e u n d e r s t a n d i n g s p e c u l i a r t o M i c h i f - F r e n c h s p e a k i n g p e o p l e ) . M i c h i f F r e n c h i s n o t an e x c e p t i o n a l l anguage no r i s i t u n i q u e . S i m i l a r F r e n c h d i a l e c t s e x i s t t o d a y , s u c h as the many F r e n c h C r e o l e s , i n c l u d i n g C a j u n , the p r o v i n c i a l usages i n F r a n c e and C a n a d i a n F r e n c h i t s e l f . However , i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o d e t e r m i n e the e x a c t o r i g i n o f M i c h i f F r e n c h i n t i m e and p l a c e . One can assume i t o r i g i -n a t e d a t Red R i v e r i n the 1 8 0 0 ' s due t o the i n f l u e n c e o f t he F r e n c h m i s s i o n a r i e s . Bu t t h e n , i t may w e l l have been spoken a l o n g the S t . L a w r e n c e R i v e r and a round the G r e a t L a k e s as e a r l y as i n the 1 7 0 0 ' s . F u r t h e r s c i e n t i f i c s t u d y i s g r e a t l y needed i n t h i s a r e a . S c h o l a r s can no l o n g e r s a t i s f y them-s e l v e s by s a y i n g t h a t M i c h i f F r e n c h i s the p r o d u c t o f l anguage c o n t a c t between t h e N a t i v e I n d i a n s and the e a r l y F r e n c h - s p e a k i n g s e t t l e r s . Such l i n g u i s t i c s t u d i e s wou ld be b e n e f i c i a l n o t o n l y t o the d i s c i p l i n e bu t wou ld c o n t r i b u t e 173 immensely t o our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t he o r i g i n and deve lopmen t o f M e t i s l a n g u a g e s , c u l t u r e s , h i s t o r y and w o r l d - v i e w . As f a r as i s p o s s i b l e t o a s c e r t a i n , t he s k e t c h ( b e l o w ) i s an a t t empt t o i l l u s t r a t e the l i n g u i s t i c h i s t o r y o f the M e t i s p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t : An e r a o f t he N a t i v e language m o n o l i n g u a l i s m , o f n a t i v e I n d i a n l anguages o n l y . The C r e e and A s s i n i b o i n e p o p u l a t e d the I n t e r l a k e Reg ion a t the t i m e . 2 . Qixsi&JL828LL The b e g i n n i n g o f a b i l i n g u a l e r a w i t h the a r r i v a l o f M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t . We do no t have any e v i d e n c e t h a t o t h e r p e o p l e l i v e d t h e r e p e r m a n e n t l y p r i o r t o the a r r i v a l o f the M e t i s . D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , M e t i s p e o p l e speak a N a t i v e I n d i a n l anguage and the M i c h i f F r e n c h . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , I c o u l d no t f i n d any c o n v i n c i n g e v i d e n c e as to the o r i g i n o f M i c h i f F r e n c h , bu t as s t a t e d above , i t p r e s u m a b l y s t a r t e d e l s e w h e r e and was b r o u g h t to S t . L a u r e n t . I t appea r s t h a t the M e t i s p e o p l e who a r r i v e d a t S t . L a u r e n t i n the 1 8 2 0 ' s a l r e a d y spoke M i c h i f F r e n c h and p r e s u m a b l y l e a r n e d i t a t Red R i v e r . 3. IQASLLsLziaSSLj^ G r a d u a l demise o f C r e e and S a u l t e a u x , the N a t i v e I n d i a n l anguages a t S t . L a u r e n t . 4 . laSBLLsn. 174 M e t i s p e o p l e no l o n g e r speak N a t i v e I n d i a n l a n g u a g e s . B e g i n n i n g o f M o n o l i n g u a l i s m f o r M e t i s p e o p l e : M e t i s p e o p l e speak M i c h i f F r e n c h o n l y . 5. lM0_.'^-185J2Ll.sJ... A t t e m p t s a t l i n g u i s t i c a s s i m i l a t i o n , accompanied by d i s c o u r a g e m e n t o f s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h and an emphas is on l e a r n i n g C a n a d i a n F r e n c h . 6 . lafigLls -iaZ£L&L New c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f M e t i s n e s s , r e i n f o r c e m e n t o f s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h a t S t . L a u r e n t . 7. 13M1SLL C o n t i n u a t i o n o f M i c h i f F r e n c h M o n o l i n g u a l i s m . We a r e r e f e r r i n g i n t h i s s e c t i o n to N a t i v e l anguages and d i a l e c t u s e . Most M e t i s a re a c t u a l l y now b i l i n g u a l s p e a k e r s o f M i c h i f F r e n c h and E n g l i s h . M,eti_^ilQn^jy;M,^ None o f the e l d e r s knew where the M i c h i f F r e n c h l anguage came f r o m . When I asked an e i g h t y - s i x y e a r o l d e l d e r as t o i t s o r i g i n , he s i m p l y a d m i t t e d he d i d no t know: "We spoke i t a t home w i t h my p a r e n t s . My g r a n d p a r e n t s d i d n o t speak i t , t h e y spoke Cree and S a u l t e a u x " . O t h e r e l d e r s , however , d i d have some i d e a s as t o i t s o r i g i n . The m a j o r i t y o f the p e o p l e ag reed t h a t i t i s p r o b a b l y the r e s u l t o f the e a r l y c o n t a c t between the I n d i a n s and the w h i t e p e o p l e . As one i n f o r m a n t p u t s i t : 175 "I have a theory about the o r i g i n of our language that we speak and i t goes t h i s way: " I t i s , say, in the year 1800 at Red River, t h i s French fur trader who works for the Northwest Company meets t h i s b e a u t i f u l Indian woman. They get together and nine months l a t e r , I am born. My French father has to leave the household to hunt and trap the furs for the Company, sometimes he i s gone for two or three months at a time. In the meantime, I am at home alone with my mother who does not understand a word of French but who continually speaks to me in her mother tongue, either Saulteaux or Cree. I grow up learning my mother's language. When my father comes home from the hunt, he speaks to me in his language which i s French, he does not know either Saulteaux or Cree. So, I grow up learning both an Indian language, and the French language, and as I interact and play and speak with other children who were in the same s i t u a t i o n as I was, we develop t h i s new language c a l l e d Michif French". One i n t e r e s t i n g a s p e c t o f t h i s e l d e r ' s t h e o r y i s t h a t he sees M i c h i f F r e n c h as a s e p a r a t e l a n g u a g e . I n the e a r l y s t a g e s , M e t i s p e o p l e saw i t as t h e i r own language and , i n an e m b r y o n i c way, f o c u s e d on i t as t h e i r own and r e l a t e d t o t h e m s e l v e s as an e t h n i c g r o u p . BJJL lngu a J^ i s j a A c c o r d i n g t o an i n f o r m a n t , most e l d e r s i n S t . L a u r e n t w i t h i n memory o f the i n t e r v i e w e e spoke b o t h an I n d i a n language ( u s u a l l y S a u l t e a u x ) and M i c h i f F r e n c h . Today , o n l y a h a n d f u l o f e l d e r s speak an I n d i a n l a n g u a g e , bu t a l l M e t i s p e o p l e s t i l l speak the M i c h i f F r e n c h l anguage a t home and among t h e m s e l v e s . Many e l d e r s r e c a l l s p e a k i n g o n l y the S a u l t e a u x o r Cree l anguage as t h e y grew up a t home i n the e a r l y 1 9 0 0 ' s . They 176 knew n e i t h e r F r e n c h no r E n g l i s h as t h e y l e a r n e d t h o s e l a n -guages o n l y when t h e y s t a r t e d t o a t t e n d s c h o o l . They a d -m i t t e d s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h i n the home as a d u l t s , r a i s i n g t h e i r own c h i l d r e n w i t h M i c h i f F r e n c h as mother tongue and s p e a k i n g S a u l t e a u x o n l y when t h e y d i d n o t want the c h i l d r e n t o u n d e r s t a n d what t h e y were t a l k i n g abou t ! Thus a t S t . L a u r e n t , a g e n e r a t i o n o f M e t i s who knew o n l y M i c h i f F r e n c h s t a r t e d m a r r y i n g and h a v i n g t h e i r own f a m i l i e s o f m o n o l i n g u a l M i c h i f F r e n c h c h i l d r e n . "The s p e a k i n g i n the I n d i a n l anguage s t o p p e d a t my p a r e n t ' s g e n e r a t i o n " added a fo rmer t r a p p e r , " I do n o t speak i t , my c o u s i n s who a re my age do no t speak i t and my c h i l d -r e n c e r t a i n l y have no t l e a r n e d i t from me, s i m p l y because my p a r e n t s neve r t a u g h t i t t o me". F o r M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t , s p e a k i n g an I n d i a n language i s q u i c k l y becoming a t h i n g o f the p a s t . Some e l d e r s a t t r i b u t e the d i s a p p e a r a n c e o f the S a u l t e a u x language among t h e M e t i s t o the p r e s e n c e o f t he p r i e s t s and nuns a t S t . L a u r e n t and t o the a r r i v a l o f the B r e t o n f a m i l i e s from B r i t t a n y , F r a n c e , i n o r a round 1907. They i n t r o d u c e d the C a n a d i a n F r e n c h language i n the community w h i c h i n a s h o r t t i m e became the s t a t u s o r p r e s t i g e l a n g u a g e . T h u s , the m i s s i o n a r i e s and the B r e t o n s were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g an h i e r a r c h y o f l a n g u a g e s : C a n a d i a n F r e n c h , M i c h i f F r e n c h and S a u l t e a u x . 177 To t h e m i s s i o n a r i e s and the B r e t o n s , t he C a n a d i a n F r e n c h language was c o n s i d e r e d a s u p e r i o r l a n g u a g e . To speak " p r o p e r ' C a n a d i a n F r e n c h was t o be s u p e r i o r t o t h o s e who d i d no t speak i t . I n t h e i r e y e s , M i c h i f F r e n c h , as a l a n g u a g e , d i d no t have a s t a t u s i n i t s own r i g h t . As a n o n - s t a n d a r d form o f the l a n g u a g e , i t was c o n s i d e r e d a b a s t a r d i z e d l a n g u a g e , a c o r r u p t i o n o f " p r o p e r ' l anguage u s a g e , and e v i d e n c e o f i n c a p a c i t y t o l e a r n on the p a r t o f t he s p e a k e r . T e a c h e r s a p p a r e n t l y t a r g e t e d M i c h i f F r e n c h i m m e d i a t e l y as an impediment t o a s s i m i l a t i o n . And the M e t i s p e o p l e q u i c k l y became c o n s c i o u s t h a t t h e i r l a n g u a g e , M i c h i f F r e n c h , was b e i n g p o r t r a y e d t o them as an i n f e r i o r l a n g u a g e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e r e was a s o c i a l s t i g m a a t t a c h e d t o b e i n g M e t i s and t o s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h e s p e c i a l l y i n i n t e r - e t h n i c c i r c l e s and i n t e r a c t i o n s . T h u s , f o r some M e t i s p e o p l e , b e i n g M e t i s and s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h became a s o u r c e o f i n f e r i o r i z a t i o n and shame. As a r e s u l t , the i n f l u e n c e o f the m i s s i o n a r i e s and the B r e t o n s i n t r y i n g t o e s t a b l i s h C a n a d i a n F r e n c h as the f i r s t l anguage i n the community had a n e g a t i v e impac t on the M e t i s p e o p l e . The p o i n t o f t h i s s e c t i o n i s t o a rgue t h a t M i c h i f F r e n c h i s n o t an i n f e r i o r form o f l anguage o r an imprope r way o f s p e a k i n g F r e n c h . However the M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t were made t o f e e l t h a t i t was . B i a s e d nuns and B r e t o n s encouraged them t o s w i t c h t o s t a n d a r d C a n a d i a n F r e n c h u s a g e . D e s p i t e t h i s p r e s s u r e , t he M e t i s p e r s i s t e d i n s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h b e c a u s e , I c l a i m , i t had become a s s o c i a t e d w i t h b e i n g M e t i s -178 — i t was a new p a r t o f t h e i r i d e n t i t y . One i s M e t i s i f one speaks M i c h i f and vice-versa. Over the y e a r s M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t were l e d by t e a c h e r s and o u t s i d e r s t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e y d i d no t speak good o r p r o p e r F r e n c h when t h e y spoke M i c h i f F r e n c h . These a r e s t r o n g group memories r e i n f o r c e d by o f t e n - r e t o l d s t o r i e s o f t he b i a s t h e y were s u b j e c t t o and i t s e f f e c t . A r e s p o n -den t s a i d a nun t o l d her t h a t t he M i c h i f F r e n c h l anguage t h a t M e t i s p e o p l e spoke i n S t . L a u r e n t was an " i n c o r r e c t l a n g u a g e " . " A t s c h o o l " , a n o t h e r r e s p o n d e n t c o n t i n u e s , "we were supposed t o speak the " r e a l ' F r e n c h , l e v r a i F r a n c a i s , t h a t i s F r e n c h as t h e y spoke i t . As a r e s u l t , t h e y n e v e r encouraged us t o speak our own language o f M i c h i f F r e n c h . I f we d i d no t speak i t w e l l , we were t o l d t o r e p e a t i t i n " p r o p e r ' F r e n c h . M i c h i f F r e n c h was no t c o n s i d e r e d c o r r e c t s p e a k i n g . And f o r a l l the y e a r s t h a t the nuns and p r i e s t s have been a t S t . L a u r e n t , I do no t know o f one s i n g l e p r i e s t o r nun who l e a r n e d our language t o c o n v e r s e f l u e n t l y w i t h us i n our own M i c h i f F r e n c h l a n g u a g e ; on the c o n t r a r y , t h e y gave us the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t i f t h e y were t o l e a r n t o speak M i c h i f F r e n c h l i k e u s , i t was as though t h e y were d e g r a d i n g t h e m s e l v e s o r s o m e t h i n g ! Tha t o n l y r e i n f o r c e d the f e e l i n g o f i n f e r i o r i t y we a l r e a d y had r e g a r d i n g our l a n g u a g e " . The e f -f e c t o f t h i s b i a s was t o c r e a t e a g e n e r a l i z e d g roup s e n s i t i -v i t y t o u s i n g M i c h i f i n i n t e r e t h n i c g r o u p s . A fo rmer h i g h s c h o o l p u p i l s a i d : " I have n o t h i n g p e r s o n a l l y a g a i n s t the nuns , I t h i n k t h e y were good t e a c h e r s 179 h e r e . B u t , one t h i n g I do n o t u n d e r s t a n d i s why some o f them had t o t e l l us t h a t we d i d n o t speak "good" F r e n c h . Today , I am o f t e n shy t o speak M i c h i f i n p u b l i c e s p e c i a l l y i n f r o n t o f F r e n c h C a n a d i a n s . I become v e r y s e l f - c o n s c i o u s and f e e l somewhat i n f e r i o r " . The r e s u l t s o f t h i s s e n s i t i v i t y appear t o be d i s c o m f o r t i n s p e a k i n g w i t h n o n - M i c h i f p e o p l e . The s p e a k e r c o n t i n u e s : "Some even t r y t o h i d e t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y speak M i c h i f by making an e x t r a o r d i n a r y e f f o r t t o p ronounce the words i n ' g o o d ' F r e n c h , bon f r a n c a i s as some p e o p l e s a y , bu t most o f the t ime t h e i r a c c e n t b e t r a y s them". "To t e l l you the t r u t h " , added a fo rmer s t u d e n t f rom S imone t s c h o o l , " the nuns made us f e e l i n f e r i o r whenever we spoke M i c h i f a t s c h o o l . I t came t o the p o i n t where I a sked m y s e l f i f the words we were u s i n g were r e a l words o r i f we had made them u p . I am even t oo ashamed r e c e n t l y t o be i n t e r v i e w e d on F r e n c h t e l e v i s i o n r e g a r d i n g community a f f a i r s h e r e , because I was t o l d I do n o t speak good enough F r e n c h , so why s h o u l d I go on p u b l i c TV then and be r i d i c u l e d by t h o s e who s u p p o s e d l y speak F r e n c h b e t t e r t han me? I remember a few y e a r s ago , t h a t the d i r e c t o r a t the S t . B o n i f a c e Museum t o l d me t o keep and c o n t i n u e t o speak my M i c h i f F r e n c h l anguage and no t t o t r y to speak F r e n c h C a n a d i a n . There a r e , a f t e r a l l , no good o r bad l a n g u a g e s , he s a i d . There a r e no s u p e r i o r o r i n f e r i o r l anguages and t h a t r e a l l y s u r p r i s e d me, I had n e v e r hea rd t h a t b e f o r e ! " So , the M i c h i f F r e n c h language had been p o r t r a y e d to the M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t as a d e f i c i e n t l a n g u a g e . P e o p l e were 180 u n c o m f o r t a b l e u s i n g i t o u t s i d e t h e i r own g r o u p . But p e o p l e remember t h a t o t h e r p r e s s u r e s t o a s s i m i l a t e l i n g u i s t i c a l l y were a p p l i e d as w e l l . In my g e n e r a t i o n , some fo rmer s t u d e n t s r e c a l l a t t e m p t s t h a t were made i n S t . L a u r e n t t o change our way o f s p e a k i n g . Most o f t h e p r i e s t s and nuns came from Quebec . T h u s , t hey sough t t o change us from s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h t o t h e i r s t y l e o f s p e a k i n g F r e n c h C a n a d i a n as t h e y spoke i t i n Quebec . They s t a r t e d e n c o u r a g i n g t h i s a s s i m i l a t i o n by u s i n g TJ ie _ T j Q M a _ . . £ . y a t j ! f f l i n t he e a r l y 1 9 5 0 ' s . T h i s t o k e n sys t em worked as f o l l o w s . A t the b e g i n n i n g o f each week, the nuns gave each s t u d e n t a t s c h o o l t en t o k e n s , made o f t h i n c a r d b o a r d about t he s i z e o f a d i m e . E a c h t ime you spoke M i c h i f , t h i s wou ld e n t i t l e a n o t h e r s t u d e n t t o s t r e t c h ou t h i s hand and demand a t o k e n from y o u . The s t u d e n t w i t h the most t o k e n s a t t he end o f each week would be r ewarded w i t h a p r i z e , u s u a l l y a h o l y p i c t u r e p e r s o n a l l y d e c o r a t e d by an e l d e r l y nun who had r e t i r e d i n the c o n v e n t . Some s t u d e n t s t r i e d t h e i r v e r y b e s t i n l e a r n i n g the F r e n c h C a n a d i a n language and some s u c c e e d e d . The m a j o r i t y , however , had t o g i v e away a l l t h e i r t o k e n s a f t e r two o r t h r e e d a y s . Some o f them l o s t them a l l on the f i r s t day! I t seems the sys t em d i d n o t work . I n f o r m a n t s r e l a t e t h a t t h i s was because the m a j o r i t y o f the M e t i s s t u d e n t s d i d no t see any appa ren t r e a s o n why t h e y s h o u l d l e a r n t o speak C a n a d i a n F r e n c h . 181 T . h f i . J B x e i Q . n . s M e t i s p e o p l e remember t h a t f u r t h e r a t t e m p t s t o have M i c h i f - s p e a k i n g p e o p l e l e a r n C a n a d i a n F r e n c h were c o n d u c t e d by some B r e t o n f a m i l i e s i n the 1 9 3 0 ' s . The f i r s t f a m i l i e s a r r i v e d a round 1907, t o c u l t i v a t e the l a n d and t o f i s h on Lake M a n i t o b a . A c c o r d i n g t o an i n f o r m a n t , some B r e t o n f a m i l i e s were a b s o l u t e l y shocked when t h e y o v e r h e a r d how the l o c a l p e o p l e spoke M i c h i f F r e n c h . Encouraged by t h e p r i e s t s and the nuns , t he B r e t o n p e o p l e p r o m p t l y o r g a n i z e d m e e t i n g s t o d e v i s e ways and means t o t e a c h M i c h i f p e o p l e how t o speak " p r o p e r " F r e n c h . The B r e t o n s , added the i n f o r m a n t , ended up a t t e n d i n g the m e e t i n g by t h e m s e l v e s as none o f t he l o c a l M e t i s p e o p l e showed up . I n S t . L a u r e n t , M i c h i f p e o p l e remem-b e r w i t h i r o n y t h a t t he p r o j e c t seems t o have b a c k f i r e d as some c h i l d r e n and g r a n d - c h i l d r e n o f t h e s e same B r e t o n f a m i l i e s have , o v e r the y e a r s , a c c u l t u r a t e d l i n g u i s t i c a l l y and now speak the M i c h i f l anguage as f l u e n t l y as the M e t i s . !Lhe_iLejLM Some i n f o r m a n t s a l s o s a i d t h a t the o p e n i n g o f t he h i g h s c h o o l i n 1939 was y e t a n o t h e r f a c t o r i n p r o m o t i n g the s p e a k i n g o f t he " p r o p e r " F r e n c h l a n g u a g e . I t s f o u n d e r , F a t h e r J e a n - B a p t i s t e Methe , OMI, was an a v i d b e l i e v e r o f b i l i n g u a l i s m , C a n a d i a n F r e n c h and E n g l i s h f o r i t s g r a d u a t e s . F a t h e r Methe l e f t h i s mark on a l l p e o p l e o f S t . L a u r e n t as an a r d e n t e d u c a t o r . He r e l e n t l e s s l y encouraged young p e o p l e t o pu r sue h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n w h i c h i n c l u d e d l e a r n i n g b o t h 182 C a n a d i a n F r e n c h and E n g l i s h as a means t o g e t t i n g a b e t t e r j o b and p o s i t i o n i n l i f e . F o r some M e t i s s t u d e n t s t h e n , h a v i n g a h i g h s c h o o l e d u c a t i o n was equa ted w i t h g i v i n g up t h e i r M i c h i f l a n g u a g e , and many were j u s t no t w i l l i n g t o do t h a t . Among the M e t i s s t u d e n t s who a t t e n d e d h i g h s c h o o l i n S t . L a u r e n t , o n l y a few speak the C a n a d i a n F r e n c h l a n g u a g e . Most o f them have r e t a i n e d and s t i l l speak t h e i r M i c h i f l a n g u a g e . T h u s , M e t i s s t u d e n t s who o b t a i n e d a h i g h s c h o o l e d u c a t i o n a t S t . L a u r e n t d i d n o t , i n the p r o c e s s , g i v e up t h e i r l a n g u a g e . They p r e f e r r e d t h e i r own l a n g u a g e , as a symbol o f t h e i r i d e n t i t y , t o a h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . L . .mg i J . i&k ;^ S t . L a u r e n t s c h o o l was no t the o n l y p l a c e where M i c h i f -s p e a k i n g s t u d e n t s e n c o u n t e r e d l i n g u i s t i c p r o b l e m s . S t . L a u r e n t M e t i s p e o p l e have a l s o been embarassed by r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e i r d e f e c t i v e F r e n c h usage o u t s i d e S t . L a u r e n t . From the end o f W o r l d War I I u n t i l 1960, M i c h i f -s p e a k i n g s t u d e n t s were encouraged by the p r i e s t s and nuns t o a t t e n d F r e n c h - s p e a k i n g c o l l e g e s , j u n i o r a t e s and conven t i n s t i t u t i o n s i n d i f f e r e n t towns and c i t i e s a c r o s s the p r a i r i e p r o v i n c e s , a t S t . B o n i f a c e f o r example o r S t e . A g a t h e , S t . C h a r l e s , O t t e r b u r n e i n M a n i t o b a , and G r a v e l b o u r g i n S a s k a t c h e w a n . A few s t u d e n t s d i d w e l l a t t h e s e i n s t i t u t i o n s and g r a d u a t e d t h e r e . But the m a j o r i t y a r e r e p o r t e d t o have e n c o u n t e r e d d i f f i c u l t i e s i n b e i n g a c c e p t e d , p r i m a r i l y , t hey 183 f e l t , because t h e y spoke M i c h i f F r e n c h . So , a f t e r a y e a r o r two , t h e y abandoned t h e i r s t u d i e s and came back home. A few s t a y e d o n l y a few weeks o r months . One s a i d : " I was o f t e n r i d i c u l e d f o r s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h . A t f i r s t I t hough t t h e y were j o k i n g , bu t t hen I r e a l i z e d t h e y were r e a l l y mak ing fun o f my s p e a k i n g M i c h i f and t h a t h u r t me". A n o t h e r r e l a t e d f e e l i n g s o c i a l l y i s o l a t e d from the r e s t o f t he s t u d e n t body f o r s p e a k i n g M i c h i f F r e n c h and the s t a f f d i d n o t pay any a t t e n t i o n . "As a r e s u l t , I q u i c k l y ' d e v e l o p e d an odd f e e l i n g t h a t t h e r e was s o m e t h i n g wrong w i t h me. I t h o u g h t t h i n g s wou ld improve a f t e r w a r d s but t h e y d i d n o t . So , I d i d no t go b a c k " . A n o t h e r r e s p o n d e n t s a i d she was l aughed a t i n f r o n t o f t he o t h e r s f o r n o t u n d e r s t a n d i n g and p r o n o u n c i n g F r e n c h words i n the " p r o p e r w a y ' . What i s o f i n t e r e s t he re i s t h a t t h e s e M e t i s s t u d e n t s f e l t t h a t t h e y became o b j e c t s o f p r e j u d i c e and r i d i c u l e w h i c h , t h e y r e c a l l , was d i r e c t e d a t them because t h e y spoke M i c h i f F r e n c h . T h u s , t h e i r e n t i r e i d e n t i t y seems t o have been f o c a l l y r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e i r l a n g u a g e . P e o p l e r e a c t e d t o them no t because o f r a c e , a c t i o n s , d r e s s , o r appearance bu t because o f t h e i r l a n g u a g e . I t i s no t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t t h i s l a n g u a g e , M i c h i f F r e n c h has become so i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h t h e i r image o f t h e m s e l v e s , w i t h t h e i r i d e n t i t y . 184 CjMiue..^ What i s i m p o r t a n t i n t h i s s e c t i o n on language i s n o t t h a t the M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t came t o see M i c h i f F r e n c h as an i n f e r i o r l anguage o r as an imprope r way o f s p e a k i n g C a n a d i a n F r e n c h . The i m p o r t a n t p o i n t here i s t h a t M i c h i f F r e n c h has p e r s i s t e d and come t o be r e c o g n i z e d by the M e t i s as a symbol o f t h e i r M e t i s i d e n t i t y . The M i c h i f l anguage i s i n t i m a t e l y i n t e r w o v e n w i t h e t h n i c i t y and i d e n t i t y . I n summary, the e v i d e n c e i s as f o l l o w s : 1. P e r s i s t e n c e d e s p i t e r e s i s t a n c e . The M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t p e r s i s t e d i n s p e a k i n g t h e i r M i c h i f F r e n c h l a n -guage d e s p i t e b e i n g a c t i v e l y d i s c o u r a g e d from s p e a k i n g i t by m i s s i o n a r i e s and by the B r e t o n s . T h e i r p e r s i s t e n c e i n s p e a k i n g M i c h i f d e s p i t e p r e s s u r e t o a s s i m i l a t e l i n g u i s t i -c a l l y appears t o have been p u r p o s e f u l , as a way o f a r t i c u -l a t i n g t h e i r i d e n t i t y . I a rgue t h a t , i m p l i c i t l y o r more s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y , t h e y r e f u s e d t o a s s i m i l a t e t o C a n a d i a n F r e n c h i n o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n M i c h i f F r e n c h as a symbol o f t h e i r g roup i d e n t i t y and s o l i d a r i t y . Today , t he M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t c o n t i n u e t o speak M i c h i f F r e n c h . As a r e s p o n d e n t o b s e r v e d , "Most M e t i s p e o p l e t o d a y , young and o l d , c o n t i n u e t o speak M i c h i f F r e n c h a t home, i t i s n o t a l anguage t h a t i s d i s a p p e a r i n g " . From what I g a t h e r e d from the i n f o r m a n t s , t he l anguage among M e t i s p e o p l e r ema ins M i c h i f F r e n c h i n the work p l a c e bu t s w i t c h e s : t o E n g l i s h i f t h e y work i n the c i t y . M e t i s 185 p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t r e a l i z e t h a t o u t s i d e r s f e e l t h e i r l anguage i s d e f i c i e n t and t h u s , w h i l e t h e y use i t as a symbol o f M e t i s n e s s w i t h i n M e t i s s e t t i n g s , t h e y a v o i d i t i f p o s s i b l e i n mixed i n t e r e t h n i c g r o u p s . As one i n f o r m a n t r e l a t e d : " I t h i n k i t i s OK t o l e a r n a n o t h e r l a n g u a g e , even C a n a d i a n F r e n c h , bu t n o t because we a re ashamed o r f e e l t h a t our l a n g u a g e , M i c h i f F r e n c h , i s i n f e r i o r " . 2 . M e t i s s t u d e n t s who r e t u r n home a f t e r h a v i n g l e a r n e d some C a n a d i a n F r e n c h i n a c o l l e g e o r i n a conven t e l s e w h e r e s t a r t t o speak M i c h i f F r e n c h a g a i n upon r e t u r n i n g . An i n f o r -mant coun ted as many as twen ty M i c h i f - s p e a k i n g s t u d e n t s who a t t e n d e d s u c h i n s t i t u t i o n s d u r i n g the p e r i o d between 1945 and 1960. O n l y a h a n d f u l have g r a d u a t e d . Out o f t h e s e , t he m a j o r i t y have r e t a i n e d the M i c h i f F r e n c h l a n g u a g e . The above d a t a c o n f i r m s t h a t the M i c h i f l anguage i s r e c o g n i z e d as a v a l u e - l a d e n symbol o f M e t i s i d e n t i t y a t S t . L a u r e n t . A l a t e n t f u n c t i o n o f M i c h i f migh t be p r o p o s e d , t h a t i t i s the c a r r i e r o f M e t i s c u l t u r e and the p r i n c i p a l v e h i c l e o f a r t i c u l a t i n g t h a t c u l t u r e . But the m a n i f e s t f u n c t i o n of M i c h i f a c c o r d i n g t o the i n f o r m a n t s and t h e i r c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t he s o c i a l r o l e o f M i c h i f , i s t h a t i t c e r t a i n l y i s the most f o c a l symbol o f M e t i s i d e n t i t y . I n s p i t e o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n , o f the i n f l u e n c e o f the e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t and o f the c a s h economy, the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t c o n t i n u e t o r e t a i n and speak M i c h i f F r e n c h . A l t h o u g h s t i g m a t i z e d and i n s p i t e o f t he h i g h e m o t i o n a l p r i c e many have had t o pay i n s p e a k i n g 186 t h e i r l a n g u a g e , M i c h i f F r e n c h r ema ins f o r many M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t a s o u r c e o f p r i d e i n t h e i r c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e and h i s t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s , a symbol o f g roup i d e n t i t y and s o l i d a r i t y . 187 Clh.ap.tg.r_Z SjujLra.a_r^^ .... T h i s t h e s i s s e t ou t t o p roduce an i n t r o d u c t o r y e t h n o g r a p h y on the M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t M a n i t o b a . I n c h a p t e r one , we r e v i e w e d the g e n e r a l h i s t o r i c a l b a c k -g round o f the M e t i s p e o p l e w i t h s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n t o the v a r i o u s meanings o f t he word * M e t i s ' . We c o v e r e d some o f the major w r i t i n g s on M e t i s p e o p l e , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e o f G i r a u d , S t a n l e y , de Tremaudan, Brown and /Payment . Among o t h e r t h i n g s , we n o t i c e d t h a t t h e r e i s a d e a r t h o f e t h n o g r a p h i e s on con t empora ry M e t i s c o m m u n i t i e s . Hence , the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s r e s e a r c h i s t o s e r v e as a. c u l t u r a l r e s o u r c e f o r b o t h the M e t i s p e o p l e and f o r t he d i s c i p l i n e o f a n t h r o p o l o g y . The g e o g r a p h i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l ? - s e t t i n g o f S t . L a u r e n t was the o b j e c t o f s t u d y i n c h a p t e r two . We f o l l o w e d the h i s t o r i c a l deve lopment o f the e a r l y s e t t l e r s t h e r e from the p r e - c o n t a c t p e r i o d t o the p r e s e n t . We examined some f e a t u r e s o f the m a t e r i a l c u l t u r e o f the p e o p l e , name ly , f o o d , s h e l t e r and c l o t h i n g . I t was i n t h i s a r e a o f t h e i r c u l t u r e t h a t we f i r s t n o t i c e d the e f f e c t s m o d e r n i z a t i o n has had on the l i v e s o f M e t i s p e o p l e . Many a s p e c t s o f t h e i r m a t e r i a l c u l t u r e have been abso rbed by m o d e r n i z a t i o n . C h a p t e r t h r e e d e a l t w i t h the i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e c y c l e . 188 The d a t a r e v e a l e d the d r a s t i c changes i n M e t i s l i f e i n r e l a t i o n t o m o d e r n i z a t i o n , s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , e d u c a t i o n and f a m i l y l i f e . To many M e t i s p e o p l e , money and economic p r o g r e s s has become the number one p r i o r i t y i n t h e i r l i v e s w i t h i n the c o n t e x t o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n . S e c u l a r i z a t i o n has b r o u g h t some changes i n the M e t i s ' r e l a t i o n w i t h the C h u r c h . M e t i s l i f e i s d i v o r c e d from the o v e r a l l i n f l u e n c e o f o r g a n i z e d r e l i g i o n . From a s t r i c t m o r a l i t y i n the p a s t , M e t i s p e o p l e seem t o e n j o y a more open l i f e - s t y l e t o d a y . R e g a r d i n g f a m i l y l i f e and c u s t o m s , the e l d e r s were much more i d e n t i f i e d w i t h v a l u e s o f t he home and f a m i l y than the young g e n e r a t i o n . The ex tended f a m i l y has a l l bu t d i s a p p e a r e d and has been r e p l a c e d by the n u c l e a r f a m i l y . T h u s , t h e r e has been a l o o s e n i n g o f f a m i l y and k i n t i e s w i t h fewer c h i l d r e n as a r u l e . A t the same t i m e , e d u c a t i o n has and i s s t i l l p l a y i n g a dominant r o l e . F o r t y y e a r s ago , M e t i s p e o p l e d i s c a r d e d e d u c a t i o n s i m p l y because i t d i d n o t c o n t r i b u t e t o the economic w e l f a r e o f the f a m i l y . Today , e d u c a t i o n has become one o f t he ways f o r M e t i s p e o p l e t o e n t e r the m a i n s t r e a m o f C a n a d i a n s o c i e t y and a s t e p p i n g -s t o n e t o a c h i e v e economic p r o g r e s s . As we saw i n c h a p t e r f o u r , making a l i v i n g i n S t . L a u r e n t was n o t a l w a y s easy The d i v i s i o n o f l a b o r between the s exes was u s u a l l y w e l l u n d e r s t o o d by b o t h men and women. Women t ended the d o m e s t i c housework and r a i s e d the f a m i l y , w h i l e t he men d i d the h e a v i e r p h y s i c a l work as the b r e a d w i n n e r s . 189 F i f t y y e a r s ago , t he d o m e s t i c work o f women was d i f f i c u l t and f u l l o f h a r d s h i p s , as t h e r e were no modern c o n v e n i e n c e s . Few had p a y i n g j o b s l o c a l l y , most o f t he work was s e a s o n a l . T o d a y , M e t i s women l i v e w i t h i n the c a s h economy. T h e i r work i s more c a r e e r - o r i e n t e d as some t a k e advan tage o f t he e d u c a t i o n o p p o r t u n i t i e s t h a t a r e more a v a i l a b l e . The work o f M e t i s men has a l w a y s been i d e n t i f i e d w i t h o u t d o o r a c t i v i t i e s such as f i s h i n g , t r a p p i n g and h u n t i n g . The t r a d i t i o n a l economic methods have a l l bu t d i s a p p e a r e d e x c e p t pe rhaps f o r f i s h i n g i n w i n t e r . Most o f the work i s s e a s o n a l and l o c a l . The m a j o r i t y o f M e t i s men t o d a y have t o r e l y on two o r more j o b s t o make a l i v i n g , i n c l u d i n g o u t s i d e employment f o r ex t ended p e r i o d s o f t i m e . The c l o s u r e o f t he c l o t h i n g and l a d d e r f a c t o r i e s were n o t j u s t due t o *a change o f g o v e r n m e n t ' . I t r e i t e r a t e s the p o i n t made e a r l i e r t h a t the S t . L a u r e n t community has become dependent on an u n r e l i a b l e , w h i m s i c a l and even h o s t i l e e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t . M o d e r n i z a t i o n has d r a s t i c a l l y changed the s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d o f M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t , from a s u b s i s t e n c e t o a more complex and c a s h economy w i t h work s c h e d u l e s and wages s c a l e s . Thus , M e t i s n e s s i n the c o n t e x t o f a new economy has become o r a l r e a d y i s f o r many M e t i s an h i s t o r i c a l v a l u e , a t h i n g o f t he p a s t . M e t i s y o u t h g i v e s t h e m s e l v e s more r e a d i l y t o the e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t than the e l d e r s d i d . They see i n i t economic o p p o r t u n i t i e s t h a t d i d n o t e x i s t pe rhaps i n the g r a n d p a r e n t s ' d a y s . 190 The s u b j e c t s o f our i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n c h a p t e r f i v e were S o c i a l l i f e , R e l i g i o n and P o l i t i c s . The s e c t i o n on s o c i a l l i f e d e p i c t e d the v a r i o u s g roups t h a t c o n t r i b u t e d t o community f o r m a t i o n . We saw how M e t i s p e o p l e gave i m p o r t a n c e t o p e r s o n a l and community r e l a t i o n s as an e lement c o n s t i t u t i v e o f t h e i r M e t i s n e s s . T h i s was e v i d e n c e d i n the ways p e o p l e p a r t i c i p a t e d i n f a m i l y and community e v e n t s as p a r t o f t h e i r s o c i a l i z i n g p r o c e s s . One canno t h e l p bu t n o t i c e a t t he same t i m e how many o f t h e s e g roups have ceased t o f u n c t i o n due t o the p r o c e s s o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i z a t i o n . The c o n t e x t f o r e x a m i n i n g R e l i g i o n and P o l i t i c s was l e a d e r s h i p . How much power and i n f l u e n c e do M e t i s p e o p l e e x e r c i z e i n t h e s e c r u c i a l a r e a s o f t h e i r l i v e s ? To what e x t e n t do t h e y p a r t i c i p a t e i n the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g o f i s s u e s a f f e c t i n g t h e i r l i v e s ? We o b s e r v e d t h a t i n R e l i g i o n , M e t i s p e o p l e have a l o n g t r a d i t i o n o f r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s and cus toms i n the C a t h o l i c c h u r c h a t S t . L a u r e n t . These r i t u a l s c a r r i e d s i g n i f i c a n t s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n s i n the communi ty , even though many o f them have d i s a p p e a r e d t o d a y . We r a i s e d the i s s u e whether r i t u a l s have the same impac t on the l i v e s o f p e o p l e i n a s e c u l a r c o n t e x t as i n a r e l i g i o u s c o n t e x t and our answer was n e g a t i v e . In P o l i t i c s , we s u r v e y e d the h i s t o r i c a l b a c k g r o u n d o f p o l i t i c a l l i f e a t S t . L a u r e n t f rom 1824 t o the p r e s e n t day . We r e v i e w e d the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f the M u n i c i p a l i t y . However , i t i s o n l y i n r e c e n t y e a r s , t h a t the 191 M e t i s have been a b l e t o o b t a i n a g a i n ( t a b l e 9) M u n i c i p a l government a t S t . L a u r e n t , t hus r e g a i n i n g c o n t r o l o f t h e i r p o l i t i c a l l i v e s and j o i n i n g a t t he same t ime the m a i n s t r e a m o f C a n a d i a n s o c i e t y . The M a n i t o b a M e t i s F e d e r a t i o n l o c a l was a l s o i n s t r u m e n t a l i n c r e a t i n g a new s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l awareness among the p e o p l e . More and more p e o p l e p a r t i c i p a t e i n m e e t i n g s and g roups o u t s i d e the v i l l a g e b o u n d a r i e s , t h u s e x p r e s s i n g t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the C a n a d i a n way o f l i f e . F i n a l l y , c h a p t e r s i x i n t r o d u c e d us t o the M i c h i f F r e n c h l a n g u a g e . We c o v e r e d i t s o r i g i n and h i s t o r i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t , e x p e r i e n c e s o f a t t e m p t s a t l i n g u i s t i c a s s i m i l a t i o n and a c c u l t u r a t i o n b o t h a t and o u t s i d e S t . L a u r e n t . M e n t i o n was a l s o made o f some community r e c o l l e c t i o n s o f i n i t i a l l anguage c o n t a c t and how the M i c h i f F r e n c h language became i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h t h e i r image o f t h e m s e l v e s , w i t h t h e i r i d e n t i t y , as a d i s p l a y o f t h e i r M e t i s n e s s . Conclusion The g e n e r a l pu rpose o f t h i s t h e s i s was t o document the p r o c e s s by w h i c h a p a r t i c u l a r M e t i s communi ty , a t S t . L a u r e n t , M a n i t o b a , i s moving or has moved from b e i n g a g e n e r a l l y s e l f - c o n t a i n e d community o f M e t i s t o a c o n d i t i o n i n w h i c h t h e y a r e more C a n a d i a n than M e t i s . In p a r t , the p r o c e s s i s subsumed i n what has been c a l l e d m o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , and i t i s a l s o subsumed i n what has been c a l l e d m a r g i n a l i z a t i o m . The q u e s t i o n s a d d r e s s e d were : 192 1. What a re the c o n s t i t u e n t s o f M e t i s n e s s ? 2 . A r e the M e t i s becoming C a n a d i a n a t the expense o f b e i n g M e t i s ? 3 . D o / w i l l the M e t i s o f S t . L a u r e n t r e t a i n t h e i r ' M e t i s n e s s ' w i t h i n the g e n e r a l meaning o f b e i n g C a n a d i a n , o r w i l l t hey become ' anonymous ' C a n a d i a n s ? The s p e c i f i c q u e s t i o n s a r e : I s i t p o s s i b l e t o r e t a i n the same M e t i s n e s s w h i l e becoming s o m e t h i n g o t h e r ? The answer t o t h a t q u e s t i o n i s s u r e l y No. Then , i s i t p o s s i b l e t o r e t a i n a s t r o n g and d e f i n i t i v e sense o f b e i n g M e t i s w h i l e a t the same t ime becoming s o m e t h i n g o t h e r and , p r e s u m a b l y l e s s M e t i s t han f o r m e r l y was the c a s e ? The answer t o t h a t q u e s t i o n i s p r o b a b l y Y e s . The d a t a o f t h i s t h e s i s r e v e a l s t h a t d r a s t i c changes have o c c u r r e d i n M e t i s n e s s i n r e l a t i o n t o money, m o d e r n i z a t i o n , s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , e d u c a t i o n and f a m i l y l i f e . Th ree a r e a s o f change a r e : Independence /Communi ty L i f e ; I n t e r n a l / E x t e r i o r E n v i r o n m e n t ; M e t i s n e s s / C a n a d i a n . M o d e r n i z a t i o n has f o r c e d M e t i s p e o p l e t o make the t r a n s i t i o n from a s u b s i s t e n c e economy t o a more complex and c a s h economy. As a r e s u l t , the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t a r e no t t o d a y what t h e y were i n the p a s t . D a t a shows t h a t some m a t e r i a l a s p e c t s o f t h e i r c u l t u r e l i k e s h e l t e r , f ood and c l o t h i n g have changed c o n s i d e r a b l y i n the l a s t f o r t y y e a r s . T h e i r s o u r c e s o f l i v e l i h o o d were m o d i f i e d from the t r a d i t i o n a l economy based on the l o c a l env i ronmen t t o a c a s h 193 economy w h i c h r e l i e s on the e x t e r i o r e n v i r o n m e n t . T h i s , i n t u r n , has a f f e c t e d f a m i l y l i f e where the ex t ended f a m i l y no l o n g e r e x i s t s and has been r e p l a c e d by the n u c l e a r f a m i l y w h i c h i s much s m a l l e r i n s i z e as compared t o the f a m i l y o f y e s t e r y e a r s . A f t e r 1885, t he M e t i s i n Wes te rn Canada found t h e m s e l v e s e c o n o m i c a l l y and s o c i a l l y m a r g i n a l i z e d . W i t h the adven t o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , many M e t i s have j o i n e d and en joy the ma ins t r eam o f C a n a d i a n s o c i e t y . T h i s i s n o t t he case f o r a l l , however . Many s t i l l f e e l m a r g i n a l i z e d t o d a y , s o c i a l l y and e c o n o m i c a l l y . Due t o the phenomenom o f s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , M e t i s l i f e i s d i v o r c e d from the o v e r a l l i n f l u e n c e o f the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d C h u r c h and o f o r g a n i z e d r e l i g i o n . Tha t does no t mean t h a t M e t i s p e o p l e a t S t . L a u r e n t have q u i t b e i n g r e l i g i o u s f o r many have remained s o . I t does mean t h a t t h e i r l i f e i s f r e e from the i n f l u e n c e o f the C h u r c h . From a backg round o f s t r i c t m o r a l i t y , M e t i s p e o p l e now seem t o en joy a more open m o r a l i t y . The q u e s t i o n o f the f o r c e o f r i t u a l s i n a s e c u l a r c o n t e x t has been r a i s e d . And i t i s t he a u t h o r ' s v i e w t h a t r i t u a l s do no t have the same impac t on the l i v e s o f the p e o p l e i n a s e c u l a r c o n t e x t as i t does i n a r e l i g i o u s one . E d u c a t i o n has become f o r many M e t i s a key way t o j o i n m a i n s t r e a m s o c i e t y . I n so d o i n g , t h e y use e d u c a t i o n as a s t e p p i n g - s t o n e t o a c h i e v e economic p r o g r e s s . M e t i s a r e i m p l i c i t l y o p t i n g f o r o r b e i n g f o r c e d i n t o becoming C a n a d i a n w h i l e r e t a i n i n g p e r s o n a l p r i d e i n t h e i r 194 h i s t o r i c a l o r i g i n s . Pe rhaps t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s most o b v i o u s w i t h t h e i r l a n g u a g e . W h i l e many a s p e c t s o f t h e i r c u l t u r e have bu t a l l d i s a p p e a r e d , i n c l u d i n g m a t e r i a l f e a t u r e s , t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l means o f l i v e l i h o o d , most f a m i l y and m a r r i a g e c u s t o m s , many o f t h e i r r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e s , i t i s t h e i r M i c h i f F r e n c h l anguage t h a t has r emained a c o r e v a l u e i n s p i t e o f the many a t t e m p t s t o a s s i m i l a t e the M e t i s p e o p l e l i n g u i s t i c a l l y . So much s o , as we have s e e n , t h e i r l anguage has become i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h t h e i r image o f t h e m s e l v e s . M i c h i f F r e n c h has come t o be r e c o g n i z e d by the M e t i s as a symbol o f t h e i r M e t i s i d e n t i t y . One i s M e t i s i f one speaks M i c h i f and vice versa. F i n a l l y , we must ask o u r s e l v e s i f s u c h i d e n t i t e s a r e f i n i t e o r , i n p r i n c i p l e , no t f i n i t e . Tha t i s , i n a d d i n g to what one was, one does no t n e c e s s a r i l y l o s e a n y t h i n g o f what one was b u t , p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y , what one was does no t e x h a u s t what one jL§.. Y e t a d i f f e r e n c e i s e n t a i l e d . I f i d e n t i t y i s f i n i t e , w i t h l i m i t s , t hen g a i n i n g a t t r i b u t e s and q u a l i t i e s n e c e s s a r i l y means l o s i n g o t h e r s , l e a d i n g l o g i c a l l y t o the w h o l l y d i f f e r e n t , w h i c h i s n o t the case f o r the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t . I f i d e n t i t y i s n o t f i n i t e , t h a t i s , w i t h o u t l i m i t s , t h e n , i t a l l o w s f o r a d d i t i o n a l q u a l i t i e s w i t h o u t n e c e s s a r i l y l o s i n g what had e x i s t e d b e f o r e . I a rgue t h a t t h i s i s t h e case f o r the M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t . Today , M e t i s a t S t . L a u r e n t , i n g e n e r a l , know t h e y a re M e t i s , h i s t o r i c a l l y , s o c i a l l y and l i n g u i s t i c a l l y . Some M e t i s 195 w i l l b e s t d e f i n e t h e m s e l v e s w i t h a n e g a t i v e s t a t e m e n t s u c h a s : " I am no t a w h i t e p e r s o n , I am no t n o t an I n d i a n , I am n o t a E u r o p e a n " . Many s i m p l y have a ha rd t i m e a r t i c u l a t i n g t h e i r M e t i s n e s s . F u r t h e r m o r e , d a t a shows t h a t many were l e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t b e i n g a M e t i s was t o be i n f e r i o r and l a z y . As a r e s u l t , many M e t i s do no t c l a i m o p e n l y t h a t t h e y a re M e t i s . H i s t o r i c a l e v e n t s d i d no t encourage them t o do s o . The p o i n t i s t h a t the M e t i s n e s s o f the e l d e r s i s r a p i d l y d i s a p p e a r i n g . The re a r e M e t i s who no l o n g e r c o n s i d e r t h e m s e l v e s M e t i s s o c i a l l y and c u l t u r a l l y , even though t h e i r l anguage c o n t i n u e s t o i d e n t i f y them as s u c h . They have o p t e d , e i t h e r by p e r s o n a l c h o i c e o r f o r economic r e a s o n s , f o r j o i n i n g the ma ins t r eam o f s o c i e t y . They do n o t see a v a l u e i n c a l l i n g t h e m s e l v e s o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n M e t i s i n o f r e - d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i r M e t i s n e s s t o d a y . To them, M e t i s n e s s i s an h i s t o r i c a l v a l u e , a t h i n g o f t he p a s t . They a r e s a t i s f i e d w i t h b e i n g " C a n a d i a n ' . Then t h e r e a re the M e t i s who c o n t i n u e t o i d e n t i f y t h e m s e l v e s and t h e i r f a m i l i e s as M e t i s . F o r some members o f the p r e s e n t g e n e r a t i o n , we sense the emergence o f a new M e t i s n e s s , based on the f o l l o w i n g p r i n c i p l e s : A new i n t e r e s t i n d i s c o v e r i n g o n e ' s M e t i s r o o t s and o r i g i n s . A new sense o f M e t i s H i s t o r y , p e r s o n a l i t i e s and e v e n t s , b r o u g h t about by new s c h o l a r l y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . 196 A new sense o f i d e n t i t y and a new sense o f b e l o n g i n g b r o u g h t about by t h e i r i n v o l v e m e n t i n new s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l M e t i s g r o u p s . What appea r s t o be o c c u r r i n g i s t h a t M e t i s i n S t . L a u r e n t a r e c o n s t r u c t i n g a new M e t i s n e s s and new M e t i s i d e n t i t y i n t o d a y ' s w o r l d . D e s p i t e m o d e r n i z a t i o n and s e c u l a r i z a t i o n , i t seems p o s s i b l e t o r e t a i n and b u i l d a s t r o n g and d e f i n i t i v e sense o f b e i n g M e t i s w h i l e a t the same t ime becoming C a n a d i a n . F i n a l l y , I hope t h i s t h e s i s w i l l s e r v e as a c o n t r i b u t i o n towards our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f p l u r a l i s m i n Canada . And as a case s t u d y o f t he impac t o f m o d e r n i z a t i o n on a con t empora ry M e t i s communi ty , i t i s my hope t h a t the f i n d i n g s w i l l encourage f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h on M e t i s c u l t u r e , h i s t o r y and l a n g u a g e s . 197 B±bJ,.i.Qg.r..a^..hx T h i s b i b l i o g r a p h y c o n t a i n s a l l t he works c i t e d as w e l l as o t h e r s the r e a d e r s migh t f i n d u s e f u l f o r M e t i s e t h n o g r a p h y . Adams, Howard 1975 Er_is..ojo_o.L.. G. r _C.an.ada_. l.xs>.m..... jLh.e.....N^ view... T o r o n t o . New P r e s s . A g a r , M i c h a e l H . 1980 The Professional Stranger: AaJLoXoxmal Introz. dJ lKdLi^^ Academics P r e s s . L o n d o n . A l b e r t a F e d e r a t i o n o f M e t i s S e t t l e m e n t A s s o c i a t i o n . 1982 Mei i sAsm,^ I.d.e.D.t.i.ty.s. Edmonton. A l b e r t a F e d e r a t i o n o f M e t i s S e t t l e m e n t A s s o c i a t i o n . A n c t i l , P i e r r e 1981 L ' e x i l a m e r i c a i n de L o u i s R i e l , 1874-1884 . Rjeche.^ .a.U.„.Ru.£be,.Q...... l l ( 3 ) : 2 3 9 - 5 0 . A n d e r s o n , D . R . , and A . M . Ande r son 1977 TJxe„......M.e^ H.i_S_t.Q_ry...... Edmonton: A l b e r t a A s s o c i a t i o n o f M e t i s S e t t l e m e n t A s s o c i a t i o n s . A r c h i v e s o f S t . B o n i f a c e H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y 1961 September , p . 5 . A s s o c i a t i o n o f M e t i s and N o n - S t a t u s I n d i a n s o f Saska tchewn 1979 L.Q..UJLS. _R.i.e_.L,..„.^ W i n n i p e g . 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W h i t t a k e r , E l v i 1986 " D i s c o v e r i n g the H a o l e : The Grammar o f the F i e l d w o r k E n c o u n t e r , " T_he ..Mam N . Y . : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . , p p . 48 -73 W i l s o n , B r y a n 1982 Re. lig.i-Q.n in -SQe_i.Q.la^  O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . London , p . 149 Woodcock, George 1975 Gabriel l_uj_ont: The M.e_ti.s. .Chief and his Lest M..Qr.ld.,. Edmonton: H u r t i g . 210 r FIGURE 1. MANITOBA INTERLAKE REGION 211 FIGURE 2. ST. LAURENT, MANITOBA. S c a l e : 1 mi. = 1.37 i n . FOR REFERENCES SEE FIGURE 3. p. 212. 212 F i g u r e 3 References: hap of S t . L a u r e n t (F i g . 2, p. 211) 1. Old highway number 6. 2. New highway number 6. 3.. Canadian N a t i o n a l Railway. 4a. Chartrand Road, South. 4b. Lake Manitoba. 4c. Twin Lake Road. 4d. F a s c i n a g e Road. 5. Norman Gaudry's Residence. 6. L'Grand Mash-keg, 6 kms. e a s t . 7. Stony Ridge, 10 kms. e a s t . 8. Wilson Creek, 3 kms. n o r t h . 9. Chartrand Road, north. . Each dot r e p r e s e n t s one household. 213 Chartrand Rd. South 

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