The Métis Nation registry : exploring identity, meaning, and culture
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In 2004, Métis Nation offices began to register and issue identification cards to Métis citizens who met certain criteria. While many Métis people did register, and are registering, there are many who have not, and will not. As a result, some question the validity of the registry because it is unclear how it can reflect an accurate picture of the culture when not all Métis are represented. Through in-depth, unstructured interviews, my reflexive ethnography traces the accounts of six Métis citizens in southern Saskatchewan. I explore their stories about their Métis-ness, and their experiences with the registry. I also explore my own experiences with the registry and my journey to un/discover my own Métis-ness. The findings are presented in a creative non-fiction essay. The conclusions suggest that identification cards cannot grant someone admission to a culture; rather, cultural identity requires time, effort, intent, active participation, and meaningful connection with others.
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