Métis Nationhood

When a nation dies and never ascends from the ashes of its own destruction, one circumstance must always be present. That nation forgot where it came from. It lost sight of its roots. The struggle for identity and the fervid quest for nationhood disappears into the mist of time. The nation gave up the quest. Outsiders came in, and this nation denied its own heritage. Vision and hope faded; customers became suppressed through assimilation and doubt. Those people whose forefathers and mothers would hold nothing to be impossible in their vision as a nation, joined in the hopeless and despair. They forgot where they came from. They lost sight of their heritage. And when men forget what is at the heart of their nation, they lose their identity and their past, and become one with a people foreign to them and their ways, and disappear.

Yet I can see in the Métis of today the face of those who struggled at Bloody Creek, and I realize that our nation yet lives. I have seen the faces of the Métis people of today and they are the faces of a nation still strong, a reflection of the past, yet with the strength of the present; men, women and children who live today, who like our ancestors share in the making o the Eastern Woodland Métis Nation. Our forefathers passed on a legacy of backbreaking toil and the turmoil of revolution. They saw change and they saw despair; until now when the Métis Nation is again about to take its rightful place in this country.

I can see in their faces throughout the whole story of the Métis people. We have given them our heritage, this land that we honor, through the dreams and visions and struggles of our forefathers and mothers. The cost has been high, but the price they paid has been worthy of them. To forge our nation took men and women who were willing to become new people. And they did that. And it is up to us to tell our children and their children that we remember our identity, and from this identity we will shape our nation.

The Eastern Woodland Métis Nation NS must not be forgotten and allowed to die. We owe it to those who passed this way before us, who gave us our grand heritage, who carried our nation with their hands and their hearts, that we will carry on the struggle, and that we will write the history of a new nation, strong on our belief in the Creator, a love of our land, and a faith in our people, the Métis people.

Grand Chief Mary Lou Parker
January 2012