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The topic of Status was a much easier discussion, because I avoided delving into identity issues in order to give you the bare bones legislative context.

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.

Names like L’Hirondelle, Loyer, Callihoo (spelled a million different ways), Belcourt…those were a dead give away that someone was related to me somehow.

But aside from the odd family story that didn’t interest me as a child (but fascinate me now as an adult), I knew very little about our regional history.

While there is no unanimous consensus, scholars generally consider the Métis to be Red River Métis and their descendants throughout the diaspora.

On one extreme of little ‘m’ métis identity, one must actually be half First Nations and half not.What I knew but did not understand, is that we were related to pretty much everyone in Alberta, lots of people in Saskatchewan and a bunch of people in northern BC.Some of our relations lived on Stoney reserves, others lived on Cree reserves, still others had farms near places like Keephills, Smokey Lake, Rivière Qui Barre and so on.(I warned some of you I’d be rehashing supposedly ‘old’ territory!) If you were to boil down common approaches to Métis identity, you generally end up with two categories, sometimes overlapping, sometimes entirely separate, sometimes with all sorts of anomalies left over and scattered about.