UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Weaving and baking nation : the recognition politics of the Métis sash and bannock in the 1990s Allard, Dane


This thesis examines and situates the Oral History Project of the Métis Women of Manitoba Inc. within its specific historical context. Two Métis women and Co-Chairs of the Cultural Heritage Committee of the MWM, Lorraine Freeman and Doreen Breland-Fines conducted the project in 1993. These interviews provide a critical entry point into a conversation of Métis identity at a time in which the contours of the Métis Nation were being re-articulated by Métis organizations such as the Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. Before Canadian legislation in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and Bill C-31 Métis organizations advocated for both Métis and Non-Status recognition. After these legislative acts Métis organizations increasingly adopted a concept of the Métis Nation within ethno-nationalist parameters. These concerns structured how the OHP operated as a project. The OHP wanted to discuss national symbols, such as the Ceinture Fléchée (the Sash) and ban-nock, because they were easily distinguishable outward expressions of Métis-ness. However, interviewees challenged these expectations and complicated how Métis nationalism was conceptualized in the OHP. These interviews demonstrated the interplay between individuals, Métis organizations, and the Canadian state in the construction of Métis identities. As an archive this project gestured towards the fluidity of identity.

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