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Trust me, there are much larger identity discussions yet to be had on ‘who is an Indian’. This is probably going to leave you with more questions than answers, but I do hope that your perception of the question itself will have shifted.More important, I’d argue, than just knowing the state of the categories right now…but you have to start from somewhere! If I have any academic readers, I apologise in advance for bringing up debates or issues that some academics think are settled, or should be moved past.Whether or not I agree, the fact is that most Canadians have not been a part of these mostly internal discussions. His eyes snap back and he’s got a skeptical look on his face, “Oh,” he says, sounding disappointed and perhaps a little triumphant to have found a fake, “so you’re like, a quarter Indian?I want to go into the history of the Métis, and talk about and quote some John Ralston Saul (okay I actually have no desire to do that last thing) but this person just asked me a question at a party and his eyes are already drifting over the lithe form of a single neighbour. ” I am impressed with your mathematical skills, imaginary pastiche of all the people who have asked me this question since I moved to Quebec, but no.You can just imagine the range of arguments involved in deciding where along the spectrum of ‘blood quantum’ is supposedly legitimate.There are also discussion about connection to culture as a métis, so it is not always focused on blood. Big ‘M’ Métis tends to be an socio-political definition, referring to the blend of First Nations and European cultures resulting in the genesis of a new identity.
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On one extreme of little ‘m’ métis identity, one must actually be half First Nations and half not.
On the other extreme, one can be métis with only a minimal amount of First Nations blood.
Others consider any community to be Métis where it was founded by métis who developed their own culture and shared a history.
Following this through, you could imagine emerging Métis communities, not just historical ones.