A Métis Family in the Pays d’en Haut

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Voyageur Heritage • • • Community Journal & Resource Guide

by James LaForest

Genealogical Chart for Gautier dit Saguingoura/Capie8k8e Family

What did it mean to be Métis in the Great Lakes Region, historically? What form did historical métissage (the intermarriage and cultural mixing of First Nations/Native Americans, French and French Canadian, and Métis people) take? What impact did British and American (Yankee) military and economic dominance have on mixed-race individuals, families, and communities in the Detroit River region after the French era and as the fur trade diminished? What impact did Métis culture prior to the mid-20th century have on individuals who were members of Great Lakes fur trade families – people who were Métis or part of the kinship networks of Métis families which could be found originally in population centers such as St. Ignace, Green Bay, Kaskaskia, and Detroit? How did a multigenerational Great Lakes Métis culture pre-dating the Red River Métis survive into modern times?

Until recently questions such as these would have been…

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2 thoughts on “A Métis Family in the Pays d’en Haut

  1. Thanks for the history lesson. I like the line “….Indian women forfeited their histories upon marriage to French and French Canadian men…..” What a terrible indictment of the way we treat women as irrelevant to man’s history.

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