Labrador Métis People and the LMN
"....The Labrador Métis exhibit the historical rootedness,
social cohesiveness, and cultural self-consciousness that are essential
to nationhood, and they are developing a political organization
that will allow them to engage in effective nation-to-nation negotiation
and to exercise self-government....the Métis culture is sufficiently
distinct to mark them as a unique people..."
- Report of the
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996
Métis are one of several Métis Nations in Canada (the
others include the Cree Métis, the Dene Métis, the
Gwichin Métis, and others). The heart of Labrador Métis
territory is the South Labrador Coast, specifically eleven isolated
year-round communities and many summer fishing stations. There
are also many Métis people in the Lake Melville, as well
as some in the Labrador Straits, western Labrador, and on the island
Métis are Inuit Métis; we are the descendants of Inuit
women and British men. There was also some intermarriage with Innu,
Mi'Kmaq, Newfoundlanders and Canadians. For a long time, the Métis
were called "breeds", "half-breeds", "settlers" and other names
which came with a stigma. It is a badge of honour that Métis
pride survived at all.
Métis established distinct customs and traditions.
Our way of life was unique, self-reliant, and adapted to the Labrador
setting. This adaptation was primarily aboriginal in nature;
that is, people lived off the land and the sea, and they migrated
threats, such as the cod moratorium, ours is a living culture.
Métis culture features a strong conservation ethic, a deep
love of and respect for the land, and strict prohibitions on wastefulness.
Cooperation has always been essential to survival and well-being.
It has made us strong and fostered a sense of belonging and community.
With the Innu
and Inuit, we were members of the Native Association of Newfoundland
and Labrador (NANL) in the 1970's. Since the early 1980's, we have
been represented by the Labrador Métis Nation. As of
March, 1997, there are over 4100 members in the LMN. This makes
us the largest aboriginal group in Labrador. The LMN is a full and
active member of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP).
significant numbers, the Labrador Métis have historically
been left out of the decisions that affect our people and our territory.
The LMN aims to correct this longstanding injustice and is active
at both the provincial and federal levels.
The LMN has
submitted a comprehensive land claim which is now being considered
by the federal government. The Nation is also involved in
defending the traditional hunting and fishing rights of our people,
promoting education and training, and facilitating economic development
in Métis communities. The LMN is also a full member
of the Institute for Environmental Monitoring and Research.
370 Hamilton River Road
P.O. Box 460, Stn. C
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador
Tel: (709) 896-0592
Fax: (709) 896-0594
Web site: Labrador
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