Skip to Main Content

Metis Resources

Looking for information about or by the Metis in Canada? This Guide offers suggestions for locating such materials.


As a researcher, you may need to know that in the past, other words have been used to refer to the Metis. 
For this reason, we have included information about searching for these terms, but we are aware that these terms are offensive. (This wording was vetted by Native Studies Department faculty.)

For commentary on the definition of the term Metis and other words you may see in your research, see:

Terminology Guide: Research on Aboriginal Heritage

Often, in order to perform searches within historical materials, it still is necessary to use terms which are now considered offensive and/or degrogatory - as these were the terms that were used at the time and will appear in the documents. In the publication Terminology Guide, Library and Archives Canada notes in the Introduction, page 6: "Seeking an understanding about Aboriginal identity through family histories and genealogy research may be seen as a challenging task in Canada because of what Kesler refers to as two systems of definitions, one based in law and legislation, the other in family tradition and community practice. (i) For example, a researcher will find that documents written at an earlier point in history may use terms, such as “Indian,” “Half-breed,” and “Eskimo” in ways that may or may not be acceptable to those being referred to, and which have since been replaced by other terms. It is important therefore to recognize that languages have contexts and histories. As cultures change, so do the meanings of words and their usage for a given period, place and culture."

Program of Research Related to Historical Métis Communities, which includes information about Powley.

Individual authors may note definitions in their work. In a thesis by Emma LaRocque, Native Writers Resisting Colonizing Practices In Canadian Historiography And Literature, there is a note in her "A Word on Terminology" section regarding the "...distinction between metis (or halfbreed) and Metis Nation peoples, the former meaning those individuals who are first generation part Indian and part White; the latter referring to those peoples whose ancestors were originally White and Indian but who went on to develop as a distinct peoples by marrying within their own group over generations and becoming a new race or ethnicity." (Page 22)

The Library and Archives Canada site has a page noting vocabulary in the Metis Scrip Records.

For details on searching multiple terms at once/Boolean operators, see the Indigenous Resources LibGuide or the Tab Complex searching/Boolean/the '5'.