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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
The Métis in Western Canada: O-Tee-Paym-Soo-Wuk

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The BeginningsThe People and Their CommunitiesCulture and Lifeways
Métis Communities

To date, Alberta is Canada's only province that has set aside a land base for Métis controlled settlements. As children born of Native and European unions, Métis evolved into a distinct group that according to the Métis Settlement Act, see themselves as people of Canadian Aboriginal ancestry who identify with Métis history and culture. Early Métis were widely known as adaptive, hard working, independent, fun loving, closely tied to their kin and to their distinct culture and lifestyles. These very traits would, after a long dark period, see many Métis through some of Canada's harshest growing pains.

Alberta's eight Métis settlements are located across the northern part of the province. As indicated by the timeline, these settlements were established after many years of struggle and keen negotiation. With their formation, Métis settlements eventually won land use rights and self-government.Alberta's settlement Métis are Canada's first Métis to have law-making and quasi-judicial powers defined by Alberta legislation — powers that are exercised within specific Métis territories.

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