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We Know Who We Are : Métis Identity in a Montana Community (Reprint) (Paperback) (Martha Harroun
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They know who they are. Of predominantly Chippewa, Cree, French, and Scottish descent, the Métis people have flourished as a distinct ethnic group in Canada and the northwestern United States for nearly two hundred years. Yet their Métis identity is often ignored or misunderstood in the United States. Unlike their counterparts in Canada, the U.S. Métis have never received federal recognition. In fact, their very identity has been questioned.
In this rich examination of a Métis communitythe first book-length work to focus on the Montana MétisMartha Harroun Foster combines social, political, and economic analysis to show how its people have adapted to changing conditions while retaining a strong sense of their own unique culture and traditions.
Despite overwhelming obstacles, the Métis have used the bonds of kinship and common history to strengthen and build their community. As Foster carefully traces the lineage of Métis families from the Spring Creek area, she shows how the people retained their sense of communal identity. She traces the common threads linking diverse Métis communities throughout Montana and lends insight into the nature of Métis identity in general. And in raising basic questions about the nature of ethnicity, this pathbreaking work speaks to the difficulties of ethnic identification encountered by all peoples of mixed descent.