Metis of Labrador
Content provided by: Danielle Matthews, in collaboration with Lyla Andrew, Winston C. White, Shirley Pye and Tim Borlase
Metis are people of a mixed decent. It is a common misconception that the only Metis in Canada are Prairie Metis. People often fail to realize that the groups of natives and settlers in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Labrador are also Metis.

In Labrador, Metis are primarily the descendants of European men and Inuit women, but the Metis of Labrador are aboriginal people that also have and honour ancestors of Inuit, Innu, French, Scottish, Irish and English origins. All members are bound to further the objectives, interests and influences of the Metis Nation.

Metis rights are protected and enshrined in the Constitution of Canada.
Metis Communities
The Metis people occupy and use land throughout Labrador. They see each community linked together in kinship and friendship.

Larger numbers of registered Metis are situated in the Lake Melville area and in southern Labrador, from Cartwright down to Mary's Harbour. However, Metis are not limited to these regions as others live in the Straits, the west and the northern regions of Labrador.
Metis Traditions
Metis traditions resonate with the way of their elders. Their respect for the environment, the sharing of resources, the knowledge of traditional medicines and care for each other, is traced directly to their aboriginal heritage.

Like many groups in Labrador, the Metis were season oriented. They fished and hunted seals and waterfowl in the summer months, while trapping and hunting in the forested bays and coves during the winter months. Metis have relied upon the resources of the land from time immemorial. Fish, sea mammals, birds, caribou, forests, minerals and other natural resources now form, and have always formed an integral part of the Metis way of life. As with modern developments, relationships with the land and sea are tested but not broken.

Aboriginal communities in Labrador are progressively evolving over time. The Labrador Metis are an example of successfully integrating knowledge and technologies as they become available. They see these development opportunities as an extension of their aboriginality.
Metis Governance
The Labrador Metis Association was established in 1985, and was changed to the Labrador Metis Nation in 1998.

The Labrador Metis Nation is governed by an elected Council. The Council is comprised of four Executive members and sixteen Councillors. The Council, with the exception of two Elders, are elected from Metis residing in Labrador.
Ashini, D. (1997). Nitassinan Before the Europeans - A Presentation to Cabot and His World Symposium. Labrador: Canada, Unpublished Abstract.

Blake, W. (1997). Adjusting to a New Environment - Cross Cultural Education Series. Labrador: Canada, Unpublished Abstract.

Borlase, Tim.(1994). The Labrador Settlers, Metis and Kablunangajuit. Labrador East Integrated School Board.

Gilbert, B. (1995). What is Cultural Awareness? Labrador: Canada, Unpublished Abstract.

Montague, W. & Murray, C. Cultural Diversity Awareness: Skills for Developing Sensitivity to and Interaction with People of Different Cultures. Labrador: Canada

Morgan, I. Discovering Similarities. Labrador: Canada. Unknown Source.

National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada & Government of Canada. Native Contributions to Present- Day Life. Labrador: Canada. Unknown Source.

Obed, Ellen. Common Threads in Inuit Culture. Labrador: Canada. Unknown Source.

Qitsuali, R. (1998). Commentary: What Exactly is an Elder? Special to Nunatsiaq News. Labrador: Canada

RCMP/GRC. Cross Cultural Education: Selection of Readings. Labrador: Canada

White, W. (1996). Labrador Footprints - parts 1-8. Special to The Evening Telegram. St. John's, Canada.
Additional Links

Webmaster Login